When Doug Legursky went down with a knee injury in the Buffalo Bills’ final preseason game, Colin Brown won the team’s starting left guard job by default.
With Legursky now fully recovered from that injury, coach Doug Marrone said Monday that competition is back on.
“We do need to improve our play there. … That’s going to be an open competition. Both those players will play left guard this week versus Cincinnati. So that’s where we are with that,” Marrone said. “How we’re going to do it, we still haven’t finalized that plan — quarters, series, whatever it may be. That we’re going to work out during the week with the players.”
Legursky made his season debut in Week Five against Cleveland, but appeared for just one snap in place of Brown. That will change going forward as Marrone seeks more consistency.
The 6-foot-1, 315-pound Legursky, who was signed in the offseason as a free agent from Pittsburgh, does not have the size of the 6-7, 326-pound Brown. It’s possible the Bills could rotate them depending on the type of interior defensive linemen they face in a given week.
“I’m a versatile-type player. I can go in multiple positions if need be. If I do get some reps on game day, I’m excited about that,” Legursky said. “I’m excited to finally hit a different color jersey.”
The Bills also made a change to their offensive line depth Monday by releasing tackle/guard Sam Young and replacing him with guard Antoine McClain, who was claimed off waivers from Oakland.
McClain, 23, entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012. The 6-foot-5, 336-pounder played at Clemson. He spent the 2012 season on the Ravens’ practice squad, but was one of the team’s final cuts this season after training camp. The Raiders claimed McClain on Sept. 1, but he did not appear in a game for them before being waived Friday.
Marrone said he has not been approached by anyone within the organization about a potential trade of safety Jairus Byrd.
“The only insight I know on that one is that I’ve just been working on getting him ready for Cincinnati,” the coach said.
ESPN reported over the weekend that the Bills are in “ongoing” talks about trading Byrd, and the team knows the “wisest course of action” is to trade him.
Marrone reiterated Monday that Byrd wanted to play last week against the Cleveland Browns. He anticipates him being in the lineup Sunday.
“I think we have a week of practice to go ahead and look at it,” the coach said. “Where is he at? What’s what going on? You know, how we want to do this. I think we’ll work on that this week, but yes, I’m looking forward to him going.”
The Bills opened up a spot on their 53-man roster to promote QB Thaddeus Lewis by placing rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins on injured reserve. Hopkins, who returned to practice on a limited basis last week, is still not able to perform kickoffs.