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JACKSON IMPROVED, BUT STATUS UNCERTAIN

Cornerback Kirby Jackson, who left Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts early after aggravating his injured hamstring, was a "little bit better" Monday, according to Buffalo Bills head coach Marv Levy.

"We'll just see, as the week progresses, what his status would be (for Saturday's game)," Levy said. "We don't know at all right now. The shorter week of practice makes it more of a concern.

"We'll just have to see how he is. He'd have to show considerable improvement to be ready to play."

Linebacker Shane Conlan sustained a knee injury against the Colts, but did not appear on the injury list Levy received from the trainers Monday.

"He came out, got it taped up and played very well after that," Levy said.
Levy was impressed with the performance of the Bills' newest acquisition, cornerback Clifford Hicks, who signed as a free agent last Wednesday. Hicks had a sack and tipped a pass that led to an interception.

"He did a good job," Levy said. "Everything was new to him -- the terminology and all that. So, under the circumstances, I'd say he played very well."

Despite having one less day to prepare, the Bills won't alter their practice schedule significantly this week.

They were to have their usual day off today, and work Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

"We'll have a regular Wednesday, but then we'll put a little bit of what we normally do on Friday into Thursday's practice and we might do a little more Friday than we normally do a day before a game," Levy said. "We have to double up."

Offensive guard Leonard Burton, who has been on their injured reserve list since the start of the season, would love to be participating in the Bills' success, but is willing to be patient with his damaged knee.

"I'm still upbeat," Burton said. "There's always next year. As long as I come back healthy, I'll be all right."

Burton wouldn't rule out his return sometime between now and the playoffs.

"It's a possibility," he said. "The knee's coming around, slowly but surely. I'm just going on a day-to-day basis with it."

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