ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Bills kicker Dan Carpenter will compete with rookie Dustin Hopkins when Hopkins is fully recovered from a groin ailment.

Buffalo Coach Doug Marrone addressed the kicking situation Thursday, leaving the door open for Hopkins despite the signing of Carpenter earlier this week.

The Bills will open the season Sunday against the New England Patriots.

“There’s a lot of different scenarios that can come up,” Marrone said. “A lot of it is going to be how Dan performs and how he plays.”

Hopkins won a training camp battle with veteran Rian Lindell but suffered a groin injury Monday. Carpenter, released by Miami on Aug. 14, signed the same day.

Also Thursday, safety Jairus Byrd was limited in practice as he continues to deal with plantar fasciitis. He considers himself day-to-day. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore, guard Doug Legursky and Hopkins didn’t participate, and running back Drew Smith was released from injured reserve.

LIONS: Rookie defensive end Ziggy Ansah, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, was able to practice, a sign that his recovery from a concussion may be progressing.

CHIEFS: Quarterback Alex Smith is finally getting his chance to start in the NFL again.

After getting hurt and then benched last season in San Francisco, Smith was traded to Kansas City this past offseason.

Now, Smith doesn’t have to look over his shoulder at guys like Colin Kaepernick nipping at his heels. He’s the unquestioned starter as the Chiefs head into their opener Sunday at Jacksonville.

EAGLES: The first punch thrown at Riley Cooper since it became known he made a racial remark didn’t come from an opponent, but a teammate.

Cooper, who left the Philadelphia Eagles for three days in training camp after a video of him using the N-word surfaced on the Internet, found himself in a scuffle with defensive back Cary Williams at practice.

“Both being super competitive, going for the ball,” said Cooper, a wide receiver. “We had a tangle-up at the ball, we both went to the ground. There was a lot of contact at the top of the route. It was nothing.”

STEELERS: Pittsburgh has a pretty crowded backfield picture. No wonder Felix Jones feels right at home.

The former No. 1 draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys made Pittsburgh’s 53-man roster despite being acquired from Philadelphia midway through training camp.

He is expected to be the primary backup for Isaac Redman on Sunday when Pittsburgh opens the season at home against Tennessee.

The 26-year-old Jones struggled living up to his draft status with the Cowboys.

JAGUARS: Tight end Marcedes Lewis missed his second consecutive day of practice after re-injuring a strained left calf Wednesday and could miss Sunday’s opener vs. Kansas City. The injury kept him out of the final three preseason games.

Lewis caught 52 passes for 540 yards and four touchdowns last season, but is expected to be a bigger part of the offense in 2013.

Coach Gus Bradley doesn’t want “to put him in there and have him continue to be another three weeks, another three weeks. So that will be the evaluation.”

FALCONS: Wide receiver Roddy White isn’t promising he’ll be 100 percent for Atlanta’s opener in New Orleans on Sunday.

But he is guaranteeing he’ll be on the field — just like every game of his career.

The streak of 128 consecutive games played — every regular-season game for eight seasons — appeared to be at risk when White sprained his left ankle in Atlanta’s second preseason game at Baltimore.

He was held out of the Falcons’ last two preseason games and finally returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday.

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