Bills place Rian Lindell on IR

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- On a day the Buffalo Bills placed kicker Rian Lindell on injured reserve, there was encouraging news from another veteran -- defensive tackle Kyle Williams -- already on the season-ending list.

Williams on Thursday said he should be fully recovered in time for the start of training camp after having surgery to repair a bone spur in his left foot that had begun fraying his Achilles tendon.

"He got everything cleaned up, fixed what needed to be fixed and said it looked good," Williams said, referring to Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist, who performed the operation about a month ago. "He said I should be good in six months or so."

That's good news for the Bills' most consistent defensive player and six-year starter, who made his first Pro Bowl appearance last season.

Williams for the first time revealed the exact nature of the injury. He said he had been bothered by the bone growth on his left heel since college, and it had gotten to the point where it was tearing his tendon. After attempting to play through the pain this season, he sat out three games before being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 8.

He expressed relief in having the operation done before there was further damage to the Achilles tendon.

"(Anderson) didn't know if it was going to be one play or 10 plays, but it was on the verge of rupturing," Williams said. "He said it ought to be as good as new once it heals up. He said I should be good to go, which is a relief to me. And I'm excited about what's in front of me."

Williams visited the Bills' facility the same day he had his cast removed. He will wear a protective boot for about a month, and expects to be cleared for light jogging by March.

As for Lindell, the Bills' decision to place the kicker on IR was not a surprise, and came a month after the 12-year veteran broke a bone in his right shoulder.

Lindell missed the past four games and became the ninth Bills regular to be placed on the season-ending list. Journeyman Dave Rayner has taken over the kicking duties after being signed on Nov. 8, two days after Lindell was hurt making a diving tackle in a 27-11 loss to the New York Jets.

Lindell says he still had limited movement in his shoulder, though it was not affecting his kicking ability.

Coach Chan Gailey's biggest concern was the kicker aggravating the injury if he was required to make a tackle. Gailey added the latest test results on Lindell's injury were not good.

The Bills (5-7) have lost five straight, and play at San Diego (5-7) on Sunday.

Rookie cornerback Aaron Williams (calf) and tight end Scott Chandler (ankle) are doubtful to play after both missed their second straight day of practice. The two were hurt in a 23-17 loss to Tennessee last weekend.

Strong safety George Wilson is expected to return after missing three games with a neck injury. Free safety Jairus Byrd returned to practice after being held out Wednesday with a shin injury.