While it was certainly a positive to see Josh Reed running routes and catching passes with the first team offense, the same could not be said for second-year tight end Derek Schouman who is out for the foreseeable future with a knee injury.
"Derek's going to be a little while," said head coach Dick Jauron. "We're hoping not a long while but at this point Bud (Carpenter) is talking in the weeks. So it's not good, but it could've been worse."
Schouman was rolled up on from behind during Buffalo's second kick return of the game against Pittsburgh Thursday night and he did not return to the game. No specifics were provided as to what ligaments if any were strained.
Taking reps in his absence was Robert Royal and rookie Derek Fine, who factored in more in two tight end sets.
Also not participating in practice was James Hardy who is still dealing with a pesky hamstring.
"It was bothering him a little bit at the game and we knew that," said Jauron. "But on tape he moved fast and he moved really well. He played aggressively. I've said this before. He stays on top of things. So we're trying to get past it and we'll probably give him two or three days here and see if we can get rid of it for good and hopefully we can."
Hardy missed almost five full days of camp earlier this month due to the tight hamstring.
Also not participating Sunday night were receiver Scott Mayle (hamstring) and defensive back Kennard Cox (ankle). Donte Whitner was not in attendance, but it was an excused absence for family reasons.
With some players still sitting out, some reserves got some extended opportunities. Bryan Scott ran with the first team at strong safety in Whitner's absence after performing very well in the last preseason game.
Another good sight was the return of Patrick Estes who worked with the second team on the right side.
Spencer Johnson got reps alongside Marcus Stroud at defensive tackle with the first unit defense as Johnson and Kyle Williams continue to battle for the starting role.
Jon Corto continues to get work at weak side linebacker with the second unit after getting work there and performing admirably in the preseason game against Pittsburgh. He played linebacker in college at Sacred Heart before being transitioned to safety.
"Size wise we thought he fit the safety position more and just all loved his temperament since we've been introduced to him," said Jauron of the former rookie free agent. "Perry (Fewell) probably wanted to move him earlier. When we got all the injuries we then said we've got to move him. There's a guy that's played the position, we're really low on linebackers going into that game, and Perry talked to Jon and Jon was all for it. He just wants to play. He just wants a chance to play and he really did a good job. So it worked out and we'll see where it goes."
Jauron thought he played pretty well as Corto was a factor in the run front. The 2007 practice squad player had a tackle for loss in the game. There appears to be at least a chance that Corto could make a similar transition to that of Coy Wire. Whether he'll turn into as successful a venture as Wire did remains to be seen. But he is getting reps ahead of Marcus Buggs and Blake Costanzo.
There weren't a lot of big plays turned in by either side of the ball Sunday night, but Leodis McKelvin clearly had the best of what proved to be a small group.
During 7-on-7 McKelvin jumped an out route when J.P. Losman tried to hit Felton Huggins along the sideline and Buffalo's top pick took it the other way for what would've been a touchdown to the cheers of the fans in attendance.
"Yeah, I made a good break on it," McKelvin said. "I knew looking back at the quarterback when the ball was coming and I got my first interception of camp. It felt great."
McKelvin has made some nice strides with his game over the past week and the coaching staff is taking notice though they're not completely sold just yet.
"He's learning a little bit every day about how corner is played in the National Football League," said Jauron. "He's got really good instincts obviously and he's got great speed. When he puts that foot in the ground and makes a radical cut he's hard to catch if he gets a step on you. I'm very happy with his progress but he's certainly got a ways to go."
Also turning in some nice plays Sunday night was the aforementioned Huggins who made a nifty grab along the sidelines on a throw from Losman.
Marcus Buggs had a pass breakup on a pass that was intended for Tim Massaquoi from Gibran Hamdan.
During red zone work Trent Edwards made a sharp looking throw to Reed over the middle for a good gain.
Spencer Johnson got great penetration on a run play that went wide left, bear hugging Fred Jackson in the backfield for a loss.
Terrence McGee had a pass breakup in the flat on a throw from Edwards.
And with the blitz packages going in Kawika Mitchell recorded a pair of 'would be' sacks in a span of four plays during 11-on-11 work.
Buffalo has an afternoon practice on Monday scheduled for 2:25 pm.