Wednesday Buffalo Chips

Injuries have clobbered the Bills, but they are making no excuses...

Coach Dick Jauron isn't going to use key injuries as an excuse for his team's three-game slump. The Bills have lost four of five games to fall from first to worst in the AFC East.

"The injuries definitely hurt you," Jauron said. "You'd like to be totally healthy, but they're no excuses because everybody's got them. Every team plays with them and we just have to find a way to play through them and do a better job. We'd love to get everybody back on the field and everybody else in the league would, too."

Four starters missed Sunday's damaging 20-10 loss at New England but on a positive note, there were no new significant injuries. Wide receiver Josh Reed (ankle), guard Brad Butler (knee), defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot) and strong safety Donte Whitner (shoulder) remain sidelined. Their status will be updated on Wednesday when the Bills begin preparations for Monday's game against Cleveland at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The extra work day will help the injured players recover, but the above players have been dealing with serious injuries that need more time to heal than that.

Reed's absence has hampered Buffalo's offense as teams have been able to concentrate on taking No. 1 receiver Lee Evans out of his game. He had two catches against the Patriots.

Defensively, Schobel has been sorely missed. The Bills haven't been able to generate a consistent pass rush without their No. 2 all-time sack leader.

Meanwhile, the secondary lost a key backup last week when third-year pro Ashton Youboty, who had been playing very well in nickel, went on injured reserve with a foot injury (plantar fascitis).

Veteran cornerback Terrence McGee, who missed two games with a knee injury, is beginning to show signs he's back to normal. Against New England, he made two nice plays to knock passes away from Randy Moss.

"He really was playing at a high level before the injury and he's come back," Jauron said. "He's been better every week since he's got back in the lineup. We have a lot of confidence in Terrence McGee. I think he's a terrific football player."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Trent Edwards, who had protected the ball extremely well in Buffalo's 5-1 start, has been struggling in that department during the team's three-game losing streak. He has seven turnovers in that stretch, tossing two more interceptions in Sunday's loss to New England.

--RB Marshawn Lynch is still looking for his first 100-yard game. On the year, he has 146 carries for 512 yards and six TDs. He's gone two games without a 10-yard run after tying a club record with at least one run of that distance in 20 consecutive games.

--RB Fred Jackson ran four times against New England for just 14 yards. On the year, he has 59 carries for 226 yards and one TD, 74 yards from matching his personal high of 300 yards a year ago.

--TE Robert Royal has tied his career high with 25 catches, good for 257 yards and one TD. He had one catch for 6 yards against New England.

--WR Lee Evans has caught a pass in 67 consecutive games, the third-longest such streak in Bills history. Eric Moulds (122) and Peerless Price (75) are 1-2 on the list.

--WR Josh Reed remains out indefinitely with a sprained ankle and sore right Achilles tendon. He's "week to week" coach Dick Jauron said.

--WR James Hardy caught his second TD of the year, a pretty 14-yard grab in the closing minutes against New England. He has nine catches for 87 yards overall. On a whole, the second-round pick has been used sparingly but could be ready for more repetitions this second half of the year.

--OG Brad Butler (knee) was not able to play Sunday at New England but is hoping for a return to action soon, perhaps Monday when the Bills host Cleveland.

--SS Donte Whitner is out indefinitely with a separated shoulder suffered two games ago against the New York Jets.

--DE Aaron Schobel, who has missed his last four starts, continues to nurse a ligament and bone injury in his left foot near the big toe. His status will be updated on Wednesday.

--LB Teddy Lehman was signed to the active roster. A second-round pick in 2004 of the Detroit Lions, he has 16 career starts. The Bills needed to add more experienced depth at linebacker after season-ending injuries to Angelo Crowell and John DiGiorgio.

--CB Ashton Youboty was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a foot ailment (plantar fascitis). The third-year pro had been playing very well as the team's nickel back and his loss is significant. Rookies Leodis McKelvin and Reggie Corner will get more work now.

--P Brian Moorman had an impressive 39.6-yard net average against New England, dropping four of five punts inside the 20-yard line. The Patriots had drive starts at their 10-, 3-, 9- and 8-yard lines.

--PK Rian Lindell has passed Scott Norwood (133) for second place on the team's career field goals converted list with 134. Steve Christie is No. 1 with 234.



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