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RITCHER PRACTICES; WOLFORD IS UPGRADED

Guard Jim Ritcher returned to practice with the Buffalo Bills Thursday as they prepared for Sunday's game with the Miami Dolphins, but three other Bills were held out of practice.

Offensive tackle Will Wolford, defensive end Bruce Smith, and inside linebacker Ray Bentley did not participate fully in practice.

"We held them out for reasons we wanted to rest them," said coach Marv Levy. "They're all a little bit tender."

All three are fully expected to play Sunday. Wolford was upgraded on the NFL injury report from questionable to probable.

Meanwhile, safety Mark Kelso took a regular turn in practice but Levy said there is no urge to rush him back into the lineup. Kelso could play if needed.

"He's coming back slowly," Levy said. "He's not like he was before he was hurt (dislocated ankle)."

The NFL officiating crew that will work Sunday's game will spread some holiday cheer during their stay in Buffalo.

Referee Red Cashion of Bryan Station, Texas, and his crew will visit patients and staff at Roswell Park Cancer Institute at 7 p.m. Saturday. Besides Cashion, the others participating are umpire Dave Hamilton of Atascadero, Calif., head linesman Terry Gierke of Lake Oswego, Ore., line judge John Alderton of Portland, Ore., back judge Al Jury of Rialto, Calif., side judge Don Wedge of Troy, Ohio, field judge John Robinson of Bountiful, Utah, and replay official Dave Hawk of Corsicana, Texas.

Also with the crew will be NFL assistant supervisor of officials Jack Read of New York.

"When we work a game during the holidays and we're all away from our families, we usually plan some sort of party for the crew," Cashion said. "This year, we thought we'd like to share our celebration. We asked the Bills to recommend a place that might appreciate a visit from us, and they suggested Roswell Park."

The officials will be bringing NFL souvenirs as "presents."

"The crew's visit will be much appreciated," said Judith Rice, Roswell's director of marketing.

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