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Bills notebook: Byrd optimistic about facing Browns

Safety Jairus Byrd expects to be ready Sunday when the Buffalo Bills visit the Cleveland Browns.

Byrd was able to participate in practice again Friday on his sore right ankle.

"I'm encouraged by it," he said. " definitely better. The trainers have done a great job helping me, so hats off to them."

"That's been great," coach Chan Gailey said. "Boy, when it was Tuesday and Wednesday, I wasn't sure he was going to be able to make it, but he's come back strong. It's worked out well."

Linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) returned to practice Friday and is probable to play Sunday.

Running back Fred Jackson (knee) and receiver Ruvell Martin (ankle) were ruled out by Gailey. With Martin unable to play, the Bills will be down to just four healthy receivers in Stevie Johnson, Donald Jones, T.J. Graham and Brad Smith.

Martin's main contribution, though, comes as a gunner on the special teams units. That job will fall to cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Justin Rogers.

"Leodis has been out there anyway and Justin has been out there a few times," Gailey said. "We've had a couple other guys that we're going to look at to possibly get some reps out there, but those will be the main two."


Bills safety Da'Norris Searcy has been fined $21,000 by the NFL for his illegal hit on Kansas City Chiefs tight end Kevin Boss.

A league spokesman told The News it was determined Searcy "struck a defenseless player in the head area."

Searcy was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness on the play, a 29-yard pass play from Matt Cassel to Boss with less than two minutes to go in the second quarter. Boss suffered a head injury and didn't return to the game.

Searcy, a fourth-round draft choice last year, is making a $465,000 base salary this year.


For the third straight week, there is no change to the Bills' depth chart at quarterback. Tyler Thigpen remains the backup to starter Ryan Fitzpatrick, with Tarvaris Jackson the No. 3.

Jackson has been inactive the first two weeks. There is no indication that will change any time soon. Gailey said through a team spokesman that he will make an announcement if and when there is a change to the depth chart.


Reserve tight end Alex Smith (concussion) and linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs) were ruled out by the Cleveland Browns on Friday. Both are reserves.

Three players are questionable for the Browns: defensive end Juqua Parker (foot), receiver/returner Josh Cribbs (knee) and defensive back Ray Ventrone (hand). Parker factors heavily into the Browns' D-line rotation when healthy, while Cribbs is a premier returner in the league.

The rest of the players on Cleveland's injury report are listed as probable: offensive lineman Oniel Cousins (ankle), linebacker Scott Fujita (knee), receiver Greg Little (back), running back Trent Richardson (knee) and defensive lineman Billy Winn. All of them practiced fully the last two days.

News Sports Reporter Tim Graham contributed to this report.


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