Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) -- The Buffalo Bills said they wanted to get rookie guard J.J. 'Unga some more time on the field this week. It could be sink or swim time for 'Unga, because he may need to start and play the whole game due to an injury.
Starting right guard Kraig Urbik sustained a foot injury in the Bills' 27-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and now his status for Sunday is in doubt.
"Kraig Urbik did not participate in practice, I think it’s going to be a game time decision and I won’t be able to update you during the week saying is he close or is he not close," head coach Doug Marrone told reporters. "I really think it’ll go all the way to the end, that’s how I feel right now."
'Unga, signed by the Bills in late November off of Baltimore's practice squad, made his NFL debut in Tampa Bay. His play count was seven plays on three series, and he did enough to warrant a longer look in the coaches eyes.
"When he went in there last week there were things he did that we were very happy with and sometimes for us as coaches, sometimes and I’ve said this before in preseason, you have to throw guys in there and see what they can do, know exactly where they are," Marrone said.
The 26-year old 'Unga is ready for the chance if it ends up happening.
"To me, I like the challenge. It helps push myself to get better," he said. "I mean you can't get better if you ain't challenge yourself every day. So yeah, I mean, to me, if I get the opportunity I'm going to take it."
Other than Urbik, the Bills didn't have any other potentially significant injuries stemming from their loss in Tampa Bay. Defensive lineman Kyle Williams took his weekly rest day on Wednesday for his Achilles, while linebacker Kiko Alonso (knee) and reserve cornerback Brandon Smith (ankle) were both limited.
The coach said the injury to Alonso isn't thought to be serious, implying that it was simply to rest the rookie especially with all the time on the field he's had throughout the season. He's expected to play against Jacksonville on Sunday.