Orchard Park, NY (WGR550) -- Game week is finally here for the Buffalo Bills, and it seems as though the patience they had throughout the preseason is paying off with some of their previously injured players.
To start off the practice week, the Bills saw starters Erik Pears and Mark Anderson, as well as cornerback Terrence McGee, return to work on Monday. Pears and Anderson had been limited and held out for precautionary reasons because of a groin injury, while McGee has been attempting a comeback from patellar tendon surgery this off-season.
Head coach Chan Gailey was asked about Pears and McGee specifically after practice.
"They both played and it looked like they did well," he said. "We’ll have to see after practice, both practiced. Mark Anderson was back, he did well. We had most of our guys back."
In the brief portion of practice that the media was allowed to witness, Pears took all the first-team reps at right tackle. Chris Hairston had served as the team's right tackle while Pears missed practice.
"I'll have to go watch the film to see how he's doing, and then we'll have to check to see how he came out after practice," said the coach on his starting right tackle. "It looked good in practice, the little I saw. Hopefully when we get pads on Wednesday we'll be able to see a little bit more and get a better feel for it."
Only two players did not practice on Monday. Quarterback/wide receiver Brad Smith (groin) and cornerback Ron Brooks (foot) did not participate. According to Gailey, however, there's still hope for Smith to play.
"We hope to get him back in practice later in the week," the coach remarked. "There's a chance. I don't have to put a percentage on it until Wednesday so I'm not."
After a poor showing against the Detroit Lions, starting strongside linebacker Arthur Moats had some of his repetitions cut in to on Monday. Fourth-round rookie linebacker Nigel Bradham got some time with the first unit in addition to Moats.
Gailey remarked how impressive an athlete Bradham has proven to be throughout OTAs, training camp and the preseason. Taking first team reps leads to an obvious line of questioning. Might Bradham be angling for the starting job?
"There's a chance he'll play [Sunday]," Gailey said. "I don't like to use the term 'taking over.' We're going to see who plays the best and deal with that as the season goes on. Right now, Arthur knows what to do, Nigel is learning what to do."
The coach did admit Bradham was making waves and pushing Moats.
"Oh yeah, he can. He is. Today he's pushing."
The latter had previously taken the starting job from veteran Kirk Morrison in training camp, while Morrison has since moved over to serve as the team's backup middle linebacker.
The Bills have Tuesday off, and resume practice on Wednesday as they prepare for the New York Jets.