Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- Without Stephon Gilmore in the lineup for what could be the next two months, the Buffalo Bills have to make other arrangements for how they handle covering their opponent's top wideouts. The obvious thing that must change is in regards to who will ultimately get the most time on the field when the Bills take on the New England Patriots next Sunday.
Perhaps revealing a little into their line of thinking, the Bills went through practice on Tuesday with Crezdon Butler as their starting left cornerback while Leodis McKelvin assumed the right side of the field. Butler is said to be part of a three-man battle to get the start against the Patriots in Week 1.
"Both he and [Justin] Rogers have had some injuries during camp. We know that when we see them play in the games both those players have played well recently," Head Coach Doug Marrone said after practice. "I think both those players right now we're looking at, along with [T.J.] Heath still in the mix, with that cornerback position to see how they do. Both players played well in the last two weeks -- Rogers and Butler."
The winner of the job will be the temporary replacement for Gilmore, who had surgery to repair a fractured wrist on Monday. Marrone updated reporters, saying the procedure went very well.
The Bills once again were missing four of their more recognizable players on the team. Gilmore joined EJ Manuel, Kevin Kolb and C.J. Spiller as the non-participants on Tuesday. Manuel (knee) and Kolb (concussion) still continue to miss time, while Spiller has been excused from practice to be with his family.
Marrone revealed that Spiller would not play in Thursday's preseason game and will instead rejoin the team when they practice again on Sunday.
Linebacker Marcus Dowtin only could do work with the trainer along the sidelines for the second straight day. He's dealing with an ankle injury but is still expected to play in the team's preseason finale. Kyle Williams (ankle), Tashard Choice (ankle) and Torell Troup (right leg) all had to be checked out by trainers but were deemed to be fine and finished practice as scheduled.
The Bills take on the Detroit Lions on Thursday, August 29 at 7 pm, two days before the team must trim their roster to just 53 players.