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Bills Notebook: Linebacker Matt Milano does not practice; left tackle Dion Dawkins improving

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Matt Milano

Linebacker Matt Milano has been a key to the Bills' stingy red-zone defense this season.

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The Buffalo Bills’ injury news wasn’t limited to only Von Miller on Wednesday.

Star linebacker Matt Milano did not practice as the team prepares for an important Week 14 home game against the New York Jets. Milano is dealing with knee and leg injuries, coach Sean McDermott said, adding that the linebacker is being classified as day to day.

“We’re just taking it one day at a time, so we’ll see,” McDermott said when asked if Milano would be able to play.

Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips also did not practice after suffering a shoulder injury late in last week’s win over the Patriots. Fullback Reggie Gilliam (ankle) and guard Rodger Saffold (knee/veteran rest) also did not practice.

Left tackle Dion Dawkins (ankle), swing tackle David Quessenberry (ankle) and center Mitch Morse (elbow/veteran rest) were able to practice on a limited basis. Quarterback Josh Allen (elbow) and defensive back Cam Lewis (forearm) were full participants.

Dawkins said he suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. That forced him to miss the game against New England last week – the first time in his six-year career he’s missed a game due to an injury.

“It was a culture shock, for real,” he said. “It was different, but I'm blessed. I truly am. My injury, like it was a high ankle sprain and I was supposed to be sitting out for three hard weeks and I'm practicing in nine days or 10 days. So, I can't be nothing but thankful for my trainers and everybody in that training room that has helped me get to the position that I am at now, which is a step closer.”

Dawkins said it’s too soon to know whether he’ll be ready to play against the Jets.

“I'm pushing toward helping my team in any way,” he said. “Whether it's me on the sideline or me on the football field, I'm working to get myself ready to protect Josh.”

When it comes to the Bills’ pursuit of Odell Beckham Jr., Allen is like everybody else – waiting. The free agent receiver completed visits to the Giants, Bills and Cowboys over the last week, and, according to a report Wednesday from NFL Network – returned home to Arizona to plot his next move with his family.

“Not sure where he's at in his decision-making process,” Allen said. “I think we're all still kind of waiting and just playing it by ear.”

Allen spent time with Beckham while he was on his visit.

“Got the chance to hang out with him and just kind of show him how we as Buffalo Bills kind of vibe together and hang out and rely on each other here,” the quarterback said. “Hopefully he saw that and he appreciated that. All the Xs and Os and him on the field, all that other stuff, that's up to coaching staffs and where he wants to play and all that, but I enjoyed hanging out with him. Hopefully we hear some good news here.”

Allen was asked whether he’s envisioned what Beckham could bring to the Bills’ offense.

“It’s always good to add another weapon,” he said. “That being said, though, I trust our guys and what we've got going on here. I think we've got guys that can play multiple positions and we trust them implicitly, but again, it's never bad to have another weapon.”

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News Sports Reporter

I started at The Buffalo News in 2009, and have previously been honored as one of the top 10 beat writers in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors for my coverage of the Bills. I live in Amherst with my wife, Melissa, and son, Elliott.

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