Buffalo Bills Bye Week: Keeping Track Of Injuries

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Shawne Merriman #56 and Kyle Williams #95 of the Buffalo Bills wait for the next play against the Philadelphia Eagles at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 31-24. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Perhaps the biggest story line for the 4-2 Buffalo Bills as they enter their bye week is the status of their list of injured players.

With a "home" game against the Washington Redskins scheduled to be played in Toronto in two weeks, the Bills have no less than seven key players on their injury report that should be closely monitored while the team takes a week off from game preparations. Of those seven injuries, six involve players that have started at least one game for the Bills this season.

Kyle Williams hurt his foot in training camp, and while playing through it has clearly hampered his play this season, he was also a game-time decision for a game just prior to the bye week. A week's rest for the foot will likely mean that he'll be back into the defensive line rotation on October 30 against the Washington Redskins.

Chris Kelsay injured his calf in a Thursday practice prior to Week 5 against Philadelphia. Chan Gailey indicated that Kelsay would be out a while, but Kelsay told BuffaloBills.com that he's hoping to play in Week 8 against Washington, as well, citing his fast healing abilities.

Shawne Merriman did not travel with the team to New York in Week 6 after an old Achilles injury flared up on him. While the injury is concerning purely considering his history with this specific ailment, the recurrence is not believed to be serious, and there's a good chance Merriman will be in the lineup come Week 8.

Demetrius Bell injured his right shoulder in a Week 4 loss to Cincinnati. No timetable for his return has been provided by the Bills, but Gailey did tell reporters that the injury wouldn't require surgery. We'll have to wait and see how soon Bell will be available after the bye; he's still in line to be the starting left tackle when he's available to play.

Chris Hairston injured his ankle in Week 6 against New York. No injury update has yet been provided for Bell's replacement at left tackle.

Aaron Williams has now missed three straight games after injuring his chest - Gailey referred to it as the "collarbone area" - on September 25 against New England. Gailey told reporters that Williams would be out "a while," and it's not yet clear just how long that injury might linger after the bye week.

Finally, Donald Jones suffered a high ankle sprain on October 9 against Philadelphia. Gailey told reporters that Jones would be out 4-6 weeks at that point, which would put the earliest date for his return at November 6 against the New York Jets - Buffalo's eighth game of the season - and the latest date for two weeks later, a November 20 date in Miami.

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