The Buffalo Bills (4-2) are preparing to welcome the Oakland Raiders (3-4) to New Era Field at 1 p.m. Sunday in an important AFC showdown, and on Wednesday, three key members of the team were held out of practice.
Starting cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring), starting free safety Jordan Poyer (knee), and starting left guard Richie Incognito (ankle) did not practice for first-year head coach Sean McDermott.
Gaines left Sunday’s 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hamstring injury early in the third quarter. Gaines, acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in the Sammy Watkins trade, has missed at least one play in every game this season due to injury, including the entire game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a groin injury.
Poyer, who has shown himself to be one of the team’s best free agency signings, injured his knee on the final play of the game as the Buccaneers were attempting one final desperation play. Poyer walked off the field with Bills trainers. Poyer currently has two interceptions with seven passes defensed and has made 33 tackles (22 solo).
Incognito is expected to play when the Bills square off against the Raiders Sunday, and his absence from practice was more of a precautionary move for the veteran offensive lineman.
Linebacker Ramon Humber and tight end Charles Clay also remain sidelined, but they aren’t expected back for a few more weeks.
In addition to the three above, tight end Logan Thomas was absent for personal reasons. Lorenzo Alexander, LeSean McCoy, and Kyle Williams had rest days as Buffalo looks ahead to a short week next week, when they’ll need to play on Thursday night.