Originally listed as doubtful with a hip injury that caused him to miss practice on Thursday and Friday, Buffalo Bills right tackle Erik Pears did not travel with the team to Houston and has been downgraded to out for today's game against the Texans.
Pears missed large chunks of training camp and pre-season play with what then was reported as a groin injury. Bills head coach Chan Gailey told reporters this week that this is the same injury, but it's now being labeled a hip ailment. Pears saw a hip specialist and received treatment on Thursday, but clearly, said treatment wasn't going to get him ready in time to take on the likes of J.J. Watt this afternoon.
That means that second-year pro Chris Hairston will make his fourth straight start, this time at right tackle in place of Pears. Early in the season, as Pears was getting back into football shape following a light pre-season, Hairston took anywhere between 25 and 33 percent of snaps per game on the right side, so he's played over there quite a bit this season. Making the switch from left tackle to right in one week and being asked to block a Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Watt, however, is a tall order for the Clemson product.