Posted: Monday, 16 September 2013 2:54PM

Bills escape Panthers game "as healthy as can be"

Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)  -- Following the Buffalo Bills thrilling 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers, the team got even more good news 24 hours later from the doctors on duty. The Bills managed to get out of that contest without suffering the wrath of the injury bug any further.

"We came out of the game as healthy as can be," head coach Doug Marrone said on Monday. "I'm excited about that. That's probably the biggest thing."

It appeared that defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, safety Da'Norris Searcy and wide receiver Stevie Johnson all had felt a little amount of pain at one point throughout the game, but Marrone said everyone checked out with full health.

Three other players are also getting closer to a return according to the head coach. Kicker Dustin Hopkins (right groin), guard Doug Legursky (knee) and safety Jairus Byrd (feet) have been working hard with trainers over the past couple of weeks.

"I think right now we're in a positive mode of rehabilitation with them," Marrone said. "We had Hopkins out here today doing some work with him. I think Doug has done a good job, and I know that Jairus is working extremely hard. I think as far as the rehabilitation process is going, it's moving in the right direction. It's just one of those things we'll see day-to-day."

Hopkins took a step forward on Monday, getting out on the field and kicking for the first time since the injury occurred. The only thing though, is that it wasn't your average kicking session.

"He kicked a Nerf ball today, yes… which is part of the progress of his rehab, and that was positive," Marrone remarked.

In the rookie kicker's absence, Dan Carpenter has made three of his four field goal attempts and all five extra point attempts through the first two games of the season.

Cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist), wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand) and cornerback Ron Brooks (foot) are also rehabbing their individual injuries, but aren't thought to be as close to a return as Hopkins, Legursky and Byrd.

The Bills resume practice on Wednesday in Orchard Park.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP