While the San Diego receiving corps could be without Chris Chambers and Buster Davis Sunday, Buffalo's secondary could be short two of their top three corners. Bills head coach Dick Jauron already declared starter Terrence McGee out for the second straight game with a sprained knee, and Ashton Youboty will be a game time decision after participating on just a limited basis Thursday and Friday.
"He's just sore," said Jauron of Youboty. "He does individual work and is very limited in team and in the look squad stuff. We were just trying to get him through it. We'll have to see how that thing feels at game time."
Youboty has been dealing with the foot ailment since the bye week as he sat out the two practices last Tuesday and Wednesday. If Youboty can't go it would put a strain on the Bills secondary as Jabari Greer and rookies Leodis McKelvin and Reggie Corner would be the only healthy cornerbacks on the roster.
Suffice to say that Buffalo's coverage calls will have to be very creative against the league's eighth-ranked passing attack.
"Absolutely," said Jauron following Friday's practice.
Fortunately for defensive coordinator Perry Fewell he has one of the most versatile safeties in the league in Donte Whitner. Whitner has already worn a few hats this season playing in the slot in nickel packages in addition to his safety duties, which include both strong and free safety responsibilities.
"I enjoy it," said Whitner. "I play some corner and strong and free safety. I'll pretty much be playing every position in the secondary this weekend. So it'll be fun. We'll see what happens."
Fewell has been creative in the past. Last season against Jacksonville, he employed a three safety alignment to combat the Jaguars' strong run game. The results were positive as Maurice Jones-Drew was held to 10 yards on 10 carries.
Buffalo's defensive coordinator will likely have to do the same this week, mixing and matching safeties and corners in their subpackages. One candidate that could see more action is backup free safety George Wilson.
"I got to get in a little bit against Arizona and it felt really good to get back in there with the defensive guys and flying around and making plays with them," Wilson said. "Maybe I'll get an opportunity this week we'll see."
Whether Wilson does see action on defense or not he and everyone else knows that Whitner is reason they have flexibility in the defensive backfield.
"When you can move your personnel around and have versatile guys playing in coverage, you can change up your scheme whether you want to blitz, play the run, play the pass," said Wilson. "And when you can do it all out of the same personnel on defense it makes you a little bit less predictable."
Whitner has already played at least 29 more snaps than any other defensive player this season. That figure is likely to increase even more if Youboty can't play Sunday as Whitner will be carrying the heaviest workload.
"We'll get creative," Whitner said. "We have guys that are able to play multiple positions. We're not panicking at all. We have personnel that will get the job done. That's the difference this year. We have depth behind guys. So if guys go down we have guys that can step in and not really miss a beat."