Giving the COLD SHOULDER to controversy

After a week of recovering from his broken right clavicle, Rob Johnson had the injury reexamined by Bills physicians. Gregg Williams said, "(His shoulder) was re-X-rayed and everything looked like it was coming along. We'll have to wait another week to 10 days before we take another one, but everything looks to be OK. (No surgery is needed), it's just a normal break."

 

Williams is having a tough go of it this season, but at least his humor is still intact. Referring to Bill Belichick's admission to his players that Tom Brady would start over Drew Bledsoe for the rest of the season, Williams wondered if Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan was trying to get him to say that Van Pelt would be the starter until the season ends as well.

 

"Are you looking for a Patriot comment or something?" joked Williams. "No I'm just kidding you."

 

The media let out a boisterous laugh in a impressively collective manner.

 

Williams continued, waiting for the audience to die down. "We definitely want to make sure that he's healthy and I think in that type of an injury, especially the thing with his throwing arm, you have to make sure he's capable of taking the next hit and you're fully recovered. So we have to go through the whole process before we make that decision. It's still very premature at this time."

 

Johnson will be busy rehabbing his shoulder in the meantime. Williams, of course, won't be saying anything about  the prognosis for Johnson. He offered only this: "(Rob's) first couple of weeks here, we want to make sure that everything is mending right. The rest and the things he's doing with the trainers is helping him to get things going as quickly as possible. After we evaluate and see where he's at, he can be the eyes and ears for Alex, just like Alex was eyes and ears for him. He'll be in meetings and he'll be involved in taking a look at film the same way. Right now we got to make sure that everything is healing right and he has enough rest to get this thing healed as quickly as possible." …

 

Now in the "sheer speculation" category, take a look at what Williams said about Van Pelt's play: "The thing about Alex right now is that Alex is pulling the trigger. Alex is going to let these guys make plays. That's a real positive thing and I think Eric feels that way too. That (51-yarder to Moulds) was a real tough throw in the ball game last week and it ignited us. You gotta do those kinds of things. It gets the momentum going. Alex is ready to pull the trigger."

 

With Williams saying that Van Pelt will let guys make plays, that might, in a way, be an assessment of what Johnson doesn't do. Williams obviously likes what he's seen from Van Pelt so far …

 

Left tackle John Fina has recovered from his fatigue and will be able to resume play at left tackle. Buffalo will continue to rest Fina during the week, but he'll likely start again because Jonas Jennings is healing from a sprained left arch. Jennings is questionable. Fina played pretty well in spelling Jennings when the rookie went down during the Bills' first series …

 

The Bills put long snapper Dan O'Leary on injured reserve with wrist ligament damage and signed tight end Scot Osborne, who recently was on the Broncos' and Saints' practice squads. Osborne, an undrafted free agent from Williams & Mary in 2000, was cut by the Seahawks in the preseason. He started 2001 for NFL Europe World Bowl champion Berlin, catching 10 passes for 103 yards and three touchdowns …

 

Phil Hansen (leg) and strong safety Raion Hill (neck) are questionable for Sunday's game. The Dolphins may be without powerful defensive tackle Daryl Gardener who has had a recurring back injury this season. Second-year veteran Jermaine Haley will likely play in his place. Strong safety Brian Walker may not be ready. He's recovering from a fractured thumb. Cornerback Sam Madison is doubtful with a separated shoulder he suffered two weeks ago. With those key defensive injuries, Buffalo may have a chance. Though rookie Jamar Fletcher, who would fill in for Madison, is said to be pretty good. He was the Dolphins' first-round pick.


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