With the Bills looking to start their sputtering offense for the first time in three weeks, the team won't be able to turn to its most talented weapon tonight against Detroit.
That's because Terrell Owens will be out for the third consecutive week after a toe injury he attributed to a new type of cleats he experimented with. Owens returned to practice Monday, one of the team's first closed practices in recent years. But if the media was let in, they would have seen Paul Posluszny out with jaw injury he received stitches for after Saturday's 17-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Posluszny returned Tuesday and should play tonight.
With Owens out and Marshawn Lynch missing the first three regular season gmes, the Bills' premier offensive threat may just be Fred Jackson. Jackson, who practiced Monday sitting out the Steelers game with a sore thumb, will play through the pain tonight, knowing the Bills will lean on him early this season, sore thumb or not.
The Bills could use help in the pass rushing attack, and Aaron Schobel has returned from a hyperextended elbow sufered during the Bills' loss to the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago. Copeland Bryan, Derek Fine, Demetrius Bell and Drayton Florence will miss tonight's game as well.
The only consolation the Bills have with the loss of Bell and Bryan is the fact that Detroit running back Kevin smith will rest tonight. Smith has an injured hip that has bothered him for most ofthe preseason, and the Lions apparently want him to heal up before Detroit's opener against New Orleans. Smith had eight rushes for 50 yards in the Lions' 18-17 win over Indianapolis last week. But th Bills will have to watch out for backup tailback Aaron Brown, who has averaged 5.7 yards per carry on limited playing time this season.