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Posted: Friday, 04 October 2013 2:27PM

Help is on the way for Bills secondary

Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550)  -- Following another dismal performance in key moments, the Buffalo Bills and their secondary might have some key additions to the lineup next weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Both head coach Doug Marrone and safety Jairus Byrd revealed that he would have been ready to play in the game against the Browns, but ultimately it was the decision of the coach to make him inactive once more. That won't be the case against the Bengals, however, as Marrone announced they'll have Byrd back this week.

"We'll put him out there, we'll work him out and go, and we'll work him into those packages and put him in the starting lineup," the head coach started. "Starting lineup for me is always difficult because of what the packages are. But yeah, we're looking forward to getting him in the starting lineup."

The safety has been dealing with a case of plantar fasciitis in both feet that has kept him out of action through the first five weeks.

Byrd may not be the only addition to the secondary for the Cincinnati contest. Marrone told reporters on Friday that top cornerback Stephon Gilmore would be returning to practice for the first time.

Gilmore suffered a fractured wrist in the team's third preseason game that required surgery, and was given the original timetable of six-to-eight weeks for a return. Now right in the middle of that window, Marrone isn't ruling out the possibility of the cornerback getting in the lineup by next weekend.

"I think we're gonna take a good look this week," the head coach remarked. "I know this: that he wants to play. That's the first step, so at least from the player standpoint he wants to get out there and play. And I think we'll have to make a decision whether we want to put him out there or not."

Elsewhere, wide receiver Stevie Johnson left the Browns game due to a back injury that has been described as a lumbar strain. The coach revealed that the injury is in better shape than they had thought it would be, and they anticipate with the additional rest time that Johnson will be ready for the Bengals game.

Marrone also pointed out that they're expecting the return of cornerback Ron Brooks (foot) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (hand) to the practice field as well, and even kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin) is getting close to a return to practice.

The Bills have the weekend off and get back on the field Monday in Orchard Park.

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia

All photos courtesy of AP
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People : Doug MarroneDustin HopkinsMarquise GoodwinRon BrooksStephon GilmoreStevie Johnson
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