PITTSFORD — Buffalo Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb did not participate in practice Sunday, a day after suffering a fluke left knee injury.
Coach Doug Marrone, however, is hopeful to have him back tonight, when the Bills hold a scrimmage.
“We’re going to try and get him back for tomorrow,” the coach said after a two-hour practice at St. John Fisher College Sunday. “We just kept him out today off the field because if he’s standing on the field, it’s not something that will help him at this time.”
Kolb was hurt Saturday when he slipped on a rubber mat while walking between practice fields.
That has given rookie EJ Manuel all of the first-team repetitions in practice the last two days. Manuel took 30 snaps Sunday, to 26 for rookie undrafted free agent Jeff Tuel, by unofficial count.
Kolb was one of six players to sit out all of practice Sunday. Also missing were wide receiver Stevie Johnson (hamstring), tight end Mike Caussin (hip), cornerback Justin Rogers (hamstring), wide receiver Kevin Elliott (shoulder) and rookie safety Duke Williams.
Marrone said Williams suffered “concussion-like symptoms” after Saturday’s practice.
“We thought he was fine initially coming off the field, then he just had some concussion symptoms,” Marrone said. “We are going to make sure we are doing everything we can as an organization and as a league for player safety. Once we see those symptoms, they go through a process with our trainers and doctors until they’re able to be released.”
Cornerback Stephon Gilmore provided the highlight of practice Sunday when he timed his jump perfectly and pulled down an interception of a deep pass down the right sideline by Manuel in front of receiver Marcus Easley.
In the regular season, however, it wouldn’t have been a highlight because Gilmore was ruled out of bounds.
Nevertheless, Gilmore said a main focus of his in the offseason has been making a play on the ball.
“I had a lot of pass break-ups last year, but I wanted to come down with interceptions, so that’s what I’ve really been working on,” he said. “Our coaches have been preaching to us about getting our head around and finding the ball once we get in position. That’s what I did.”
Gilmore led the Bills with 16 passes defensed as a rookie but made just one interception.
With all due respect to the fans who have enjoyed the pleasant weather, Marrone has been waiting for some inclement conditions. While Sunday didn’t fall into that category, it was windy at St. John Fisher. That had an impact on the kicking battle going on between veteran Rian Lindell and rookie Dustin Hopkins.
Lindell had the better day, going 10 for 13. He missed from 43, 46 and 51 yards, with his longest made field goal from 45. He was 8 for 8 from 40 yards and in.
Hopkins went just 5 for 11, including a miss from 32 yards out.
“I’m looking for that day when it’s really windy, especially in the venue that we play in back in Buffalo,” Marrone said. “It’s a windy stadium. I think today you saw a little overcompensation for the wind, which is something you can experience. With the kickers, they’re trying to play that placement with the wind. And I think it’s a great learning experience when you go through camp.”
The team signed tight end Nick Provo, who played under Marrone at Syracuse, Sunday.
Provo, 24, participated in the Bills’ voluntary minicamp in April on a tryout basis. The 6-foot-4, 249-pounder set a ’Cuse record for career catches by a tight end, with 92. His 1,027 receiving yards were the second most in Orange history for a tight end.
Provo signed as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012 but was released prior to the start of the regular season.
The Bills need some depth at the position, as Scott Chandler is being eased into the lineup after surgery to repair a torn ACL and Caussin is out.
To make room on the roster for Provo, the team released offensive lineman Hutch Eckerson.
The Bills announced that two training camp practices, on Thursday and Aug. 13 from 8 to 11 a.m., will now be open. Previously they had been scheduled to be closed to the public.