AFC East: Keith Williams

Bills slowly trimming active roster

August, 19, 2013
8/19/13
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The Buffalo Bills have been busy on the NFL's transaction wire over the past week. With the team's third preseason game approaching -- they travel Saturday to face the Washington Redskins -- the Bills have begun the process of paring down their 90-man roster.

Here's a snapshot look at their moves since last Tuesday, which have cleared eight roster spots:

Aug. 13: Waived P Brian Stahovich
Aug. 14: Waived/injured TE Mike Caussin; signed LB Jamaal Westerman
Aug. 15: Placed Caussin on injured reserve; waived DT Aaron Tipoti
Aug. 18: Placed WR Kevin Elliott on injured reserve; waived OT Tony Hills, WR Terrell Sinkfield, CB Don Unamba, and S Mark LeGree
Aug. 19: Released K Rian Lindell

In the last week, the Bills have settled their kicker battle by releasing Lindell, as well as their competition at punter by cutting Stahovich. Meanwhile, Tipoti and Caussin had missed most of training camp with injuries, and Elliott suffered a season-ending injury in Friday's preseason game.

As of Monday afternoon, the Bills' roster stands at 82 players. All NFL teams must trim their roster to 75 players by Aug. 27 at 4 p.m. ET.

Here's an early look at where the Bills can make some further snips to their squad:

Offensive line -- The Bills are carrying 15 offensive linemen on their active roster. According to the Buffalo News' Jay Skurski, only Keith Williams and Thomas Welch were held out of practice Monday. Meanwhile, tackle Chris Hairston remains on the active/physically unable to perform list. Moving him to the reserve/PUP list would clear a roster spot, but keep him out at least the first six weeks of the regular season. Either way, the Bills look to carry only about half of these 15 players into the regular season.

Defensive line -- The Bills have a pair of big-name players who are working back from injuries (Mario Williams and Kyle Williams), which could lead Buffalo to stay heavy on their defensive line numbers through the final two weeks of the preseason. Yet a longshot such as Izaan Cross (11 snaps vs. Minnesota) could be part of the 75-man trim.

Safety -- Even as franchise-tagged Jairus Byrd remains unsigned, there's not a whole lot of intrigue at this position. Aaron Williams and Da'Norris Searcy have filled in well in Byrd's place and will stay in those spots for now. Beyond that, the Bills invested two draft picks in safeties (Jonathan Meeks and Duke Williams), and unless there's a late injury, they also will be in the mix. That might mean Jordan Dangerfield (13 snaps vs. Minnesota) and Dominique Ellis (eight snaps vs. Minnesota) could be soon on the outs.

Mario Williams among Bills' inactives

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
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Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams (foot) will not play in tonight's preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings, the team announced.

Williams played two series in the Bills' preseason opener last Sunday, and has been limited throughout training camp with a foot injury.

"He keeps getting treatment to take care of his body," coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday. "Again, we’re just trying to be smart up and down, resting him for some time, just so he can make sure he just gets ready. Especially coming off this short week."

The Bills said Williams will dress for the game, meaning he would be available to play in an emergency.

Other Bills not playing tonight:
Not listed among the inactives are quarterback Kevin Kolb, wide receivers Brad Smith and Kevin Elliott, tight end Scott Chandler, and linebacker Keith Pough. All missed Sunday's win over Indianapolis.

Marrone searching for LG options

August, 1, 2013
8/01/13
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For the first three practices of training camp, the Buffalo Bills left guard battle looked like a no-contest: Colin Brown took all of the first-team reps, and didn't appear to have any major lapses, even after full-padded practices began.

Yet on Wednesday, Doug Legursky saw time with the first unit, reigniting a position contest that head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday has been overlooked by some entering training camp.

Brown and Legursky are near-opposites in size: Brown stands at 6-foot-7, 326 pounds, while Legursky is the shortest of the Bills' linemen at 6-1, 315 pounds.

The two were the most experienced players in the left guard competition until Buffalo added Antoine Caldwell over the weekend. Caldwell is still getting up to speed with the Bills offense, but Marrone said Wednesday that he is looking to add another player to the left guard mix.

"It's inconsistent play out of that position," he said. "We need to become more consistent. I think that we have to look to maybe throw someone else in the mix. I don't know if I see the separation that I liked to see right now."

Including Caldwell, here is a look at who that third player might be when the Bills return to the practice field Friday:

Caldwell: With 19 career starts, Caldwell brings experience to the competition. The third-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2009 can play both guard and center.

David Snow: Second-year guard/center was an undrafted free agent from Texas. He started two games at center for the Bills, and at 6-4, 303 pounds, has the size to move outside to guard, and has seen time at the spot with the second-team in practice.

Keith Williams: A sixth-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011, the Nebraska product spent most of last season on the Bills' practice squad. He could be the largest player in the competition, standing at 6-5, 330 pounds.

The Bills open their preseason in Indianapolis on Aug. 11, which will be the first test for the players competing for the starting job.

"I'm looking towards going to the preseason games and seeing how they perform in the preseason games, but, right now, it's not solidified from the standpoint that you probably want to be right now."

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