It turns out that the Buffalo Bills had more than one significant announcement to make on Monday: hours after the release of Shawne Merriman, head coach Chan Gailey confirmed to reporters that Cordy Glenn has won the left tackle competition, beating out Chris Hairston for the starting job.
This was merely a formality, given that Glenn has taken the vast majority of first-team reps at left tackle in off-season OTAs and training camp while Hairston moonlighted between the left and right sides filling in for recuperating starter Erik Pears. In a fairer competition, Glenn still likely would have been the victor, but Hairston never really stood a chance once he was forced to fill in for Pears.
Hairston shouldn't fret, however: Pears was again absent on Monday, undergoing further tests after making a brief appearance in last week's pre-season loss to Minnesota. If Pears' injury situation doesn't resolve itself by Week 1, Hairston may find himself in the starting lineup - and the Bills will be facing Rex Ryan's defense with two tackles combining for seven pro starts.