Bills Notebook: Edwards up in air for Sunday

Edwards might be held out of Bills preseason game Sunday...Team picks up versatile offensive lineman

It appears the Bills may have dodged a bullet.

Now, it's decision time.

Quarterback Trent Edwards missed the team's practice Thursday in at the main homestead of Orchard Park. But his "thigh contusion" doesn't appear to be serious.

"There's still some nagging discomfort in there that needs to calm down and I need to be able to ice it as much as I can and stay off of it and do whatever the trainers tell me to do," Edwards said. "Hopefully I'll be ready here pretty soon."

Chances are, Edwards won't suit up at Indianapolis. Buffalo cannot risk losing its starting quarterback with the regular season merely a hiccup away. The hard work's done. Edwards has completed his installations within Turk Schonert's new offense. Yes, more game repetitions would help smooth over any blemishes in the scheme, but it'll be awfully hard for Dick Jauron to start Edwards if he isn't at full strength.

The scare of further injuring the thigh is too high.

"We're going day-by-day and we'll see how he is," Jauron said. "He's better today than he was last night. According to Bud (Carpenter, the head trainer) those things can pass pretty quickly or they can linger. It's a significant bruise and we'll just have to go daily and see where it is. If you had your druthers you would have him play, so we're hopeful that he can play."

Here's the catch. Game No. 3 in the preseason is typically the ultimate silumulation. Starters play a full half. More exotic packages are tried in a game atmosphere. The team's identity for the season takes a more coherent shape.

The Bills – more than any other team – need this. Offensively, Edwards is pioneering a new system that could use another baby step from progress made in Toronto against Pittsburgh. Edwards went 9-for-11 with two touchdowns on two drives.

Still, coaches say Edwards' absence wouldn't hinder the No. 1 offense's advancement as a whole.

"J.P. steps in and we go," said Schonert in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. "We don't slow down, we don't change anything, we just keep going. If (Edwards) misses this game (Sunday in Indianapolis), we're already putting our game plan together and it isn't going to change because 5 is on the bench and 7 is out on the field. It's the same system, the same plays and he's expected to execute them."

Ironically (or was it?), Losman chose to finally speak to the media a day after Edwards' injury. He sounded like the ultimate diplomat – singing Edwards' praise, vowing his commitment, bunnies, sunshine, happiness, all that mushy stuff.

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Analysis

Question is, if Losman succeeds as the starter against Indy, would the door swing open a crack for the starter's spot? It shouldn't.

Edwards is the starter. Nothing should change that, whether it's a freak knee to the leg or a solid outing by Losman. Bills fans certainly remember Wade Phillips' knee-jerk decision to start Rob Johnson over starter Doug Flutie in Buffalo's Wild Card game at Tennessee. Johnson had a good showing in a meaningless game and was rewarded the job. If Losman does the same, Buffalo must show commitment to Edwards.

After all, eight years of such indecision at the quarterback position is the biggest reason that Titans game is the last time the Bills were even in the playoffs.

It's smart to rest Edwards. It's even smarter to not put too much stock into anything Losman does Sunday.

Roster move

Buffalo made a move Thursday to juice up its depleted offensive line, signing undrafted rookie free agent Dustin Dickinson.

The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Dickinson played with Seattle for two months before being released in late June. He started 39 games of 49 for Houston in college. The transaction comes after reserve lineman Matt Murphy partly tore his left rotator cuff and is out indefinitely. Of course, starting left tackle Jason Peters remains a holdout, which was probably in back of Buffalo's head too.

"We definitely needed someone to come in and Dustin was available," said Jauron. "He did a nice job on his first day, but it was just so hard to practice and the guys, Langston and Kirk and Demetrius have just taken a lot of snaps. It's awfully early in the season to put all those snaps on them."

At Houston, Dickinson played at guard his senior season, but more importantly from the Bills' perspective, he played an entire season as the starting right tackle his junior campaign. In a quick turnaround, a strong game Sunday could go a long ways for Dickinson at earning a roster spot.

To clear room for the addition, the Bills released wide receiver Jason Jones.


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