It's been a long two weeks of inactivity for Buffalo starting safeties Bryan Scott and Donte Whitner. Both were injured in the Bills' Week 3 loss to New Orleans and haven't taken the field since. The two defensive backs have been forced to watch their team lose back-to-back games to winless opponents.
Scott suffered a high ankle sprain while Whitner suffered a thumb injury that required surgery. But just two weeks removed from sustaining those injuries both safeties are eager to get back on the field to help reverse a Bills season that's headed the wrong way fast.
"When guys are injured there is no one that has a greater sense of urgency than the injured player to get back on the field," said Scott. "This is our profession. This is our livelihood. There's nothing more I want than to be out there with my teammates."
Scott was not able to practice at all last week, but did some walking while his teammates prepared for last Sunday's game against Cleveland. High ankle sprains typically take three to six weeks before a player can return to action. Scott is not certain he'll play this Sunday, but he's optimistic.
"I think I'm ahead of schedule," said Scott. "I'll get with the trainers again (Tuesday) and see what I can do. If I can go then hopefully I'll be up."
As anxious as the strong safety is to return to the lineup, Scott understands he has to be smart about his injury.
"I know my limitations and if I feel like going out there will hurt the team, more than help the team, it's an easy decision," he said.
Meanwhile Whitner is coming off of thumb surgery, which repaired damaged ligaments. The free safety always believes he's ready to return to action right away and on Monday his mindset was no different.
"I wanted to get out there last week," Whitner told the Associated Press. "Even though people tell you 'No, you're not ready.' But inside you want to get out there and play. I think I'm close. The (trainers) think I'm close, but I've got a couple of tests to do. I feel like I'm close and they feel like I'm close, so we'll see."
If Whitner is able to play Sunday against the Jets where he lines up will largely hinge on the status of Scott. If Scott can rejoin him in the lineup they'll assume their usual strong and free safety roles. Should Scott's high ankle sprain keep him out another week, Whitner would move up to strong safety with rookie Jairus Byrd remaining at free safety. But neither of them appear to be locks to play at this point.