Schobel to miss 2 weeks, maybe more

Buffalo's only pass-rushing threat could possibly miss the remainder of the season. He will see a specialist Wednesday, according to one report. Details and analysis inside...

A gaping, glaring hole on Buffalo's defense will stay that way for two weeks. And quite possibly, longer.

Defensive end Aaron Schobel will miss the Bills' next two games and could potentially miss the rest of the season with a left foot injury. Schobel – Buffalo's one-and-only true pass rusher on the roster – will meet with a specialist on Wednesday in North Carolina to have his foot examined, the AP reported Tuesday.

The meeting is rooted from one gigantic concern. The cluster of bones in the small arch between the ankle and toes may have sustained damage. Such an ailment is labeled a Lisfranc injury and is similar to the injury that ended Dwight Freeney's season last November.

The Bills have not released any information on the nature of Schobel's injury.

Then again, Schobel may miss just the next two weeks if the cluster of bones are not damaged. Buffalo's two-time Pro Bowler has missed three games. Buffalo's pass rush has been woefully ineffective all season, with and especially without Schobel.

Through Buffalo's 4-0 start, the defense produced 10 sacks. In the past four games in which the Bills have gone 1-3, the defense has only recorded three sacks. Schobel wasn't necessarily tearing through defenses, but he did register 32 tackles in only five games. For his career, Schobel has logged 68 career sacks.

Analysis:

Cue the Skynrd: T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Ryan Denney was whipped around like a tackle dummy all day Sunday. He generated no heat, took the bait on fakes, allowed running backs to slide by with ease, and did I mention, generated no heat?

Of course he's not alone. Nobody on Buffalo's defense is getting to the quarterback. No defensive end on the team has more than one sack – a near-mathematical anomaly. Chris Kelsay, one sack ‘n all, is averaging only two tackles a game. Rookie end Chris Ellis is a project at best. Copeland Bryan, yeah right. Nobody came close to even sniffing Brett Favre Sunday. Textbook umbrella protection unraveled every play and Buffalo's pass rushers were brushed safely to the outskirts of the field.

Yes, the Bills are in major trouble. There are no bodies on the roster capable of suddenly becoming a dangerous pass rusher – unless Buffalo plans to ditch its base defenses and blitz regularly, which would throw kink into the defense entirely.

Backtrack to the off-season and the frustration really sets in. The lack of a pass rush is not some surprising revelation here folks. This a weakness the Bills should have been predicted far, far in advance. Schobel was a letdown after signing a $50.5 million contract, totaling only 6.5 sacks after two straight stellar seasons (26 combined sacks). While off-season acquisitions of Marcus Stroud, Kawika Mitchell and Leodis McKelvin and the return of Paul Posluszny did reinvigorate a bland unit, the front office failed to ink a bonafide pass rusher. Buffalo brought in James Hall for a visit but couldn't close the deal. During the heat of free agency – with plenty to spend – the Bills ignored any and all hybrid, speed rushers on the market.

So here they are. Searching for the answers. At the halfway point of a promising season.

What to do? At this point, Buffalo's only exterior option is a quick fix, a Band-Aid for a much larger problem.

The top speed demon on the market is an aging Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. While he routinely wore down as a starter with Green Bay during his tenure, KGB excelled in a third-down role. Last season in the minimized role, he had a rebirth, ringing up 9.5 sacks in his first 11 games. Gbaja-Biamila underwent off-season knee surgery though, and seemed less spry through the seven games this year (only totaling 1.5 sacks).

At this point, KGB is worth a flier at One Bills Drive. Or Roosevelt Colvin. Or even Bryce Fisher. Naturally, it's slim pickings on the waiver wire, but the Bills must try something new. If Schobel is shelved for the season, any pop the Bills' pass rush had left for this season would leak bone dry.


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