Buffalo Bills right tackle Brad Butler - the Bills' most experienced starting offensive lineman when the new season began - will miss the remainder of the 2009 season with a right knee injury. Dick Jauron confirmed the worst early Monday afternoon; Butler's knee will require surgery.
Butler was injured late in the second quarter of the Bills' 33-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While blocking, Butler's leg was rolled up on from the back, sending Butler to the turf. Though he made it off the field with the assistance of team trainers (see photo), Butler could not put any weight on the leg and was eventually carted to the locker room.
Jonathan Scott, a fourth-year veteran with limited playing experience, assumed Butler's spot at right tackle with the ones on Sunday and will continue to do so for the immediate future. The 6'6", 318-pound Scott was drafted by Detroit in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Veteran Kirk Chambers is the only other tackle on the roster aside from Scott and starting left tackle Demetrius Bell.
Buffalo held a free agent visit in recent weeks with veteran Jon Runyan, the former right tackle in Philadelphia. The visit appeared to be just that - a visit; no negotiations took place. Langston Walker, whom the Bills released on September 8 just prior to the start of the regular season, also remains available, though the likelihood of the Bills being interested in re-signing the veteran is rather small.
This is a big blow for Buffalo's vastly inexperienced, yet (pleasantly) surprising offensive line. With Butler on the shelf, center Geoff Hangartner - who will play in just his third game with Buffalo when the Bills host New Orleans this coming Sunday - becomes the Bills' most experienced blocker.