Aside from MLB Nick Barnett, the Bills' veteran linebackers are struggling to make plays, stay healthy and even make tackles. Chris Kelsay and Shawne Merriman are both dinged up and have combined for 16 tackles and one sack. Danny Batten and Arthur Moats, second-year players the team is high on, have been the injury replacements.
It now appears another youngster will supplant a veteran at linebacker to help the group make more plays. Andra Davis has started losing snaps to rookie ILB Kelvin Sheppard the past two games, and it will continue. Davis, 32, has 11 tackles this season. We hear that Davis is a class guy in the Buffalo locker room, helping facilitate the transition. Head coach Chan Gailey lauded his leadership this week. "He's a great leader and if he ever decides to coach he'll be a great coach. … He's really good for our football team."
Sheppard, who saw his most snaps against Philadelphia, has 10 tackles, a tackle for loss and a QB hit. Gailey and his staff coached Sheppard at the Senior Bowl and said the LSU grad will see the majority of the snaps. "The guy has got very good instincts," Gailey said about Sheppard.