Bills Lose 3rd Straight Game
Offense Brings Down Defense: The anemic play by the offense in the loss to the Patriots today and the quick passing game by New England led to a 15 minute time of possession advantage for the winning team. That allowed the defense to be worn out so the offense pulled down the defensive grades in this game. Gameday Grades.
Bills Lose 20-10: Matt Cassel ran for a score and the Bills offense was very anemic as the Patriots beat the Bills for the 10th straight time but a score of 20-10. The Bills gained only 168 yards on offense and didn't get into the end zone until the final minutes thanks to an 85 yard kickoff return by Leodis McKelvin setup James Hardy's second touchdown of the year. That touchdown pass by Trent Edwards was one of the few things he did right as he threw for only 120 yards and two interceptions. The banged up defense played well most of the game but wore out late as the Patriots had a 19 play, 92 yard drive to the touchdown that put the final nail in the coffin. Game Review.
Jackson, Preston Banged Up; Returned: The Bills made it through the debacle in New England with relatively few new injuries. Duke Preston and Fred Jackson were dinged up. Both players did return. Injury Page.
Mitchell To Play: The Bills have numerous injuries so some big names are on the inactive list including Aaron Schobel, Josh Reed, Donte Whitner and Brad Butler. Those four players were ruled out on Friday. Healthy inactives are Xavier Omon, Demetrius Bell, and newly signed LB Teddy Lehman. The good news is that Kawika Mitchell will give it go after being questionable. Jason Whittle will dress despite his injury but he will not start. Kirk Chambers will start at right guard which means Whittle may be active just in case of an emergency. It will be Chambers first career start at that position. Duke Preston remains at center while James Hardy starts at wide receiver. Lamont Jordan and Sammy Morris are both inactive for the Patriots but CB Ellis Hobbs and NT Vince Wilfork will go.
Nice Day: The bad weather in the Northeast will clear in time for today's game. It should be Mostly Sunny with a gametime temperature of 56°. It will be a bit windy with the winds coming out of the WSW at about 14mph, so it may be a factor.
Saturday November 8, 2008
Injuries To Play A Role: This is the time of year where teams are usually pretty banged up. That is the case for both the Bills and the Patriots as the two teams get set to meet in a very important contest in Foxboro. The Bills are missing their best pass rusher in Aaron Schobel along with two big players in the secondary now that Ashton Youboty is on injured reserve and the versatile Donte Whitner is out. Josh Reed remains out causing problems in the passing game and the struggling offensive line will have to be shuffled because of injuries at guard. The Patriots won't feel bad as they have a rash of injuries at especially running back and defensive back. They are without rookie corner Terrence Wheatley and their lockdown corner Ellis Hobbs is questionable while CB Lewis Sanders likely is out with a hamstring injury. They had to re-sign ex-Bill Jason Webster this week. Previously benched Deltha O'Neal will be pushed back into the starting lineup possibly along with rookie Jonathan Wilhite. At running back Sammy Morris is doubtful and LaMont Jordan is questionable leaving third down specialist Kevin Faulk as the main back possibly. They also have little known BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Another big injury for New England is to star NT Vince Wilfork who is questionable with a toe injury. If he can't go, or is limited, that will be a huge blow to the Patriots defense. His backup is a guy who has spent two years on injured reserve. The bottom line is whoever overcomes the injury's best, and whoever can gut it out more while injured, will be the team that will likely end up on top tomorrow.
Friday November 7, 2008
Youboty On IR; Lehman Signed: The Bills have decided to place Ashton Youboty on injured reserve ending his season. He is suffering from plantar fasciitis which is an inflammation of the foot. The team signed LB Teddy Lehman was signed to replace him on the roster. Lehman was a second round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2004. He started 16 games for them in 41 games. He signed with Tampa Bay in March but was released. He went back to Detroit but was released this summer. Depth Chart.
Chambers May Play Guard: It's been a busy week for reserve offensive lineman Kirk Chambers. With Brad Butler out again and Jason Whittle questionable the Bills have moved the big man inside and he may make his first career start at right guard. It is a relatively new position for him as he has rarely played there as a pro. He has also has received work at tackle in practice since he is the only reserve on the outside for the team as well. Dick Jauron has apparently decided he would play Chambers at guard instead of disrupting two positions by moving Duke Preston to guard and putting Melvin Fowler back to center.
Five Out: The Bills have ruled five players out for Sunday's game and two others are listed as questionable. Out for the game are Aaron Schobel, Josh Reed, Donte Whitner, Brad Butler, and Ashton Youboty. Questionable are Kawika Mitchell and Jason Whittle. Injury Page.
Schobel In Cast: Aaron Schobel came back from seeing a specialist on his injured foot and has a cast on it for about a week. They don't expect him to need surgery and they hope he can come back at the end of the month. He will need more tests before he comes back and there is a chance he will need to place a screw in his foot. Injury Page.
Salary Figures: The Bills take some heat for the cash to the cap philosophy of just spending to the salary cap and not taking ammortized bonuses into account when they do they budgeting. They are obviously not alone as the salary figures were in the USA Today yesterday and the Bills are right in the middle when it comes to salary spending. The Bills median salary is $1.154 Million. The team payroll is $113,364,927.
