Bills backup SS Da'Norris Searcy, who went after Browns returner Josh Cribbs on this play in September, will begin getting snaps on defense to give starting SS George Wilson extra rest. (US Presswire)

Bills DE Chris Kelsay left practice early Thursday with a neck injury. He suffered the injury during the early portion of practice open to the media and was able to walk off the field under his own power. He was accompanied by trainers, and his movements looked stiff.

Coach Chan Gailey didn’t elaborate on the extent of the injury.

“They’re doing more tests, we’ll know more tomorrow,” Gailey said.

Kelsay has been starting at right defensive end in recent weeks with Mark Anderson (knee) out. If Kelsay is unable to go against New England, backups Shawne Merriman and Kyle Moore will see time in his place. Merriman was added to the injury report Thursday after he was limited in practice with a chest injury.

Kelsay has 14 tackles and two sacks through eight games.

Johnson feeling good: WR Stevie Johnson (thigh) returned to practice Thursday after sitting out on Wednesday. Johnson suffered a thigh injury in Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans. The receiver said he plans to wear thigh pads for added protection. Starting in 2013, WRs and CBs will be required to wear thigh pads as a safety precaution. Johnson has no issues with that rule, especially after his most recent injury.

“I’ll definitely be wearing thigh pads, so hopefully I don’t have to go through this again,” Johnson said. Johnson was limited but should be fine for Sunday's game. "Everything was good today," Johnson said. "It definitely went better than I thought considering the pain I was in even just yesterday. Working with the training staff, they got me right."

Kyle Williams update: It looks like DT Kyle Williams will be dealing with his ankle injury for the remainder of the season. Gailey said Thursday that Williams will likely require a day off from practice each week for the rest of the year. Williams sat out Wednesday’s practice. He returned on Thursday but was limited.

Searcy pushing for time: Second-year SS Da’Norris Searcy has been receiving more snaps in recent weeks, but Gailey said that starting SS George Wilson isn't in danger of losing his starting job. The move was made to get the impressive Searcy more snaps while lightening Wilson’s load. “I’m very satisfied with George’s play,” Gailey said. “Da’Norris is a good football player, and he’s worked his rear off and he deserves an opportunity to play in the ball games. George was a little bit hurt last year and we think that if we can take 15, 20 plays a game off of him, he’s going to be able to stay longer and healthier and prolong not only this season but years down the road.

"If we didn’t have a good player, we couldn’t do that, but we’ve got a good player and we feel like he deserved the opportunity to play some.”

For more updates on the Bills, follow correspondent Mark Ludwiczak on Twitter @CBSBills and @MarkLud12.