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Dareus, Merriman Questionable for Saturday Night

Two of the Bills’ central defensive pieces in 2011, Marcell Dareus and Shawne Merriman, are questionable to play in tomorrow night’s home preseason opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Merriman participated fully in practice on Thursday after missing the two previous days of practice and being very limited on Monday.  Meanwhile, Dareus sat out practice on Thursday and his status may be a bit more cloudy for Saturday.  On Wednesday afternoon after practice, Dareus was seen on crutches with his left ankle heavily wrapped.  As we held our collective breaths to await word on the severity of his injury, thankfully the football gods gave us a sigh of relief as Dareus’ injury wasn’t considered serious.  He was kicked in the calf during practice and while he also dealt with a minor ankle injury during training camp, neither injury seems likely to derail Dareus for Sept. 11.

No definitive word yet has come down from head coach Chan Gailey regarding whether or not both players will either see limited time or if they won’t play at all.  Both the Bills as well as Dareus and Merriman are fully aware of the bigger picutre which is to have both starters fully healthy and ready to be turned loose in Kansas City for opening day.  Buffalo simply cannot take any chances and risk further setback or injury with either player.  Both have shown flashes of dominance in the preseason and both figure to play critical roles on defense in 2011. 

Losing one or both is simply a scenario the Bills want no part of.

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