Buffalo Bills, Chan Gailey Could Be Rotating Tackles Again

ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 04: Erik Pears #79 of the Buffalo Bills blocks against Derrick Morgan #90 of the Tennessee Titans at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York.Tennessee won 23-17. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

In Sunday's loss to the Tennessee Titans, left tackle Demetrius Bell was part of the Buffalo Bills' active game-day roster for the first time since a Week 4 loss to Cincinnati. Though he didn't see any playing time in that contest, head coach Chan Gailey indicated Monday that could change as soon as this week.

Chris Hairston will make his fourth straight start at left tackle (and sixth overall) this weekend against the San Diego Chargers. Gailey told reporters, however, that he'd like to get Bell some time to see where he's at coming off of a two-month shoulder injury.

Gailey did not indicate if he'd take reps away from Hairston at left tackle, or if he'd be lining Bell up somewhere else. With the stakes lowered now that the playoffs are out of the question, however, it makes sense to get Bell into the lineup by year's end - not just to see if he's healthy, but in my opinion, to see if he can be more than a left tackle.

Bell will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and there's no question that Hairston is the team's left tackle moving into next season. Given his injury history, however, Bell may not get much interest on the open market. It would make a lot of sense for the Bills to give Bell some of Erik Pears' reps at right tackle in the last month of the season to give them some idea of whether or not Bell could be a reserve capable of playing both sides of the line.

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