ORCHARD PARK, NY- It was a tough weekend for the Bills. During their bye week the teams that they needed to lose, won except for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bills have a long uphill climb to reach the playoffs and right now it appears unlikely they'll be able to end their long playoff drought.
Head coach Rex Ryan said Monday "We're excited about the 7 games in front of us. Right now our focus has to be on the Bengals and that;s it."
The Bills were hoping to get some good news on the injury front. Ryan said that wide receiver Sammy Watkins "feels fantastic" but the medical staff isn't comfortable with him being on the field and until that happens Watkins won't get back on the field. This is the first day he was eligible to return to practice. Watkins won't be eligible to play until the Jacksonville game on November 27.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus stretched with the team as they warmed up and then jogged off the field with a trainer. Ryan said that on Wednesday the Bills will have a better handle on Dareus's status. Dareus has dealt with a hamstring and a groin injury and said its a combination of both that he's dealing with now. Sitting and watching doesn't sit well with the big man. "Oh man its eating me up. I'm chomping at the bit. I really want to be out there bad as hell so I'm doing everything I possibly can, its no fun just sitting and watching." said Dareus.
Cornerback Corey White took the first team reps while Ronald Darby had a long chat with defensive backs coach Tim McDonald. White said its an open competition for the starting spot this week. Darby who was pulled from the Seattle game because Ryan said he was sick said "Its simple, its simple but it can be hard at times. At the end of the day you just have to look at yourself in the mirror and just work on what you've been doing wrong. At the end of the day I'm young, I'm going to learn from my mistakes and I'm just going to get better at the end of the day."
The Bills placed center Eric Wood on injured reserve. His season ended during the Monday night game in Seattle when he broke his leg. In that game Ryan Groy took his spot at center but Ryan said Groy and Patrick Lewis will compete for the starting spot for this week's game against the Bengals.