SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 11: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers scrambles with the ball into the endzone against the rush of Alex Carrington #92 of the Buffalo Bills during their NFL Game on December 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The fumble resulted in the touchdown for the Bills. Rivers touchdown was called back on a holding penalty. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Coming off of a back injury that ended his second pro season and required surgery, there were questions about whether or not Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Torell Troup would be ready for training camp this week. GM Buddy Nix seems to expect Troup to be able to practice; now the question is to what extent.
"Hopefully he's not (limited)," Nix told reporters Tuesday. "When he left here (in June), we watched him hitting the sled and doing all of those things, and he looked like he was ready to go."
Troup, along with fellow 2010 NFL Draft day two classmate Alex Carrington, are a big part of the team's still-formulating defensive tackle depth. Nix says that it's time for the former second- and third-round picks - who have combined for 34 tackles and two sacks in a combined 45 games in the NFL - to become contributors.
"Both of those guys, it's time for them to do it," Nix stated. "It's their third year."
For Troup, Nix believes that the Central Florida product simply needs to stay healthy following the aforementioned back surgery.
"Injuries have been a big factor with Troup," Nix said. "If he can stay healthy, I think he'll be a factor."
As for Carrington, Nix seemed to indicate that the team would like the Arkansas State alumnus to add some weight to his 6'5" frame as he moves from 3-4 defensive end to 4-3 defensive tackle. The team currently lists him at 301 pounds; for comparison's sake, Troup is listed at 327.
"Carrington is now in a position inside, where - he's a big guy anyway, but he needs to get as big as he wants to and be able to carry it," Nix said. "So I think that'll help him."
With veteran Dwan Edwards and blossoming project Kellen Heard breathing down the two draft picks' necks in the defensive tackle reserves, both Troup and Carrington will have their work cut out for them in trying to make the opening day roster.