PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- When the Buffalo Bills have separated into two 11-on-11 drills during the first two practices of training camp, two offensive linemen have joined the starting five at one end of the field: guard Cyril Richardson and tackle Seantrel Henderson.
Both players have rotated in with the first team -- Richardson at guard and Henderson at right tackle -- since Friday, with Richardson getting extended time at right guard Saturday following an ankle injury to starter John Miller.
For Henderson, it's a sign that he's made progress since the spring. A 16-game starter from last season, he could barely crack the second team during OTAs -- a problem exacerbated when he missed the first mandatory minicamp practice because of travel issues.
Coach Rex Ryan was coy when asked Saturday if the demotion was intended as a wake-up call for Henderson -- "Oh no, we would never do that," Ryan said with a smile -- but there are signs that Henderson has stopped hitting the figurative snooze button.
"I’ve been really impressed with him," Ryan said. "I talked to him today a little bit about, you know, he spent time in Minnesota and then also went down to Miami and trained -- talk about one extreme to another -- but I’ve been really impressed.
"He came in great shape, and he’s ready to compete, I don’t think there’s any doubt about that, so that’s where that competition is going to be. It’s going to be great to watch and we’ll see how it shakes out in the end."
The Bills won't practice in full pads until Sunday, so gauging how Henderson stacks up to Cyrus Kouandjio -- who took over first-team right tackle duties this spring -- is tough. The Bills also had veteran tackle Gosder Cherilus in for a visit Wednesday and claimed tackle Terren Jones off waivers Saturday, so there could be additions to the right tackle race as camp continues.
Yet if the first two practices of training camp are any indication, Henderson is back in the mix.