PITTSFORD — Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams was a spectator for the team’s opening training camp practice due to a sore foot.
Williams was in uniform at St. John Fisher College and had his helmet on for part of the evening, but he did not do any practicing.
“Mario reported to our athletic training staff that he had a sore foot,” coach Doug Marrone said. “So what we wanted to do was hold him out of practice and let our medical staff evaluate him.”
Williams didn’t reveal how he hurt his foot and deferred all questions about his injury to Marrone. He was not walking with any noticeable difficulty.
“It’s not a disappointment from a standpoint of, ‘Gosh, I wish the player was out here for the rest of the team.’ It’s more of a disappointment for the individual,” Marrone said. “Mario’s put in a lot of hard work, went in the playbook and did a lot of work this offseason.”
Williams was hampered by a wrist injury last year and had surgery on it during the team’s bye week. He did not miss any games.
Throw another prospect into the mix in the wide-open battle for the Bills’ starting left guard job.
The Bills on Sunday signed free-agent offensive lineman Antoine Caldwell, who spent the last four seasons with the Houston Texans.
Caldwell has 19 career starts over four years, which doesn’t make him the favorite to win the job but it’s more than anyone else in the running.
Opening with the first-team in Sunday’s first training camp practice was Colin Brown, a four-year veteran who has two career starts. Brown joined the Bills in December 2010. He missed much of last season with a torn hamstring muscle. Doug Legursky, who started 17 games over the last four years with Pittsburgh, worked with the second team at left guard.
Also signed was tackle Tony Hills.
Caldwell, 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, started 48 games in college for the University of Alabama. He was the third-rated center in the 2009 draft, behind Buffalo’s Eric Wood and Cleveland’s Alex Mack. He was a two-time team captain for the Crimson Tide, one of only eight players with that distinction at the time of his graduation. Houston picked him in the third round.
Caldwell has dealt with some nagging injuries in his career. He played about half of Houston’s offensive snaps in 2010, played sparingly in 2011 while battling a high-ankle sprain and played about 35 percent of the snaps in 2012.
Hills, 6-5 and 304, was a fourth-round pick of Pittsburgh in 2008. He started 24 games in college at left tackle for the University of Texas. He has appeared in only 11 games, with one start for Indianapolis, the last five seasons.
There is no public parking on the St. John Fisher College campus. Fans must take a shuttle bus from one of two parking lots and get dropped off at the Bills camp gates.
The lots are located at Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Road; and Sutherland High School, 55 Sutherland St., Pittsford. Both are within a mile or so of campus. There is a $1 charge for the shuttle for fans between ages 12 and 62.
Bills back C.J. Spiller rushed for 1,244 yards last season.
What is his yardage goal for 2013? He’s not saying.
“I do have a number. I’ll share it after the season, after hopefully the confetti is falling down on our head. But I do have a number in my head. I always make one. I think you should write down your goals in order to be great. In order to achieve things, I think you have to write them down and challenge yourself. I think it’s a challenge for me to see where I’m at. I’ve got different categories I want to achieve and I’ll keep it at that. But that ultimate goal is to hold up the Vince Lombardi Trophy.”
Spiller said his goal last season was 1,300 rushing yards.