Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- It's been quite some time since the Buffalo Bills last had their top cornerback suit up for a game. In fact, it hasn't been since the third preseason contest in Washington that Stephon Gilmore was part of the game day roster.
If you were to ask head coach Doug Marrone about Gilmore's likelihood to play on Sunday, he won't come right out and confirm his Sunday status, but the coach is certainly more optimistic than he has been in recent weeks.
"Gilmore I feel good about," Marrone said. "I still don't want to go out there and say 'he's gonna play.' I'd rather be able to say 'day-to-day,' but I felt good about the way he looked today."
Gilmore returned to practice on Wednesday at One Bills Drive, just a day after he had pins removed from his hand. The cornerback suffered a fractured wrist against the Redskins that required surgery and has reached the middle of his original six-to-eight week timetable for a return.
At practice he wore a version of a "club," which limits the damage to his hand and wrist in case of contact. If he were to play against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Gilmore said he wasn't sure what type of wrist support he'd wear, leaving it in the hands of the doctors and training staff who know how the wrist is healing.
Besides Gilmore, Marrone was also quite confident about the potential return for wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on Sunday. The rookie fractured his hand in the first week of the season against New England and needed surgery to repair it.
Once again, the coach stopped short of declaring him as someone who will make his return, but relayed that he felt good about the wide receiver's status and that he looked good in practice.
Gilmore and Goodwin were joined by cornerback Ron Brooks (foot), wide receiver Marcus Easley (ribs), running back C.J. Spiller (ankle) and defensive lineman Kyle Williams (Achilles) as limited participants on Wednesday.
Spiller visibly had a bit of a limp during the portion of practice open to the media, and will continue to work through his most recent ankle injury. He played on it Thursday night against Cleveland, but couldn't put much pressure on the ankle in the locker room after the contest with the Browns.
Brooks is attempting to come back from foot surgery, but Marrone wasn't as confident about the cornerback's chances of playing on Sunday. Like Gilmore and Goodwin, the head coach called him "day-to-day," but said he wasn't sure how he felt about Brooks' chances of suiting up against Cincinnati.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson and quarterback EJ Manuel did not participate in the practice. Manuel will be out for some time due to a sprained LCL, meanwhile Johnson was dealing with a back injury that he suffered against Cleveland. The wideout was excused from the session on Wednesday due to a death in his family though, and will be back with the team on Thursday.
The Bills have two more days of practice and then take on the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Sunday.