Buffalo Bills veteran Chris Kelsay was dejected Wednesday to learn he will miss the rest of his 10th season just when the team's defense is pulling itself together.
“We've been playing great defense the last few weeks,” said Kelsay, who was put on the injured reserve list. “To be standing on the sidelines and watching it from afar, it's disappointing. I'm envious of those guys being able to go out there and contribute and do what we know we're capable of doing. It's the nature of our business and unfortunately I'm on the sideline right now.”
Kelsay suffered a torn ligament in his neck about a month ago. He missed two games, aggravated the injury at Indianapolis and sat out last week's game. He had missed only seven games the previous nine seasons.
Kelsay said there is no problem with the disks in the neck and he will not need surgery.
“I was hoping that it would be a deal that was able to heal with time and still be able to come back,” Kelsay said. “Didn't work out that way, so I just have to roll with the punches.”
Kelsay finishes his season with 12 tackles and two sacks. He had averaged 35 snaps a game over the first eight games of the season — 51 percent of the defensive plays. The Bills' defense has not missed him much because of the emergence of defensive end Kyle Moore, who has started the last four games due to the injuries to Kelsay and Mark Anderson.
Could this be the end of the line for Kelsay in Buffalo? It's possible. However, the status of other players likely will play into the decision. Kelsay still has two years to go on his contract. He's due to make $4.57 million next season, plus another $1 million in a likely-to-be-earned bonus. It's possible the Bills could ask him to come back for less money. The Bills surely want to keep Moore but his contract is up after this season.
Meanwhile, the Bills added guard Keith Williams and cornerback T.J. Heath to the 53-man roster. Williams spent the past five weeks on the practice squad. He entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Steelers last season. He joins the roster in the wake of the knee injury to center Eric Wood. Heath has spent all this season on the Bills' practice squad. He was cut by Cincinnati in September. The Bills added offensive tackles Adam Grant and J.B. Shugarts to the practice squad.
Injured cornerbacks Aaron Williams (knee) and Leodis McKelvin (back) both practiced on a limited basis Wednesday.
Bills receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring) will be rested. Tackle Chris Hairston (foot) and end Mark Anderson (knee) are out. Gailey said Anderson has made progress since last week. Receiver Donald Jones (calf), who missed the Jaguars game, practiced fully.
Wood said he's encouraged that he might be able to come back for the last two games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his knee against the Jaguars.
“The MCL is a lot different than some (injuries) that I have dealt with before,” Wood said. “It's not real painful. It is just about letting it sit for a few days, try and scar up and get stable and then you just push it. It's when you brace it up and tape it up, I think from my understanding, once it becomes stable you can push it as hard as you want. I am going to try and make it back for those last two games.”
The Rams were without leading receiver Danny Amendola last Sunday due to a foot injury, and Amendola sat out Wednesday's practice due to the injury. His status for the Bills game is uncertain. Rams star running back Steven Jackson sat out with a sore ankle. He has rested each of the previous three Wednesdays but played on Sunday. ... In preparation for inclement weather Sunday, the Rams did some passing and catching with footballs soaked in water after Wednesday's practice. The early forecast for Sunday is 38 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain. ... The Bills will wear their throwback helmets Sunday. It's the helmet that was worn from 1965 through 1973, white with a standing red buffalo.