BY DAN BEGNOCHE
Kelsay re-aggravated a neck injury last weekend that he first initially acquired a month ago in practice. After trying to play through the ailment that kept him out for two weeks, the Bills were forced to place the 10-year pro on the Injured Reserve list to help bolster needs elsewhere. (photo: LostBob, Flickr)
“I want what’s best for the team,” Kelsay told buffalobills.com. “I’ve always approached it that way so I understand and respect their decision. Having never had to go through this situation before it’s frustrating, but I’ll move forward.
"We’ve been playing great defense the last few weeks. To be standing on the sidelines and watching it from afar it’s disappointing.”
Kelsay was one of the bright spots for the defense midway through the season when nothing seemed to be going right. In the team's Week 6 victory over the Cardinals, Kelsay tallied seven tackles, including a sack and a safety. He finishes the season with 18 tackles and two sacks.
Now, the Bills' remaining pass rushers will need to continue their strong play of the past few weeks a man down.
Mario Williams has stepped up his play considerably in the second half of the season. He currently leads the team with 9.5 sacks along with two fumble recoveries, and his recent play has opened up some opportunities for the other rushers around him, according to coach Chan Gailey.
“If they chip outside, they still have three on two inside so really only one guy is the guy who becomes the beneficiary,” Gailey told reporters Monday. “It is one guy and it is not Kyle (Williams) all the time, it is not Alex (Carrington) all the time and it is not Marcell (Dareus) all the time. It is all of them that benefit from that. You do not know when it is going to happen so you have to be ready every snap when you get the single.”
Kyle Williams is second behind Mario with five sacks, and Carrington had a strong game last weekend against Jacksonville, tallying a sack and a pass deflection to go along with his four tackles. The Bills will also look toward Dareus in the pass deflection department, as he's knocked down four and grabbed 3.5 sacks, as well. Defensive end Mark Anderson is showing signs of life this week also, though the injured ex-Patriot is still a long shot to play this week.
St. Louis heads into Buffalo having already allowed 30 sacks, eighth most in the league, and its line is allowing its quarterbacks to be hit 23 percent of the time they drop back. Rams signal caller Sam Bradford has fumbled five times so far, and the team is minus-two in takeaways.
Follow AFC East Daily @AFCEastDaily