The Buffalo Bills returned to the practice field on Wednesday to begin field preparations for Sunday's home date with the Cincinnati Bengals. In doing so, the only player that did not participate in practice was wide receiver Stevie Johnson, who was an excused absence for a death in the family.
Johnson, as you'll recall, is also dealing with a back injury. Bills head coach Doug Marrone told reporters last week, however, that Johnson is expected to play on Sunday.
Jairus Byrd was a full participant, and took reps with the starting defense alongside Da'Norris Searcy and Jim Leonhard at safety. Aaron Williams continues to play at cornerback even though Stephon Gilmore and Ron Brooks returned to the practice field on Wednesday; both were limited, but Marrone hinted that Gilmore is looking good for Sunday.
CB Stephon Gilmore will wear protective padding on his wrist, potentially a 'club': "It'll be awkward"— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 9, 2013
Marquise Goodwin, who has been out since Week 1 with a hand injury, started catching passes last week and was limited on Wednesday - but again, Marrone sounded confident that Goodwin is very close to returning. Also limited at receiver: Marcus Easley, who was injured on special teams in last Thursday's loss to Cleveland.
C.J. Spiller and Kyle Williams were also both limited; Spiller is still working through an ankle injury that very nearly kept him out of Week 5 action, while Williams will likely take rest days early in the practice week for the remainder of the season for his well-known Achilles issues.
EJ Manuel, of course, did not practice, and won't for several weeks as he rehabs the LCL injury that has forced Thaddeus Lewis into the starting quarterback role. Marrone admitted on Wednesday that having Manuel out of the lineup will adversely affect the rookie's development, but they have plans for him in the meantime.
EJ Manuel will be in the coaches booth during #Bills games. Marrone: "It's a great way to train him mentally ... different perspective"— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 9, 2013