NFL ROUNDUP \ News and notes
Bills: Left guard Tutan Reyes and center Melvin Fowler missed practice Wednesday due to injuries, leaving Buffalo potentially down two starters for Sunday's game against New England. Reyes, nursing a shoulder injury, and Fowler (thigh), are both listed as questionable and were hurt in a 20-17 loss at Detroit last weekend. The injuries could deplete an already thin and inexperienced offensive line that's having problems in run-blocking and pass protection. Buffalo (2-4) has allowed 14 sacks -- three resulting in fumbles by J.P. Losman -- in its past four games, including a season-worst five against Detroit. The Bills' running attack has also begun to sputter, held to under 95 yards in each of the past three games. Second-year reserve Duke Preston can play either guard or center, but the Bills don't have another experienced backup. Seventh-round rookie draft pick Aaron Merz, who has appeared in only one game, is the backup center. Deep-threat receiver Roscoe Parrish also missed practice after hurting his hamstring last weekend. He's listed as questionable.
Chiefs: Kris Wilson has gone from a little-used tight end to starting fullback, just in time to face the NFL's stingiest defense. Throw in the likelihood of a collision or two with San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman, one of the league's fiercest hitters, and Wilson could be forgiven a few jitters going into Sunday's game. But on Wednesday, his first day of practicing full time at fullback, Wilson sounded confident. "It's definitely different, coming from the backfield," said Wilson, who was moved to fullback after Ronnie Cruz had season-ending knee surgery. "But I prepared in summer camp and I've prepared throughout the season, so I'm ready to do it in a game." And that meeting with Merriman, whose hit on Priest Holmes in a game last year has kept the Chiefs' running back sidelined with lingering effects of head and neck trauma? "I'm ready for that," Wilson said.
Jaguars: Wide receiver Matt Jones and defensive tackle Marcus Stroud could miss their second consecutive game Sunday at Houston. Jones suffered a groin injury on Oct. 1 against Washington and was inactive the following week against the Jets. It was the first game in the second-year pro's career that he missed after playing in his first 20 games. Coach Jack Del Rio indicated Wednesday that Stroud would be listed as questionable with an ankle/groin injury, but when the injury report came out later in the day, Stroud was categorized as doubtful -- as is Jones. Stroud missed the Jets game two weeks ago, ending a streak of 84 consecutive appearances. Stroud is in his sixth season with the Jaguars and has been a starter in the Pro Bowl three consecutive years. He recorded 10 tackles in the first four games this season.
Saints: Tight end Ernie Conwell is expected to miss at least several weeks with a knee injury. The Saints also waived third-string quarterback Jason Fife to open a position on the 53-man active roster in case they sign another tight end. Coach Sean Payton said a decision on bringing in a new player could be made before Monday. The Saints have a bye this weekend. "There might be another player, and most likely it will be a tight end," Payton said. Conwell was having an arthroscopic procedure performed on a medial meniscus tear Wednesday, Payton said.
Texans: After missing just four games in his first seven NFL seasons, sitting out for more than a year while recovering from a knee injury has been torture for linebacker Kailee Wong. He's expected to return Sunday to a defense that's going through some torture of its own, giving up an NFL-worst 418 yards a game. "Being out was real hard," Wong said. "I missed being out there with my teammates, especially when they've been having such a hard time." The Texans (1-4) are also expecting the return of cornerback Demarcus Faggins and could see the debut of newly signed tackle Lional Dalton. Wong missed the last 11 games of the 2005 season with a torn patella tendon in his right knee. He was expected to be healthy for the start of the season, but instead was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the first six weeks.
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