It was even more hot than yesterday

On Thursday, the Bills practiced . . . wait, hold on . . .<p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p><p>Sorry,

I just had to get some water because it is like 96 outside. I don't want to dehydrate. Sam Cowart left the morning session because of back spasms and mild dehydration. He was back out in the afternoon, watching the closed-to-the-public special teams practice. And just wait until you see some of the plays this unit has worked up under new coach Danny Smith. Unbelievable . . .

Kris Farris was the 1998 Outland Trophy Winner for being the top offensive lineman as a left tackle at UCLA. But his NFL career took a terrible turn when, working out in Pittsburgh just weeks after the Steelers picked him in the third round of the '99 draft, he noticed a pain in his right foot. It got steadily worse each workout, culminating with a day that he just couldn't finish running sprints.

"I never had an injury before so that was something I didn't think was too serious – maybe a sprain." Farris said. "So I hobbled in and they put me on crutches and told me, ‘You're gonna be out for the day, come back tomorrow.'"

Two months went by without much improvement. Farris ran a conditioning test, but was in terrible pain. His foot swelled. An MRI found a stress ‘reaction' that ultimately became a stress fracture. He was put on IR for his rookie year.

In February 2000, Farris was cleared to play, but the foot didn't feel right. He couldn't plant and push off. When Pittsburgh concluded that Farris would never be the player he was in college, due to the injury, they released him in August 2000. He was picked up a day later by the Bengals and waived a day after that because he flunked their physical. He tried out with Denver and flunked their physical too.

Farris decided that rest just wasn't going to heal his foot permanently. After consulting doctors and specialists, one physician determined the foot could be strengthened with the help of a screw in his right talus. He had the surgery and Buffalo signed him in April following a workout.

Now the 24-year-old is battling for starting right tackle and backup left tackle. He doesn't feel any pain anymore, though he admits that his leg strength isn't back. He only began running in April, an eight-month layoff.

This preseason is important for Farris, not only to win a starting job, but to build confidence in his right foot. Additionally, he has to build the instincts on the right side that made him a top left tackle prospect in college.

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