KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11: Defensive tackle Kellen Heard #72 of the Buffalo Bills reacts after the Bills recover a Kansas City Chiefs fumble during the second quarter on September 11, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bills beat the Chiefs 41-7.(Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Heading into their Week 8 matchup with the Washington Redskins tomorrow afternoon, the Buffalo Bills have five players that they've listed as out for the game. All five are key performers and, at one point or another, saw significant playing time this season. Here's how the Bills will replace them on Sunday.
WR Donald Jones. The way in which the Bills have chosen to replace Jones in the lineup has been highly publicized. Naaman Roosevelt has seen his snap count rise, and the team is using C.J. Spiller and Brad Smith more in that role as well. Still, the bulk of the team's receiving chores will fall to Stevie Johnson, David Nelson and Fred Jackson.
LTs Demetrius Bell and Chris Hairston. With their top two left tackles out, Buffalo will shift left guard Andy Levitre out to the edge, replacing him with Chad Rinehart inside. If Levitre goes down, right tackle Erik Pears will flip over to the left side, and Sam Young will play on the right. If any of the three interior linemen go down - including center Eric Wood - they'd be replaced by reserve guard Colin Brown.
DT Kyle Williams. Lining up exclusively inside, whether it be as a nose tackle or defensive tackle in four-man looks, Williams will be replaced by a supposedly rejuvenated Torell Troup and, perhaps more frequently, Kellen Heard. In terms of meaning to the overall performance of the defense, however, the player that really needs to step up in Williams' absence is rookie Marcell Dareus.
CB Aaron Williams. Williams started the season as the dime back, and now that Terrence McGee is healthy again, that's the role Williams is vacating this week. Reggie Corner will take his dime reps, and the team will roll with a veteran group of McGee, Drayton Florence and Leodis McKelvin in the vast majority of their defensive packages.
Veteran outside linebacker Chris Kelsay also shows up on the injury report, but he's listed as probable, practiced fully all week, and will play for the first time since Week 4.
Buffalo must de-activate seven players per week, as they can only dress 46 of their 53 players on game days. With five players already declared out, they'll scratch two more. One of those players will likely be Antonio Coleman, signed off of the Giants' practice squad to take Shawne Merriman's roster spot; Merriman was placed on IR earlier this week. Chan Gailey told reporters that Coleman wouldn't be ready to play right away. The other player likely to sit is cornerback Terrence Wheatley, as the Bills will probably roll with just five corners in Week 8.