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VINCENT MAY MOVE TO SAFETY

The Buffalo Bills expect to be without cornerback Troy Vincent for another week, but he may move to free safety when he returns.

Coach Mike Mularkey said he's thinking about using Vincent at safety, which would be a big vote of confidence for the play of second-year cornerback Terrence McGee.

McGee is expected to make a fifth straight start in place of Vincent on Sunday when the Bills meet the New York Jets in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Mularkey said Vincent practiced only with the scout team Friday. He said the 12-year veteran worked at cornerback and free safety.

"He's worked a little bit at both this week," Mularkey said. "It's an option we've considered, but nothing is set in stone right now."

Mularkey said Vincent did not get any work with the first-string defense.

"It was very similar to what Lawyer (Milloy) did his first week back at practice," he said.

Vincent had arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage after the New England game Oct. 3.

Aside from a long pass given up against Baltimore, McGee has been solid in coverage. Ultimately, the decision comes down to which player Bills coaches want on the field more -- McGee or free safety Izell Reese.

A hamstring injury came at a tough time for wide receiver Drew Haddad, who was waived Friday. The Bills are thin at wideout, but with Haddad questionable they decided to sign rookie receiver Freddie Smith from the practice squad. Smith was a seventh-round pick.

The Bills will be without No. 3 receiver Josh Reed, who did not practice again Friday due to a bruised kneecap. Sam Aiken will be the third receiver against the Jets.

Reserve safety Coy Wire (abdomen) did not practice. Neither did reserve defensive end Constantin Ritzmann, who strained a foot in Wednesday's practice.

In New York, the Jets downgraded No. 3 receiver Wayne Chrebet to questionable after he missed a second straight practice due to a sore back. Chrebet, who had eight catches against the Bills last month, will be a game-time decision. If he can't play, rookie Jericho Cotchery, a fourth-round pick, takes his spot.

Forty boys and girls from upstate New York will compete in the NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass & Kick Team Championship prior to Sunday's game.

Team Champions will be announced at the end of the third quarter. The top finishers in each age division in Buffalo will have their scores compared to team champions from the 31 other NFL teams, with the top four scorers in each age group from across the nation advancing to the national finals at a NFL playoff game.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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