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Dareus joins Bills' wounded Rookie on crutches after practice injury

It's never a good sign when your top draft pick is walking around on crutches, but that's exactly what Marcell Dareus was doing on Wednesday.

After the Buffalo Bills concluded practice, the rookie defensive end was seen in the locker room on crutches with his left ankle wrapped heavily.

Dareus, according to a source, injured the ankle during practice and walked off the field under his own power. It is unclear how much time Dareus will miss, if any, or if he will be available for Saturday's third preseason game against Jacksonville at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Wednesday was the first day since the start of training camp that the media was not permitted to view practice with the exception of the first 20 minutes. The 6-foot-3, 343 pounder participated during the opening of practice, which consisted of stretching and one-on-one drills.

Bills coach Chan Gailey addressed the media before the locker room was open and didn't comment about Dareus. Dareus' left ankle was wrapped to just below his calf. Gailey was unavailable for comment.

The loss of Dareus for an extended period would be a huge blow to the seemingly never-ending rebuilding efforts of the Bills. The third pick overall out of Alabama has been a bright spot during the preseason. In limited minutes during the first two games, Dareus has two sacks.

Dareus first injured the ankle Aug. 4 during a night practice at St. John Fisher and was held out for the remainder of the night but returned the next day.

During another night practice on Aug. 17 where Dareus was dominant, Gailey said, "When he gets healthy, I think he can really be something," suggesting he wasn't completely healed from the injury.

Depending on the extent of the injury, Dareus would join a growing list of Bills on the sidelines.

Three of the Bills projected starting linebackers -- Shawne Merriman (leg soreness), Chris Kelsay (eye surgery, according to Bills website) and Reggie Torbor (undisclosed) -- missed practice Wednesday. Receivers Roscoe Parrish and Donald Jones, who are also slated to start, along with Kellen Heard, Arthur Moats, Shawn Nelson, Naaman Roosevelt, Chris White and Johnny White also missed practice.

email: rmckissic@buffnews.com