ORCHARD PARK, New York — Buffalo Bills offensive guard Chris Williams is still recuperating from back surgery, and it's uncertain whether he'll be cleared for the start of training camp next month.
General manager Doug Whaley provided the update to The Associated Press on Wednesday, revealing why Williams has been absent from the team's offseason voluntary workouts and practices. New coach Rex Ryan previously said that he's not yet spoken with Williams, but had not provided a reason why the player had not been in attendance.
Whaley said Williams is scheduled to report for the team's mandatory three-day minicamp next week, when he will be evaluated by Bills trainers.
Whaley said the team's medical staff has been monitoring Williams' progress, but provided no expectation of when he could begin practicing.
"Backs are tricky," he said, while noting this isn't the first time Williams has had back surgery.
The Bills signed Williams to a four-year contract in free agency in March 2014. He started the first three games of the season, before being sidelined and eventually having surgery in October.
The Bills have already addressed needs at both starting guard positions this offseason.
They took a chance in January by signing free agent Richie Incognito, who had been out of football for 14 months because of his involvement in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal. The Bills also selected Louisville guard John Miller in the third-round of the draft last month. Miller has earned praise from Bills coaches for being a fast learner, and has been lining up with the starters for much of this spring.
NOTES: The Bills announced that while season-ticket packages are still available, they have no individual tickets left for their first three regular-season home games. ... WR Percy Harvin, S Aaron Williams, CB Leodis McKelvin and OT Seantrel Henderson were among eight players not on the field for voluntary practice on Wednesday. ... WR Sammy Watkins will host his second annual youth football camp at the Erie Community College campus in Orchard Park on July 27-28, days before the Bills open training camp in suburban Rochester.