DE Kelsay, starters not expected to play long (Photo Source)
The Buffalo Bills held their final public night practice prior to their first pre-season game of the season Thursday night, and with it came plenty of news about the team's opening game Saturday night.
Five players, including three prominent veterans, are not expected to dress for the Redskins game. Chief among them are SS Donte Whitner (ankle), LB Angelo Crowell (knee) and WR Josh Reed (back), none of whom will make the trip to Washington as they'll stay in Rochester to get treatment. Bryan Scott, Keith Ellison and Roscoe Parrish are expected to start, respectively, in their place.
Also not making the trip is backup DE Copeland Bryan, who is also dealing with a hamstring issue. TE Tim Massaquoi is doubtful with a groin injury.
Rookie wideout James Hardy, after returning to practice Wednesday, will make his NFL debut in Washington. He is not expected to start, but should see a considerable amount of playing time as the Bills look to streamline his learning curve so that he can have an immediate impact.
With the continued absence of Jason Peters, veteran Langston Walker will get the start at left tackle as the Bills continue to experiment with their best active tackle on Trent Edwards' blind side.
Don't expect to see Buffalo's starters much Saturday night. Edwards revealed last night that starters on both sides of the ball are expected to get between 10 and 20 snaps; they are, however, expected to see much lengthier work loads in the second and third pre-season games.
On the Field
Jauron cut Thursday's practice session a bit short in anticipation of the first pre-season game, but there were, of course, still plays to be made. Buffalo's cornerbacks reportedly made out well:
The cornerbacks were getting their hands on passes early as Terrence McGee broke up a throw from Edwards that was intended for Lee Evans in 7-on-7. Leodis McKelvin also broke up a pass play from J.P. Losman to Roscoe Parrish.
For what it's worth, both passes broken up came on telegraphed passes by Edwards and Losman. Ko Simpson also intercepted a late deep throw from Edwards.
Buffalo's defensive line was once again disruptive, as well:
Jason Jefferson got his hands up and batted a pass attempt by Losman. On another play Kyle Williams, Marcus Stroud and Ryan Denney all got in the backfield to put pressure on Edwards who dumped the ball off to Marshawn Lynch before a sack. John McCargo made a nice penetration move to record what would have been a tackle for loss on Xavier Omon.
The Bills have a quick closed practice Friday before traveling to Washington for the opener. We'll have much more on the Bills' first pre-season game of the 2008 season this afternoon and tomorrow. Football is officially back!