Bills cautious after LT Glenn cleared for practice - NBC Sports

Bills cautious after LT Glenn cleared for practice
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Buffalo Bills' Fred Jackson (22) is stopped on fourth down by Carolina Panthers' Star Lotulelei (98) and Chase Blackburn (93) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)
August 9, 2014, 8:36 pm

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) Cordy Glenn's long-awaited return to practice on Saturday is not an indication that the Buffalo Bills starting left tackle is anywhere close to being ready to play.

Far from it, coach Doug Marrone said hours after Glenn passed his physical and was added to the active roster following an undisclosed illness.

"We're going to take it very, very slowly," said Marrone, of a player who's been sidelined since training camp opened July 20. "You won't seem him participating in any team (drills) for a while. And we'll see how he responds, because I really don't know."

And Marrone didn't rule out the possibility of Glenn not being ready for the start of the regular season. He instead noted that rookie seventh-round draft pick Seantrel Henderson has so far shown he's capable of taking over the job on an interim basis if necessary.

Glenn's status has been a big question mark since tests revealed he had an issue, which the Bills have been careful not to disclose. He was placed on the team's active/non-football illness list a few days before camp opened and was limited to light exercises on the sideline.

On Saturday, Glenn was at least finally able to take the field after missing the first 12 sessions and two preseason games. He took part in walk-through drills with the starters to open practice, and then worked out individually on blocking techniques after the two-hour session.

Glenn would only refer to his illness as a medical issue, and said it's too early to determine when he'll be ready to play.

"There's still a little bit of time. Right now I'm just focused on trying to help the team out and getting back comfortable again," he said. "It was frustrating not being out there with the fellas, but I'm just trying to knock the rust off."

Selected in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Georgia, Glenn has been the Bills starting left tackle since his rookie season.

Aside from Glenn's absence, the Bills starting line has been in flux through most of camp with the exception of center Eric Wood. There are open competitions at both guard spots as well as right tackle.

The Bills (1-1) returned to camp in suburban Rochester a day after a 20-18 preseason win at Carolina.

Marrone was comparatively more upbeat after his team's latest performance than he was in the days following a 17-13 loss to the New York Giants in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game last weekend.

Rather than issuing terse, one-word answers as he did on Tuesday, Marrone said he saw progress, particularly on offense and starting quarterback EJ Manuel.

"We did some things better," Marrone said. "I was happy with that. I thought (Manuel) did a nice job, gave us some opportunities to score. And we've just got to take advantage of that."

The Bills offense still lacks finish.

Though Manuel helped the offense gain 126 net yards and six first downs through three series, the Bills managed just a field goal. And that included giving up the ball on downs at the Carolina 2 after running back Fred Jackson was stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-1.

Converting on third downs was also an issue. Buffalo converted 2 of 8 chances in the first half, and 4 of 12 overall.

"Obviously, it's a concern because it affects the way you win," Marrone said. "Those are things that we need to work on and create a high focus in those areas because that's what playoff teams do."

NOTES: In five series under Manuel, the starting offense has come away with two field goals despite three drives inside an opponents' 20. ... The Bills travel to the Steelers' training camp facility in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where they'll hold two joint practices with Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Thursday. The teams then play a preseason game at Pittsburgh on Aug. 16. ... CB Ron Brooks (thigh), WR Marquise Goodwin (hamstring), OG Chris Williams (neck) were among the regulars who were held out of practice.

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