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Bills vs. Browns practice report: Jairus Byrd participates fully

For the first time this year, Jairus Byrd participated in full at a Buffalo Bills practice. Might he be on the verge of returning to the lineup?


Two days away from a Thursday night road date with the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd was a full practice participant for the first time in the 2013 season.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone told reporters that a decision on whether Byrd will play in Week 5 will be made on Wednesday. Given that Byrd will have had, at most, two practices in which he lined up with the defense - and the fact that Marrone also said Byrd would be considered "day to day" after their weekend off - the odds still seem against Byrd playing on Thursday. But clearly, Byrd has a much better chance of playing this week than he has all season based on his recent progress.

Byrd may return to the lineup in roughly the same time frame as cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who is now more than five weeks removed from wrist surgery that had a 6-8 week timetable for recovery. Gilmore remains a non-participant in practice alongside fellow cornerback Ron Brooks and, this week, running back C.J. Spiller.

The story on Spiller today is the same as it was yesterday: he's receiving treatment on his injured ankle, and will make an attempt to play in Cleveland. Reports from Monday indicating that Spiller will play remain unchanged, but Marrone also told reporters this afternoon that the team plans to bring up practice squad tailback Ronnie Wingo to the active roster if Spiller can't go.

Fred Jackson, however, is very likely going to suit up. He was among a group of nine Bills players that were limited on tuesday, and he wore a knee brace during the session. Other Bills starters that were limited include Stevie Johnson (hamstring), Kraig Urbik (knee), Mario Williams (ankle), Kyle Williams (Achilles), Leodis McKelvin (hamstring) and Aaron Williams (back). Each member of that group is expected to play in Cleveland with the exception of McKelvin, who may wind up being a game-time decision for a second straight week.

Marrone also disclosed that rookie wide receiver Marquise Goodwin has been catching passes with his surgically repaired hand this week for the first time since his Week 1 injury; he, too, was limited on Tuesday, and while it's unlikely he'll suit up on Thursday, it's sounding like his return to the lineup is quickly approaching. Another player making progress: kicker Dustin Hopkins, who was limited Tuesday and who Marrone says will be ready to return when he can handle kickoffs.

Short work weeks produce long injury lists in the NFL, but for now, the three big names to watch over the next two days are Spiller, McKelvin and Byrd.