Bills RB Spiller, DE Johnson Expected to Miss Week

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. As much as running back C.J. Spiller wants to practice this week, coach Chan Gailey doesn’t think that’s likely because of a hamstring injury.

On Monday, Gailey all but officially ruled out the rookie first-round draft pick from playing in Buffalo’s game at Cincinnati on Sunday. He also said defensive end Spencer Johnson is expected to miss at least one game because of a hamstring injury.

Both players were hurt in helping the Bills (1-8) secure their first win of the season on Sunday, a 14-12 victory over Detroit.

“If you talk to C.J., C.J. thinks he’s going to be hoping to practice probably this week,” Gailey said. “Probably a realistic thing is he’ll miss one (game), and then we’ll see from there.”

Spiller was hurt when planting his foot to brace himself as he was pushed out of bounds after a 29-yard punt return in the second quarter.

He said he didn’t initially feel the injury until after he got up and began making his way across the field to the Bills sideline.

On Monday, Spiller walked with a slight limp favoring his right leg, and said he wants to practice once the team returns on Wednesday.

“That’s the goal,” he said.

Without Spiller, newly signed running back Quinton Ganther will take over the backup duties to starter Fred Jackson. Cornerback Leodis McKelvin will handle both kickoff and punt returns in place of Spiller and receiver Roscoe Parrish, who was placed on injured reserve last week after he broke his wrist.

Johnson, hurt in the second half against Detroit, was spotted in the Bills locker room with a wrap around his upper right leg.

Gailey called it an “outside chance” that Johnson will practice this week, and said the player could miss as many as two games.

Gailey also updated the status of Shawne Merriman, saying he doesn’t expect the linebacker to begin practicing until next week. Merriman aggravated a right Achilles’ tendon injury early into his first practice with the Bills on Wednesday, a week after being claimed off waivers from San Diego.

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Bills LB Merriman Out Indefinitely

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. A nagging injury is preventing linebacker Shawne Merriman from getting off on the right foot with his new team, the .

Coach Chan Gailey announced Thursday that Merriman will not play against Detroit (2-6) this weekend, and is out indefinitely after aggravating an injury to his right Achilles’ tendon in his first practice a day earlier.

The injury occurred early into Merriman’s first practice with the winless Bills (0-8), a week after he was claimed off waivers from San Diego. The injury is also to the same tendon that’s been bothering him for much of the past year.

“It’s short-term more than long-term, but we’ll just wait and see,” Gailey said. “We’ll see what happens next week, or it might be the next, I don’t know. We’re going to get him well. That’s the most important thing. Let’s get him well before we put him on the field.”

Merriman was hurt early into practice during an individual non-contact drill. After dropping back, Merriman pivoted to his left when he pulled up and began hopping in pain. After consulting with trainers, the player limped off the field and escorted into the team’s training facility.

Though he missed practice on Thursday, Merriman was at the facility receiving treatment but did not make himself available to reporters.

The injury is the latest setback for a once-feared pass rusher who earned the nickname “Lights Out” for his hard-hitting style in San Diego.

After registering 39½ sacks in his first three NFL seasons, Merriman’s managed just four in his past three years. He missed most of the 2008 season after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery.

His career in San Diego effectively ended last month when the placed him on injured reserve because of a left calf injury. Merriman had also complained about an injury to his Achilles’ tendon.

Merriman did pass a physical upon reporting to the Bills last weekend. And he was in street clothes on the Bills sideline, watching Buffalo’s 22-19 loss to Chicago at Toronto on Sunday.

On Monday, Merriman said he’s been working out the past few weeks, but didn’t know if he was in “football shape” yet. He was eager to begin playing.

“Whatever they want me to do, I’m there,” Merriman said. “We’re all on the same page in getting ready to go play football.”

The Bills were counting on Merriman’s pass-rush ability to spark a defense that’s had difficulty pressuring opposing quarterbacks. The lack of pressure is being blamed on Buffalo managing a league-worst one interception this season, a year after finishing second with 28.

“It’s not good,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said, when informed of Merriman’s status following practice. “It’s the opposite of good.”

In claiming Merriman, the Bills picked up the remainder of the player’s one-year $3.27 million contract.

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