Shawne Merriman has gone from the beaches of Miami to the practice field in Buffalo.
Come Sunday, he might once again find himself on the playing field in a Bills uniform.
“As long as he is in playing shape and everything goes well this week and he gets back into the flow of things, he’s probably going to be right there on Sunday afternoon giving us some help,” coach Chan Gailey said.
Merriman, who was re-signed Monday, returned to practice Wednesday with the team that released him during training camp. Out of work since, he said he’s split his time between Miami and San Diego.
“Hence the sunburn that I got from laying on the beach after my workout,” he said.
Merriman, though, expressed no doubt he’s ready to step in for the Bills, who have a void at defensive end with Mark Anderson out with a knee injury.
“I knew I could still play and I could contribute to the game a lot. I’m just happy to even get that call back,” Merriman said Wednesday, talking for the first time since rejoining the team. “You never know how things are going to go and you have to be ready when it’s time.”
Merriman is expected to get some time on the scout team this week during practice to test his conditioning. He said he had grown comfortable in defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt’s 4-3 scheme before his release.
“It’s become second nature,” he said of the defense. “I went through just about a whole training camp and got very comfortable.”
Right guard Kraig Urbik and defensive tackle Spencer Johnson, both of whom are suffering from ankle injuries, returned to practice Wednesday after sitting out the past two games, but both looked to be extremely limited in the portion of practice open to the media.
Five Bills did not practice: defensive end Mark Anderson (knee), left tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (ankle), cornerback Terrence McGee (knee) and safety Da’Norris Searcy.
Williams missed two practices last week, but was able to start against the Arizona Cardinals. Gailey indicated McGee was given a day to rest, and is expected to practice today, while Searcy was hurt against Arizona.
Defensive end Mario Williams (wrist) and receiver Brad Smith (chest) were on the injury report, but practiced fully.
Tennessee also had five players not practice: running back Javon Ringer (knee), defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (shoulder), linebackers Zach Brown (illness) and Colin McCarthy (ankle) and cornerback Tommy Campbell (ankle).
Safety Jairus Byrd was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. Byrd had two interceptions – one in the fourth quarter and one in overtime – in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals.
Rookie cornerback Ron Brooks returned to practice after spending the first six weeks of the season on the injured reserve, designated to return list after surgery for a broken foot. He’s eligible to play in Week Nine at Houston.
The Bills made two statistical changes from Sunday’s game. A sack that came when Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb had been forced out of bounds was originally awarded to linebacker Nick Barnett. It was changed to a half sack between Barnett and Kyle Williams, making their season totals 1.5 and 4.0, respectively. Also, defensive tackle Alex Carrington was credited with a blocked field goal, on Jay Feely’s kick at the end of regulation.
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