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Dareus, Merriman feeling better

Marcell Dareus walking without crutches and Shawn Merriman participating in practice were welcome sights for the Buffalo Bills.

Dareus didn't practice on Thursday at One Bills Drive and says he's questionable for the team's third preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Meanwhile Merriman says his injured groin is feeling better and he hopes to play on Saturday, but like Dareus is questionable. Merriman and the Bills are trying to make sure he's ready for the team's season opener Sept. 11 at Kansas City.

The third pick overall, Dareus was seen in the locker room Wednesday walking with the aid of crutches after being kicked in his left calf during practice. The Bills practiced Thursday at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and Dareus walked without a noticeable limp.

"I'm fine, it's just a safety precaution," said Dareus about sitting out practice. "I tweaked my ankle a little bit and we didn't want to take any chances just relax, get treatment and ice it up. We're just being safe."

The 6-foot-3, 343-pound rookie out of Alabama said he "tweaked" his left ankle when he was kicked in the back of the leg. On Wednesday, Dareus' left ankle was wrapped to just below his calf, which he said is bruised.

"We were both taking inside moves and I got kicked in the back of the leg," said Dareus about how the injury occurred. "I don't quite know if I'm going to play and we won't know until the day of the game."

Dareus' health had to bring a sigh of relief to the Bills, who have watched their injury list grow since the start of training camp.

The Bills placed linebacker Reggie Torbor on season-ending injured reserve Thursday with a shoulder injury, and backup tackle Ed Wang will be sidelined for Saturday's game with a shoulder injury.

The Bills essentially replaced Torbor when free agent linebacker Kirk Morrison agreed to terms on Wednesday. Morrison wasn't at practice Thursday and has yet to sign a deal.

In limited minutes during the first two games, Dareus has been impressive with two sacks and two tackles.

"He's going to be all right and we're going to see if he can get ready for the game or not," Gailey said. "He's got a pretty good chance to be ready for the game. There's no such thing as a freak play in football, all those things happen from time to time."

Merriman has been on the sideline off and on during training camp with what had been described as leg soreness by the team, but the veteran linebacker acknowledged he was having issues with his groin.

Merriman wants to play on Saturday but concedes there are few guarantees with a groin injury.

"My groin has been a little tight over the last few days, so it's just been precautionary to make sure everything is good," he said. "I always want to play. At the same time I have to think of what's in the best interest for the team. You don't want to be put in a position to jeopardize anything."

The objective, Merriman said, is to be ready for the season opener against the Chiefs.

"I'm fully confident," he said. "I expected some of these things to happen from not being back in so long. Just getting back into these football positions and motions you're going have some things that get a little tight and sore over the course of time. I just have to take care of it."