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Bills have until Nov. 5 to decide

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills are leaning toward activating running back Willis McGahee next week even if the first-round draft pick is not immediately ready to play.

While a final decision has not been made, team president Tom
Donahoe said Wednesday that placing McGahee on the active roster
would be better than placing him on injured reserve and losing him
for the rest of the season.

"We probably would be leaning that way," Donahoe said. "We
can activate him, but it doesn't mean he has to dress. The thing
that you probably do not want to do with Willis is put him back on
IR because then he can't practice."

McGahee is the former Miami star who spent the last 10 months
recuperating after tearing three ligaments in his left knee, which
he hurt in the Hurricanes' loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.

After opening the season on the nonfootball injury list, McGahee
was cleared to practice with the Bills two weeks ago. Under NFL
rules, Buffalo has until Nov. 5 to determine whether to activate
him.

The Bills are in the midst of their bye week and next play at
Dallas on Nov. 9. Should the Bills place McGahee on their 53-man
roster, they have the option of ruling him one of their eight
inactive players on game day until the team feels he is ready to
play.

Donahoe said McGahee has shown steady progress during the last
two weeks.

"Right now, he's OK to practice," he said. "Is he OK to play
in a game? I couldn't tell you that today."