Whitner returns to practice, may play Thursday (Photo Source)
The Buffalo Bills held their final public practice prior to Thursday's pre-season matchup with Pittsburgh this afternoon, and the big news of the day was the fact that right guard Brad Butler was getting reps at right tackle. This is not a permanent move; it is merely a precaution, as the Bills will very likely face Pittsburgh with three healthy tackles on the roster. Butler practiced with the third team on the right side, and if things go well Thursday, he likely won't see much - if any - time at right tackle.
Strong safety Donte Whitner returned to practice today; his ankle is healthy and he participated in all individual and team activities. It's still unclear as to whether he'll play Thursday night, but it looks promising that he'll at least suit up. CB Terrence McGee also returned to practice Thursday.
Neither of Buffalo's two injured offensive tackles - Patrick Estes and Matt Murphy - are expected to play Thursday. Missing Tuesday's practice were wideouts Josh Reed, Roscoe Parrish and Scott Mayle, tight end Tim Massaquoi, and linebackers Blake Costanzo and Marcus Buggs.
Hark! More Offense!
The Bills had yet another productive day offensively; offensive coordinator Turk Schonert reportedly installed more four-wide spread formations today, with the result that the Bills had some impressive passing plays for the second straight practice session. James Hardy and Lee Evans were two of many beneficiaries:
Trent Edwards found James Hardy on an early 7-on-7 play for first down yardage. That was followed up by a couple of nice receptions by Lee Evans including a touchdown catch that drew cheers from the crowd.
I'll repeat what I said this morning - this type of production on the practice field remains a disappointment until it's translated to the playing field. Hopefully, we'll see much more than we did from the offense this past Saturday. I'm not concerned, but boy, would I like a pick-me-up.
John Wendling is Awesome
This is one of the coolest and most amusing things I've read about a Bills player in quite some time:
Leading up to the draft the Wyoming product was known by most for his YouTube video that showed him leaping over a 66-inch high bar from a standing position.
Special teams coordinator Bobby April has allowed Wendling to try leaping over the entire field goal formation including the opposing line to see if he's capable of blocking a field goal attempt.
Brownie reports that Wendling has cleared both lines on more than one occasion; while it hasn't led to a field goal block, says Brown, "at the very least it's entertaining to watch". I'll say. And since John Wendling is in fact so awesome, let's post that YouTube video in question for yet another view:
The Bills have a closed practice Wednesday, and Thursday they hit the field at the Rogers Centre at 7:30 PM ET for their first game in Canada. Be sure to stop by Thursday night if you can for the Buffalo Rumblings Open Thread - we hope to have more folks join the nine of us who chatted live last weekend!