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Injury woes in Buffalo

Wire Services / October 14, 2011

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Bills starting defensive tackle Kyle Williams will be a game-time decision for Buffalo’s game at the Giants on Sunday. And linebacker Shawne Merriman’s Achilles’ tendon is acting up once again.

Williams missed his second straight practice yesterday because of a sore left foot. Coach Chan Gailey said Williams’s status won’t be determined until hours before the Bills (4-1) kick off against the Giants (3-2).

Though Williams won’t disclose the exact nature of the injury, he’s confident he can play through it. Williams is the anchor of Buffalo’s defensive front, and appeared in his first Pro Bowl in February.

Merriman’s status is suddenly a concern.

He was listed on the Bills’ injury report as being limited in practice because of his Achilles’. That’s a switch from a day earlier, when the team listed Merriman as missing practice because of a shoulder injury.

HGH on Congress docket

Representatives of the league, including commissioner Roger Goodell, and the players’ union will meet with members of Congress today in Washington to discuss the holdup in starting a blood-testing program for human growth hormone.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow both sides to explain their positions on testing. And members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are likely to ask the union what specific questions it wants answered to allow testing, or if there are other issues making the players reluctant.

While the parties agreed to start testing for human growth hormone as part of the collective bargaining agreement completed in August, testing has not begun because the union says it needs more information about the blood tests used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

No regrets

When Saints safety Roman Harper was asked for his reaction to a $15,000 fine the NFL levied on him for his late hit on Panthers receiver Steve Smith last Sunday, he said, “My reaction to it is the smile on my face.’’ Harper shoved Smith to the ground as the receiver slowly crossed the goal line during the first half of the Saints’ 30-27 victory. A brief scrum ensued. When asked if the fine was worth it, Harper responded, “Oh yes, it was. I think the point was taken and everybody that needed to get the point got it. Smith said Harper misread the situation. “He felt that I was slowing down and trying to disrespect somebody and that wasn’t my intention,’’ Smith said. . . . The Browns have decided to pay injured defensive lineman Marcus Bernard for the remainder of this season, a gesture they didn’t have to make because he sustained a nonfootball-related injury. A person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press the Browns will pay Benard roughly $370,000 he’s still due this season. On Monday, Benard broke his hand - and sustained other injuries - when he smashed his three-wheel Can-Am Spyder into a guardrail on Interstate 71 shortly after leaving the team’s training facility following practice. Police estimated Benard, Cleveland’s sacks leader last season, was thrown an estimated 80 yards.

Mendenhall ready

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall will start on Sunday against the Jaguars after missing one game because of a hamstring injury. Mendenhall, who had 1,273 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last season, was a full participant in practice the last two days. When asked if Isaac Redman would make his second consecutive start, offensive coordinator Bruce Arians replied, “Rashard’s the man. He’s ready to go.’’ . . . Colts running back Joseph Addai says he’s a “long shot’’ to play Sunday at Cincinnati because of a strained hamstring. Addai was hurt on a carry late in the first quarter of last Sunday’s game against Kansas City . . . Vikings receiver Percy Harvin did not practice because of sore ribs, but coach Leslie Frazier expects him to play Sunday night in Chicago . . . Linebacker Aaron Curry’s trade from the Seahawks to the Raiders became official when the former first-round pick passed his physical.

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