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Posted: Friday, 02 August 2013 12:06PM

Bills practice marred by Stevie Johnson injury

Pittsford, NY (WGR 550)  -- All was going well for the Buffalo Bills on Friday morning. Rookie first-round quarterback EJ Manuel was getting more time with the one's and facing more pressure from the defense, Kevin Kolb was having what he called his best day in camp so far and the offense just seemed to be clicking.

That was, until top wide receiver Stevie Johnson went to break his route over the middle of the field, and immediately pulled up lame and grabbed at his left hamstring. The wideout took a few more hobbling steps before falling to the grass in the back of the end zone.

Trainers attended to Johnson immediately and got him off the field at St. John Fisher College. They propped him up on to his feet, and assisted him to walk gingerly off the field and back to the locker room.

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After the practice, Head Coach Doug Marrone didn't know the severity of the injury nor did he tolerate the idea of speculation.

"One, I don't know how serious it is first," he said. "I would say it would be a major concern when we talk about it during the season. But right now, I think a veteran player who's proven himself, we'll just what the doctors say and it is what it is and then we'll deal with it from there."

Marrone added that he also views it as an opportunity for the young receiving core to get more time on the field. Ironically enough, during move-in day for training camp Johnson was asked about how he'll go about preventing injuries from creeping up on him during camp.

"If I get hurt, as long as it stays in training camp," the wideout said on July 26. "Once the season goes, we can do it. If I do get injured, oh well. Let’s get them out of the way early and be full go during the season."

Besides Johnson, only three other players were afflicted by injuries. Wide receiver Kevin Elliott, who injured his right shoulder on Wednesday, was seen in a sling on Friday and did not participate. Neither did cornerback Justin Rogers, who has a hamstring injury of his own he's trying to come back from. Tight end Mike Caussin had to be limited the rest of practice because of a hip injury.

Despite the injuries, there were some positive steps forward for a pair of starting defensive players. For the first time in training camp, defensive tackle Kyle Williams briefly participated in 11-on-11's with the team.

"Kyle Williams has picked it up quite a bit," Marrone enthusiastically said after practice. "When a player comes back and he goes, we're going to work him in that way. We're not just going to throw him in there. So you see Kyle's workload is increasing, and he looked very good out there today."

Williams is still recovering from off-season surgery to repair bone spurs in his foot.

While not being able to have the breakthrough that the defensive tackle did, outside linebacker Mario Williams is progressing in his own way as well, and could be getting back in to the swing of things rather soon.

"It's getting closer," the coach remarked. "He's going out there, going through the walk-through, so now we're just waiting for the doctor to release him and then he'll be going out there. We'll probably bring him back the same way like Kyle, working him back in."

Mario Williams is still dealing with a sore left foot that required rest.

The Bills get back to practice on Saturday morning starting at 8. The session is open to the public without a ticket.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

**Photo by Jeremy White of WGR Sports Radio 550

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