Game Scout: Bills/Jaguars

New-look Bills looking to rebound with Perry Fewell at coach and Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback..

Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET

GAMEDATE: 11/22/09


TV: CBS (Bill Macatee, Steve Beuerlein)

KEYS TO THE GAME: Interim coach Perry Fewell might come from the defensive side of the ball, but his first big move was to insert QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as the starter. And his energy could provide a lift for the scuffling unit. RB Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson will find holes difficult to come by unless Fitzpatrick successfully attacks Jacksonville's mediocre secondary. But if the Bills don't run the ball, their defense will be worn down by Jacksonville's run-based attack. Jaguars QB David Garrard should be able to avoid tempting Buffalo's ball-hawking secondary by watching RB Maurice Jones-Drew attack a run defense giving up 5.1 yards per carry.

Need to know: This will be the third consecutive year the teams have played in Jacksonville. ... Bills rookie FS Jairus Byrd has an interception in five consecutive games.



--QB Brian Brohm, a 2008 second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers, was signed off the Packers' practice squad and added to the 53-man roster. He could earn a shot to play before the season is over. Gibran Hamdan was waived to make room on the roster.

--QB Gibran Hamdan, a three-year member of the team as a backup, was waived to make room for Brian Brohm, who was signed off Green Bay's practice squad.

--OT Jonathan Scott returned to the team after missing last weekend after the death of his father. Scott's availability could juggle plans for the starting lineup Sunday in Jacksonville.

--DT Marcus Stroud did not practice for a second day with a knee injury. He is expected to play Sunday in Jacksonville against his former team but he remains a game-time decision. Stroud's injury has been described as general wear and tear of a long season.

--LB Keith Ellison did not practice again with a quad injury. He remains questionable for the Jaguars game. The injury is limiting his mobility.

--CB Terrence McGee remains sidelined after bye week knee surgery. He continues to work with trainers on the sidelines and looks to be another week or two away.

--WR Roscoe Parrish returned to work after a day off for sickness. There's a chance he'll return to the lineup under new coach Perry Fewell, who is looking for any kind of spark he can get as interim coach.

--FS Jairus Byrd did not practice for a second day due to his lingering groin problems. He should be OK to play on Sunday in Jacksonville.


--CB Rashean Mathis is out of the Buffalo game with a groin injury.

--LB Justin Durant suffered a mild concussion last week and hasn't been cleared by the doctors to return.

--S Gerald Alexander, who missed last week's game with a shoulder injury, missed practice both Wednesday and Thursday.

--OL Mo Williams didn't practice Thursday because he was ill.

--RB Maurice Jones-Drew is likely to have a big game because the Bills have the worst run defense in the league.



The Bills' week of change has hit the quarterback position in a big way.

A day after backup Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the starting quarterback over Trent Edwards for this Sunday's game at Jacksonville, Buffalo snatched 2008 second-round draft pick Brian Brohm off Green Bay's practice squad and signed him to their 53-man roster.

To make room, Gibran Hamdan, a three-year member of the club, was released.

Brohm is an interesting addition to Buffalo's muddled quarterback position.

The 6-2, 223-pounder, who tied Atlanta's Matt Ryan for the highest Wonderlic score by quarterbacks eligible for the 2008 NFL Draft, was the 56th overall pick that season of the Packers.

Ryan went to Atlanta third overall, followed by Joe Flacco, 18th to the Baltimore Ravens. Miami starter Chad Henne was chosen one pick after Brohm by the Dolphins.

Green Bay chose to go with just two quarterbacks on its active roster this year, which is why he wound up on the practice squad. When the Bills put in their claim, the Packers matched the contract offer, but Brohm, recognizing that his chances of playing in Buffalo are much greater than in Green Bay behind rising star Aaron Rodgers, chose to sign with the Bills.

Fitzpatrick is being given the first crack to secure the starting job for the final seven games of the season by interim coach Perry Fewell, who replaced the fired Dick Jauron on Tuesday.

But it's not out of the question that should Fitzpatrick falter, Brohm would get a shot before Edwards before this season is out.

Brohm, who played at Louisville, enjoyed a stellar 2007 season when he passed for 4,024 yards, 30 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a passer rating of 152.0. He finished his career as the Big East's career leader in passing yards (9,956) and compiled a 24-9 record.

In other news, the Bills issued a statement neither confirming nor denying their interest in former Denver coach Mike Shanahan.

"We understand there will be much speculation regarding the head coaching position, but we will not comment during the process until a new head coach has been announced," the team said.


The Jaguars are fortunate that the Buffalo Bills are ranked 29th in offense, because they had three defensive starters miss practice for the second straight day Thursday.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis is already out with a groin injury. Linebacker Justin Durant (concussion) and safety Gerald Alexander (shoulder) haven't practice this week. Alexander also missed last week's game with the injury.

Durant suffered what he called a "mild concussion" in the third quarter Sunday against the New York Jets, but he didn't tell the medical staff and finished the game.

Durant sought treatment after the game, and the doctors haven't yet cleared him to return to practice. His status is uncertain for the game Sunday against the Bills.

Although he said he hasn't had headaches, Durant said he has a "kind of a cloudy kind of feeling, a little pressure on the brain," he said.

Durant said he remembers everything that happened after the injury and made all the right calls.

Durant said he understands that doctors are cautious about letting players return after suffering concussions.

"It's better to err on the side of caution," he said.

After being tested Thursday, Durant said he'll be tested again Saturday.

Coach Jack Del Rio sent mixed signals at his Wednesday press conference on how many players he expects to miss the Buffalo game.

When he was asked about the report on Mathis, he said, "His is better than the other one I've received," but declined to identify the other one, presumably Durant or Alexander.

Later, he said there were no other players he thought couldn't go besides Mathis.

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