Thursday November 6, 2008
Youboty Has Plantar Fasciitis: The injury news got worse for the Bills at cornerback. Ashton Youboty did not practice on Thursday after practicing on a limited basis the past two weeks. He has now been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis. This is an injury to the muscle under the sole of the foot. It's a tough injury to play with and it appears he may be out indefinitely. With Donte Whitner also out that leaves a huge hole at the slot position. That means one of the two rookies has to step up and 4th round pick Reggie Corner may get the shot over top pick Leodis McKelvin. Corner played the slot more in training camp and the OTAs than McKelvin.
Mitchell Returns: Kawika Mitchell returned to practice today on a limited basis. He missed yesterday's session with a sprained ankle. Dick Jauron said he looked good and moved around fairly well. They need him to be ready to play on Sunday because of the already thin defensive corps. Injury Page.
Schobel Out Four More Weeks: Aaron Schobel saw a specialists about his injured foot yesterday and the Buffalo News reports that a source told them he will miss four more weeks but won't require season ending surgery. He needs to wait for the injury to heal. He has a damaged tendon in his left big toe and a bone bruise. Injury Page.
Wednesday November 5, 2008
Mitchell Has Ankle Ailment: The reason Kawika Mitchell missed practice today was because he has a sore ankle. Dick Jauron hopes he'll practice tomorrow. Brad Butler, Ashton Youboty, and Jason Whittle were all limited. Injury Page.
Mitchell Not Practicing: Chris Brown is reporting on the team's website that Kawika Mitchell is not practicing and Jon Corto is practicing in his place. No word on why Mitchell isn't working out but linebacker is the last place the team needs an injury as the list gets longer and longer. Brad Butler and Jason Whittle did work out today. We will have more on the injuries later on when Dick Jauron addresses the media. Injury Page.
Must Win Ahead: The Bills are reeling from two straight division losses and now are battling injuries that are mounting like last year. No excuses though, the team is in a must win situation this week in New England, a place that has been a nightmare for them. Another loss in a stadium they have never won in makes them 0-3 in the division which would probably be to big a hole to climb out of in the very tight AFC East. Game Preview.
Schobel Tests Today: Aaron Schobel will undergo more tests on his injured foot today from a specialist in North Carolina to determine if he needs surgery. AP is reporting he will miss two more weeks at the least but may need season ending surgery. That was reported yesterday in the Buffalo News. The specialist will see if he suffered a more serious injury to the mid-foot area where a cluster of bones forms a small arch between the ankle and toes called a Lisfranc injury. If that is the case his season would be over. Injury Page.
Tuesday November 4, 2008
Schobel's Season May Be Over: A source told the Buffalo News that Aaron Schobel may need season ending surgery. his torn tendon on his left big toe. The source said he will be out at least a month as they hoped rest would let it heal but it has not. Surgery is an option but that would end his season. He is scheduled to undergo more tests this week. Injury Page.
Secondary Needs To Step Up: With Donte Whitner out indefinitely the Bills secondary needs to step up. Ko Simpson will likely return to the starting lineup at free safety with Bryan Scott keeping his strong safety spot. The big issue will be in the nickel and dime defenses. The Bills hope to have Ashton Youboty back to man the slot in the nickel but if he can't it will be about time for one or both of the two rookie cornerbacks to make an impact in the game. If the team isn't convinced Leodis McKelvin can do it then they need to give Reggie Corner a shot as he was ahead of McKelvin in training camp.
Monday November 3, 2008
Whitner Out Indefinitely: Dick Jauron said the separated shoulder suffered by Donte Whitner is 'fairly significant' but wouldn't put a timetable on his return. It appears he's out indefinitely which is a huge blow to the struggling team. Aaron Schobel appears to be regressing and will undergo more tests as he is now back in his walking boot and is week to week instead of day to day. There was some good news as Jabari Greer is expected to be ok after undergoing x-rays on his left wrist. Injury Page.
Whitner Week To Week: The Bills confirmed today that Donte Whitner has a separated right shoulder and is week to week. Josh Reed is also week to week as he tried to recover from his strained Achilles and sprained ankle. Brad Butler may return to practice this week on a limited basis as he battles back from a sprained knee. Injury Page.
Bills In A Hole: The Bills may have got a break when the Patriots lost to the Colts last night or maybe they didn't. A Patriots win may have left them less hungry for next week's game, now that they lost their is a three way tie for the division lead. The Bills, Jets, and Patriots are all 5-3 with the Dolphins just a game behind at 4-4. With the division this bunched up it appears that the division will come down to tiebreakers. The Bills are now 0-2 in the division and will likely be last in tiebreakers at the end of the year. a playoff berth that seemd to be in their sights two weeks ago, all of a sudden is very much in doubt. The biggest game of the year is now the next one in New England in a stadium they have never won in. They can't afford to lose three straight inside the division to make matters worse the one player they could least afford to lose to injury, Donte Whitner, left the locker room yesterday with his arm in a sling.
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