Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The countdown for the Buffalo Bills' first regular season game is officially under a week, and the team began their preparations for the New England Patriots without two starters participating. On Monday, defensive lineman Alex Carrington and right tackle Erik Pears each sat out of practice at One Bills Drive.
Carrington and Pears were joined by cornerback Stephon Gilmore and guard Doug Legursky on the non-participant list. While the latter two will not play against the Patriots in Week 1, the reasons for the new additions not practicing were revealed after the session's conclusion.
Head Coach Doug Marrone told reporters after practice that both Carrington and Pears were dealing with ankle soreness and each were given the day off for rest. With Tuesday's scheduled off day, Marrone expects both to be back to practice this week.
In addition, safety Jairus Byrd did some individual drills with the team but did not appear to be a full-go like the rest of his teamamtes. Marrone said Byrd took some team reps throughout the practice, but did not know how it would play out for Sunday's contest.
For the second straight day first-round quarterback EJ Manuel was on the practice field with his teammates. On Sunday he was a limited participant, and the head coach confirmed that Manuel did practice in full Monday.
"EJ was out there taking reps with the first group," Marrone said. "We're going through a process. Nothing right now that seems to slow him down. There's a couple of things that we're testing as the week goes on to see where he's at. Mentally, we feel fine. It's just a matter of physically. He went out there and did a nice job."
The head coach also said that undrafted rookie and backup Jeff Tuel took first-team reps as well. The team doubled their reps so that no one was "getting short-changed."
Running back C.J. Spiller was also back to work after being excused for the last week to be with his family in Florida.
The Bills officially made three more practice squad signings that were all on the field Monday. Running back Ronnie Wingo, cornerback Johnny Adams and offensive tackle Edawn Coughman are now apart of the eight-man unit. With those three moves, the Bills practice squad is full.
Their active roster, however, still has one open and now stands at 52 players. Marrone told reporters that safety Jim Leonhard was in the building taking a physical with the intention to sign him. The Bills announced later in the day they had officially signed him to the 53-man roster
The Bills have Tuesday off and resume practice on Wednesday at One Bills Drive.