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Ronald Darby has been stepping up in practice, Bills coaches say

Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby manned the top two cornerback spots during defensive back drills in the portion of Thursday’s practice that was open to media. Kevon Seymour played nickel back while Corey Graham and Robert Blanton were at safety.

Rex Ryan declared several positions in the defensive backfield up for grabs this week, initially plugging Seymour in for Nickell Robey-Coleman and Corey White in for Darby.

"He’s responded well," defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman said of how Darby has handled the demotion. "You know, that’s what it’s all about. Everybody has a job to do. You’ve got to go out there and do your job. I mean, to have competition is a good thing. In this league, you don’t ever want to ever get comfortable. If you get comfortable, somebody’s looking to take your job. When you get comfortable, it’s not a good thing."

“He had a couple days, (Wednesday) in particular, was as good a day as he’s had probably since I’ve been here,” Ryan said of Darby. “So, you know, that’s encouraging.”

A decision hasn't been made yet on which cornerback will start, though the snaps may be split regardless.

“We’re still rotating,” White said. “I was in there too sometimes. We’re still trying to decide who will ultimately start. We’ll both play.”

White was asked when the players expect to learn who the starter will be.

“Ain’t no telling with Rex,” he said with a chuckle. “Right before kickoff.”

Defensive tackle Corbin Bryant (shoulder) and quarterback Cardale Jones (illness) were held out of practice Thursday. Offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, who was born in Cameroon, was taking part in a naturalization ceremony in a downtown courthouse to officially become a U.S. citizen.

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (groin), linebacker Jerry Hughes (hand), and receivers Robert Woods (foot) and Walt Powell (hip) were limited. Receiver Brandon Tate (concussion) was a full participant.

“I’m hoping," Ryan said of Dareus playing Sunday. "I mean, barring anything, it definitely looks pretty good.”

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said Jordan Mills, Seantrel Henderson and Kouandjio could all see time at right tackle this week.

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