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DEFENSIVE TACKLE KYLE WILLIAMS RETURNS TO PRACTICE
Fri, 08 Jun 2012 12:24 PM EDT

Kyle Williams has taken a new big step forward on a surgically repaired left foot.

The Buffalo Bills defensive tackle has been cleared to exercise on a reduced basis. NFL betting lines

“Yeah, it’s great to be back even for only a few plays here and there,” Williams claimed after partaking in about half of the full-team sessions with his fellow starters in the 2nd week of voluntary practices, “just getting my foot in the door. And with a little bit of luck, when we get to training camp, I am able to be full bore.”

Williams’ recovery is a little bit in advance of schedule after being cleared for practice last week by both team doctors and expert Robert Anderson. It was Anderson who performed the operation in Nov. to get rid of bone spurs that were tearing at the player’s Achilles tendon.

After participating in only individual drills during the 1st voluntary minicamp practice last week, Williams said he took part in only a snap or 2 per team session.

Coach Chan Gailey said he is taking an extremely cautious approach in easing Williams back into training.

Though he’s experiencing some soreness, Williams expounded that was to be expected as an element of the recovery process. The best part is that he no longer has to drill a big hole in the back of his left cleat, as he probably did last year, to relieve the pressure of the injury that had been pressing him for most of his 6-year NFL career.

A starter since his rookie season, Williams was a 2010 Pro Bowl selection and the team’s most consistent defensive lineman. He had also proved sturdy, having missed only 2 games before last season, when Williams lasted just 5 games and sat out 3 more before choosing to have season-ending surgery.

Williams is being counted on to anchor a revamped defensive line that features new pass-rushing specialist defensive end Mario Williams, who was signed in free agency in March. It is also a unit that should include defensive end Shawne Merriman, who returned to train last week after having season-ending surgery in November to fix a partially torn right Achilles tendon.

Gailey is impressed by what he’s seen so some distance from Merriman, the 3-time Pro Bowl selection who has been limited to playing in just eight games over the last 2 seasons because of the injury.

“He looks quick to me. He’s coming off the edge with that same speed and speediness that I remember,” Gailey claimed, of the NFL’s 2005 Defensive Rookie of the Year. “The neatest thing about it’s that he is saying he feels good. It is not one of those where he’s feeling something or making an attempt to hide something.”

In other injury stories, Gailey said backup QB Tyler Thigpen will miss at least this week of practice as a result of an abdominal strain. Gailey believes Thigpen should return next week.

Thigpen is competing with newly acquired independent agent Vince Young for the No. 2 position behind starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Bills have 2 more voluntary practices this week, and four next week before opening a 3-day mandatory minicamp on June 19.


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