WR Matthews makes encouraging progressJust a week ago Bills WR Jordan Matthews was listed as week-to-week in the wake of his thumb injury suffered in Week 4 that required surgery. On the Monday after Buffalo's bye week, head coach Sean McDermott labeled the receiver day-to-day. When asked for clarification, McDermott confirmed that the shortened time frame is due to marked progress in Matthews recovery.
"It's day to day. Just coming off the bye he made a tremendous amount of progress," McDermott said of Matthews. "We have to make sure that things heal up the right way. We'll know a little bit more (Tuesday)."
When asked if there's an outside chance that Matthews could be ready to return to the lineup as soon as this Sunday against Tampa Bay, McDermott wouldn't commit at this point.
"We're going to have to see," he said. "He still has the deal with the thumb going on. We just have to see how he looks going into Wednesday."
If there's some way that Matthews can play on Sunday, it would provide a welcome lift to a passing game that's been beset with injury. TE Charles Clay (knee) is still week to week with a knee injury.
On the defensive side of the ball LB Ramon Humber (thumb) is week to week. Cornerbacks E.J. Gaines (groin) and Leonard Johnson (hamstring) are limited in practice Monday.
Left tackle to be determinedCordy Glenn's foot and ankle ailments have led to a jumbled situation at left tackle. Rookie Dion Dawkins has made three consecutive starts with Glenn still not fit to get through a whole game. Head coach Sean McDermott plans to see where Glenn is at with respect to his strength and endurance in practice this week.
"Cordy hasn't played in a number of weeks," said McDermott. "Getting him in the right conditioning, acclimating him to not only the mental part, but also the physical part. We're going to take a look at that today, know more as the week progresses. And obviously that does affect Dion (Dawkins)."
If Glenn comes through the week well with full participation throughout the week there appears to be a chance that he could return to the starting lineup.
Meanwhile at right guard, McDermott declared that the position is still available for the taking.
"That's an ongoing competition. John did some good things. Vlad did some good things," he said. "So we're going to continue to look at that as well as we move forward into this week."
Implementing solutionsThe Bills coaching staff spent a lot of time assessing their strengths and weaknesses through the first five games. They feel good about some of the solutions they've come up with this week.
"I think it gave us a good chance to do some self-evaluation of ourselves as coaches, look at our schemes and then look at fundamentals. All those areas were good for us to look at," McDermott said. "Tape time and we worked Monday through Wednesday and the players were in here as well and we got on the field a little bit. Just to build some self-awareness for what we did well, what we need to improve moving forward."
As for Monday's practice the team will divide their time between employing some fundamental teaching and implementing some solutions devised in the bye week with getting a jump on Sunday's opponent.
"It'll be a mix of both," said McDermott. "We'll start off with some individual period and then get into a head start on Tampa at this point."