By Sal Maiorana - Rochester D&C
ORCHARD PARK - Injuries were a big topic Wednesday at Bills' practice as nine players were unable to work at all, and two others could only go on a limited basis. Those who did not practice were defensive linemen Mario Williams (ankle) and Kyle Williams (Achilles), defensive backs Leodis McKelvin (hamstring), Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (ankle), wide receivers Stevie Johnson (hamstring) and Marquise Goodwin (hand), offensive guard Kraig Urbik (knee), and kicker Dustin Hopkins (groin). Those who worked only in individual drills were defensive tackle Marcel Dareus (ankle) and safety Jairus Byrd (plantar fasciitis).
Both Kyle Williams and Mario Williams said they'll be fine for Sunday. Kyle Williams said his day off was a scheduled rest day. Coach Doug Marrone also thinks Dareus will be fine. Johnson will also be OK for the game, while McKelvin is still in the testing phase and Marrone said he'll be evaluated day-to-day right up until kickoff.
• There was some good news in the M*A*S*H unit though, as running back C.J. Spiller (quad) was a full participant, as was offensive guard Doug Legursky (knee). For Legursky, it was his most extensive work since he hurt his knee in the preseason, though Marrone stopped short of saying that he'd be able to take first-team reps in practice just yet.
Spiller said Monday that he needed to be able to have explosion in his leg in practice Wednesday, and he had that.
"The biggest thing, I wasn't hesitant," Spiller said. "That was really going to be my biggest mental hurdle, if I was going to be hesitant on my cut, and I wasn't. I was able to push off it. There's still some soreness in it, not completely where I want it to be. But I think by Sunday it'll be completely gone."
• Tuesday is usually a day off in the NFL, but rookie QB EJ Manuel bucked that trend. He and fellow rookie QB Jeff Tuel did some throwing in the fieldhouse because, as Manuel said, he needed to work on some things coming off a poor performance in New York.
"I learned a lot from that game and the mistakes that I made, obviously, throwing the ball out of bounds when the pressure was coming," he said. "Those are things you can't do. I learned from it. I worked on it yesterday on my own, trying to simulate it as best as I could, and just move forward from it. Jeff and I came in, lifting weights and all that kind of stuff, and after that we watched film. But yeah, we worked on if you're getting blitzed like crazy and you're just throwing the ball up, not necessarily throwing it out of bounds, just giving the guy an opportunity to catch it."