Whitner to miss Saturday's pre-season opener (Photo Source)
The Buffalo Bills open their 2008 pre-season schedule in approximately 71 hours, and the team has already named two veteran players doubtful for the '08 premiere. After today's practice, head coach Dick Jauron named SS Donte Whitner and WR Josh Reed doubtful for the Bills' road game at Washington.
Whitner, who has battled a sore ankle since this past weekend, has no swelling and, were this a regular season game, would be ready to go. The same goes for Reed, who has missed a few practices resting his surgically repaired back.
WR James Hardy returned to practice today in a full capacity, but it's still unclear as to whether he'll suit up for the Redskins game. CB Will James is in the same boat with his groin injury. DE Copeland Bryan, WR Scott Mayle and QB Matt Baker all missed practice Wednesday as well.
Once again, Jauron eased the work load of some of his veterans, and for two key Bills rookies, this was good news. WR Lee Evans and CB Terrence McGee saw their number of reps decreased; they were replaced on the top unit by rookies Hardy and Leodis McKelvin, respectively. Both held their own with the ones, as well.
Leodis McKelvin, who got some first team reps at left cornerback with Terrence McGee receiving a lighter workload from the staff, forced a fumble on a catch that was made by Derek Fine.
Hardy got reps with the first team offense for most of the practice during team work as Lee Evans was given a lighter workload Wednesday by the staff. Early in 7-on-7 he made a nice reception on a crossing pattern, catching the ball in stride and heading up field. He made a few other short receptions as well...
This is an ideal situation for Buffalo. It keeps two of their key veterans healthy, and it allows a couple of key young guys to gain some confidence working with the team's best players. This situation is sure to present itself a few more times as the regular season approaches; it's likely that further work with the top unit will groom both McKelvin and Hardy to have the immediate impact that the club needs.
Ashton Youboty Watch has officially begun at Buffalo Rumblings, as the majority of us yearn to see the 24-year-old earn his keep with this team. Youboty made his third interception of camp today on a tipped pass by LB Donnie Spragan; if James misses the Washington game, Youboty will have a golden opportunity to move up a slot or two on the depth chart with a strong performance.
Some Notes about the Redskins Game
Looking for the perfect spot to get the most out of Saturday night's pre-season opener? Make Buffalo Rumblings your first and last stop. We'll have live coverage of the game with an open game thread, so we will be able to discuss/break down the game as it occurs. Your humble narrator will also be recording the game on DVR, which will allow us to have a little "film session" breakdown a day or two after the game. This is where you come in.
There's a lot to take in on game day, so be prepared to give your input after the game as to what you'd like to see covered in the Film Session. We don't need ideas yet; just make sure that you let us know exactly what you'd like to hear about once the game is over.
Also, we'll be doing a little interview session with Skin Patrol of Hogs Haven over the next couple of days - so if you're yearning for a little knowledge on the 'Skins, head on over to his fine establishment and keep your eyes peeled for that interview.