Already without Eric Wood for Sunday's game at Miami, Buffalo could be down one of their top defenders in 2011. Strong safety George Wilson missed his third straight day of practice Friday and is doubtful for Sunday's game.
"George didn't get to practice, but we're still holding out hope that he can go, but we have to list him as doubtful," said head coach Chan Gailey following Friday's practice.
Last week rookie Da'Norris Searcy stepped in for Wilson at strong safety and played about 25 snaps making five tackles. Gailey would not say who Wilson's replacement would be should he not be able to play with veteran Bryan Scott another possible option.
Still, Searcy did everything he could this week to ensure he'd be ready if called upon.
"I sat beside George in meetings and took notes and asked him as many questions as I could all week," said Searcy. "We don't know, but just in case he can't go then I'll be ready to come in and play."
If Searcy does get the start it's unlikely that the rookie will be entrusted with all the pre-snap communication that has been handled by Wilson all season. That duty will fall to Buffalo's free safety Jairus Byrd.
"Jairus is going to have to take a more active role in that Sunday if George can't play," said Gailey.
"Everyone has their job to do, but yeah that is true if he can't go I'll have to take on a bit more of the pre-snap responsibilities," Byrd told Buffalobills.com. "Both safeties have to communicate. We play a lot of multiple calls so we have to make sure we're all on the same page. George is definitely a leader out there and a guy we all look to, so everyone has to pick it up and do things in case he's not out there."
Stevie questionableMeanwhile top wideout Stevie Johnson, who is trying to return from a shoulder injury suffered last Sunday is questionable along with OT Demetrius Bell (shoulder) and DL Spencer Johnson (calf).
"Bell, Spencer Johnson and Stevie Johnson practiced," said Gailey Friday. "Spencer and Stevie both came out and did things. They're questionable, but I think they've both got a decent chance. Bell has a decent chance as well."
LB Chris Kelsay (calf), right tackle Erik Pears (groin) and WR David Nelson (illness) are probable and Gailey said he anticipates all three to be available.
"David was still a little weak being sick yesterday, but he came out and did most everything," said Gailey.