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Merriman due for playing time versus Lions

Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams was out of practice for the second straight day Tuesday for precautionary reasons, but he's expected to be ready for the season opener Sept. 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The first order of business is getting bodies back in the lineup for the preseason finale against the Lions.

Linebacker Shawne Merriman (groin) is expected to play Thursday after missing the last two preseason games. Merriman played well in the preseason opener against Chicago, and the Bills want to get him more action before the regular season.

"He needs to play," coach Chan Gailey said. "He hasn't played in a couple of years. He wants to play. He seems to be physically fit. If he wasn't we wouldn't put him out there, so we're going to let him go try a few plays."

Wildcat quarterback/receiver Brad Smith returned after missing Monday's workout. Gailey said the Bills would not use him in the Wildcat on Thursday, if he plays at all. Roscoe Parrish (hamstring) and Donald Jones (head) are expected to miss the game, but running back Johnny White (head) will probably play.

Receiver Felton Huggins is sidelined with a concussion. Linebacker Arthur Moats, tight end David Martin and tackle Ed Wang remained on the sideline during practice Tuesday. Receiver Naaman Roosevelt remained out with an ankle problem.

The Bills waived linebacker Brad Jefferson, trimming their roster to 80 players in accordance with league rules. Jefferson was an undrafted rookie from Georgia Tech. He had eight tackles Saturday.

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Jets coach Rex Ryan told reporters in New York on Tuesday that newcomer Aaron Maybin, the Bills' former first-round pick, "is going to have to do more" to avoid getting waived for the second time in preseason.

Maybin hasn't been any more impressive with the Jets than he was with the Bills before they gave up on him. New York picked him up for a peek two weeks ago after the Bills sent him packing. The linebacker had a sack in his Jets' debut but apparently wasn't effective enough for Ryan on Monday night.

"I think he can play in this league," Ryan said. "We'll see if he can play for us."

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The Bills-Lions game has not sold out and therefore will not be shown live on local television. The game will air via tape delay at 8 p.m. Friday on Channel 7.

email: bgleason@buffnews.com