Injuries mount

Monday was a busy day for the Buffalo Bills. It was a hard-hitting day in the morning, and a lazy day during the afternoon.

Three players, including the team's two leading left offensive tackles, left the morning practice because of injuries and didn't come back.

The injury list lengthened, adding offensive tackles Jonas Jennings (sprained ankle) and Marcus Price (concussion) and defensive tackle Leif Larsen (strained groin muscle).

Before that practice even began, wide receiver Josh Reed (back spasms), linebacker Dominique Stevenson (hamstring injury) and defensive end Grant Irons (cut eyelid) had been added. All three sat out the morning practice, but Reed and Irons came back in the afternoon.

Starting guards Ruben Brown and Jerry Ostroski also remained out, meaning that the reshuffled starting offensive line was (from left) Kris Farris, Michael Early, Trey Teague, Marques Sullivan and Mike Williams.

Head coach Gregg Williams couldn't say when Brown or Ostroski would be able to return, and that uncertain status didn't sound good for Jerry O.

"I want to be sure it's right before he gets back in there. As soon as he gets back, it won't be a thing where we throw him in there. It will be incremental. His conditioning levels now say we can't get him on the field. Hopefully, it won't be much longer."

Remember that Ostroski has a $1.75-million salary for 2002, and the Bills could use some salary-cap room to sign an experienced defensive lineman such as Sam Adams or Chidi Ahanotu.

In the afternoon, the 89-degree temperature and 53 per cent relative humidity seemed to slow down most players. The exceptions were rookie defensive tackle Justin Bannan, who ran hard through his drills, and wide receiver Peerless Price, who was open deep five times. Drew Bledsoe hit him three of those times with passes that would have been long gains or possibly touchdowns. Left in Price's dust were safeties Travares Tillman and Coy Wire the first time, then cornerback Nate Clements and finally corner Chris Watson.

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