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Bills Notebook: Henderson activated, competition at offense, Dareus excused from practice

The Buffalo Bills have another option at their uncertain offensive tackle position.

Fourth-year veteran Seantrel Henderson, who started 26 games at right tackle in 2014 and 2015, was activated Monday to the Bills' 53-man roster.

Henderson last week came off a 10-game NFL suspension for a second violation of the league's substance abuse policy. He served five games at the end of last season and the first five of this season.

Henderson was diagnosed with Crohn's disease last season. He had used medicinal marijuana in 2016 to deal with the pain from the illness. However, there are no exemptions for medical marijuana under the NFL's current collective bargaining agreement.

Watch: Bills OT Seantrel Henderson

To make room on the roster, the Bills released cornerback Greg Mabin.

Henderson, 25, took part in the Bills' practice Monday and said he was eager to contribute to the team.

"It felt good, it's been a long time coming," he said. "My conditioning is there. I've been going at it every day, with no days off. I know conditioning-wise I'm good. As far as techniques, that's really what I need to get back, the speed and working at my craft so I can get out there and play."

The 6-foot-7 Henderson missed the final three games of the 2015 season due to his illness and underwent two surgeries in the 2016 offseason to remove part of his intestine. At one point in his battle with the illness he was down to 280 pounds.

But he was back up to 340 during training camp in August. He said Monday that proper diet has allowed him to maintain that weight.

"I really haven't had any complications," he said. "My health has been fine. My diet is most important. I'm back where I want to be."

The Bills are sorting out their offensive line cast upon returning from their bye week.

Veteran left tackle Cordy Glenn started the first two games but missed the next three due to the foot injury that has hampered him all year. He's in his second full week back at practice. Rookie Dion Dawkins has started in Glenn's place the past four games. He has looked good in run blocking but has had some inconsistent moments in pass protection. So has right tackle Jordan Mills.

A competition is ongoing at right guard, where Vlad Ducasse started the last game in place of John Miller.

"It's still a competition between him and John," offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said of Ducasse. "We're going week to week."

Meanwhile, CBS Sports reported Seattle contacted the Bills in recent weeks to inquire about a trade for Glenn but the discussion went nowhere. Glenn is the Bills' second-highest paid player.

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MORE OFFENSE: Dennison said eliminating negative plays was the No. 1 priority for the offense after the Cincinnati loss.

"Guys are playing hard," Dennison said. "The biggest thing was we're going backward too much. Too many negative plays. We're trying to get that corrected through technique and just awareness. Our situation is we've won games. We've just got to play a little bit better."

In Bengals game, the Bills had six sacks, two offensive penalties and four runs that were tackled for losses.

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INJURY REPORT: The Bills are getting healthier after their bye week. Starting receiver Jordan Matthews had the cast taken off his broken thumb and is considered day to day, coach Sean McDermott said.

Bills cornerbacks E.J. Gaines (groin) and Leonard Johnson (hamstring) practiced on a limited basis Monday. It would be good for the Bills to get one or both of them back for Sunday's meeting. The Bucs rank second in the NFL in passing yards. Gaines missed the Cincinnati game. Johnson was injured during the game.

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OUTREACH ON SOCIAL ISSUES: Bills players are scheduled to appear at five community outreach events on Tuesday.

Bills veteran Lorenzo Alexander posted a social media message Monday explaining the appearances are part of a "holistic approach" to addressing social issues that were at the root of NFL players' national anthem protests this season.

"These protests have not been about our military nor our allegiance and appreciation for our country's principles and privileges, but to start a conversation to begin the process of understanding, equality and love," Alexander wrote.

"As a team, we have decided to engage our community in two ways. First ... we plan to go out into the community as an organization and serve Buffalo's young people through five different community relations events... Secondly, we plan to meet with local public and political officials about how as players, we can help change and improve legislation and institutional culture that has aided in many of these issues."

"We are hopeful," Alexander wrote, "that change will come from these protests, discussions and actions here in Buffalo, as well as our hometown communities."

The Tuesday appearances include a family fun night for children with pediatric cancer at the team's ADPRO Sports Training Center, along with appearances at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center, the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Hope Center, the Hennepin Community Center and the Belle Center.

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DAREUS EXCUSED: Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was excused from Monday's practice for personal reasons, McDermott said.

Dareus played 22 of 66 snaps against Cincinnati. McDermott on his play in that game:

"There were some good things. Obviously he had the sack, which was good. The thing about playing defensive tackle is it's the inside push, it's the inside presence, not only in the run game but the pass game, as well. We're going to continue to harp on that and to coach that."

McDermott said more interior push will make edge rusher Jerry Hughes even more effective.

"When you look at what we've done outside with Jerry, we've found going through the bye we can get even more production if we continue to get that inside push," he said. "That's going to be a big job of Marcell's job going forward."

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CB PLAN: The Bills had rookie cornerback Tre'Davious White follow Bengals receiver A.J. Green after cornerback injuries struck in the last outing. McDermott and Bills defensive chief Leslie Frazier usually have cornerbacks stick to their sides of the field, rather than follow one receiver.

Tampa Bay has two star wideouts in Mike Evans and Desean Jackson. So keeping White on his normal left side this week would seem to make sense.

"It's not necessarily what we're looking to do week in and week out," Frazier said. "Just the circumstances in the last ballgame kind of dictated that. It's something we almost felt like we had to do with the injuries we had. Tre'Davious did a good job for us under the circumstances. ... It's week to week, based on the situation."

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BYE TIMING: The timing of the Week Six bye was just fine with Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.

"I look at it as the midpoint of the football season, even going back to training camp," Alexander said. "We've been here 76 days, and from now to the end of the season it's 76 days. ... It definitely allows you to come back with some fresh legs, a fresh mind and hopefully play some really good football."

Alexander did not watch any NFL games on his rare Sunday off.

"I have three little kids and they control my TV, so I'm watching Ninja Turtles ... Cartoon Network," he said. "We had a chance to go out the great pumpkin patch out in Clarence on Sunday. It was a great time. The kids loved it."

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