Checkpoint day for injured Bills

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
5:00
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The Buffalo Bills haven't had a full practice in more than a week, and when they step back onto the practice field Wednesday, it will serve as a sort of checkpoint for several injured players.

After hinting at their returns since last week, coach Doug Marrone confirmed Monday that cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and Ron Brooks (foot) will have a chance to participate in Wednesday's practice.

If Gilmore and Brooks get back into the mix, they may have a shot to play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. It's far from a guarantee, but either way, it would be a big step in both players' recoveries and a positive sign for their health going forward if they are practicing Wednesday.

What could be a stronger bet is safety Jairus Byrd seeing a larger role in practice. The Pro Bowler hasn't missed a practice yet this season, but at least in the portion open to reporters, he has only worked on the scout team. If Byrd lines up with the first-team defense Wednesday, he may be a good shot to play Sunday.

That leaves a pair of wide receivers to watch Wednesday. Marrone was cautiously optimistic that Steve Johnson (lumbar strain) and Marquise Goodwin (fractured hand) will be able to play Sunday. Goodwin has been increasing his workload in practice lately, but he may still be a game-time decision.

Johnson, however, may fall into the same category as C.J. Spiller, who is also dealing with multiple recent injuries. Marrone said that Spiller might sit out a day or two of practice this week, and it wouldn't be surprising if Johnson does the same.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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