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Dareus, Watkins top long list of Bills players not cleared for practice

PITTSFORD -- Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and wide receiver Sammy Watkins are among 10 Buffalo Bills players not cleared to participate in training camp practices, the first of which is Saturday at St. John Fisher College.

Dareus landed on the Active/Non-Football Illness list. The team did not disclose his illness, but General Manager Doug Whaley said it was nothing serious.

Watkins, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a stress fracture in his foot, was placed on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. The Bills also placed wide receiver Marcus Easley (knee), outside linebacker Shaq Lawson, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery; defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who underwent knee surgery during the season, on PUP.

Outside linebacker Manny Lawson and wide receiver Kolby Listenbee are on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. Whaley said Lawson suffered an "upper-body injury" while working out right before camp. Listenbee, one of the Bills' sixth-round draft picks last May, underwent double sports-hernia surgery right before the draft.

Asked if Manny Lawson's recovery would be long-term, Whaley said, "We'll have to assess and get information from the medical staff here pretty soon. We don't anticipate it, but, again, you never know with these things."

Dareus met with reporters before the designation was announced, and never mentioned that he would not be practicing. He also said he felt good and was following a diet that had caused him to drop about 10 pounds, to his reporting weight of 315 pounds, while adding muscle.

Joining Dareus on the Active/Non-Football Illness list are offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson, who was sidelined at the end of last season and through the offseason after being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease; running back Karlos Williams, who showed up for offseason workouts about 25 pounds overweight and has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy, and defensive back Jonathan Dowling.

"We're going to be very diligent and conscious of making sure all these guys can transition to football activities, but most importantly, be ready for Baltimore," Whaley said of the Bills' Sept. 11 season-opener against the Ravens. "That's our main goal -- to be smart and get ready for Baltimore."

Whaley said Shaq Lawson is progressing nicely, and expected the Bills would have a better idea of his status for this season when the team cuts down to its final 53-man roster in September. "But at this time, all signs are positive," the GM said.

Asked how disappointed he was in Karlos Williams, Whaley said, "He's a young guy and he's got to understand everybody every day they come into camp are competing for playing time and cap space, and he's behind the ball right now. And I think, though, that he's more disappointed than we are."

On Henderson, Whaley said, "First, he's got to get cleared medically and then we have to transition him into getting physically ready to play football. ... football activities, as in strength and conditioning."

 

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