The Buffalo Bills have returned to the practice field this afternoon coming off of yesterday's bye, and the news still isn't good on the injury front. With left tackles Demetrius Bell (shoulder) and Chris Hairston (ankle) sitting out of practice, starting left guard Andy Levitre is taking first-team reps at left tackle. Chad Rinehart is filling in Levitre's spot at guard.
Levitre finished the Bills' Week 6 loss to the New York Giants at tackle when Hairston, already filling in for Bell (injured in Week 4), went down with a high ankle sprain. He also saw some spot duty there as a rookie in 2009, and played the position in college at Oregon State.
Still, this is obviously not an ideal situation for the Bills. Levitre is a good player, but he lacks the prototypical length required to help protect the edge against speed rushers, and has struggled with power rushers in the past. This week's opponent, the Washington Redskins, feature two strong pass rushers in outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and rookie Ryan Kerrigan.
We'll have a much more concrete idea on Wednesday - and then progressing through Friday - on whether Levitre will be forced to kick out to tackle. If he does, his matchup against the two Washington rushers will be a huge factor in determining Sunday's winner.