The Buffalo Bills went two days in a state of flux at quarterback - but once again, Dick Jauron has ended the speculation a day early, naming J.P. Losman the starting quarterback for this Sunday's home game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jauron's statement, released through the media today: "J.P. Losman will start Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Trent Edwards' wrist will prevent him from participating until late in the week, if at all."
Losman, who engineered two scoring drives in the fourth quarter of the team's 13-3 victory over the New York Jets after Edwards sprained his throwing wrist, will make his first start since Patriots DT Vince Wilfork took a cheap shot at his knee in Week 3. The start is a prime opportunity for Losman to prove that his relegation to bench fodder after several solid outings by the rookie Edwards was undeserved.
The status of Edwards' wrist remains unclear; it is likely that if Edwards is able to practice by week's end, he will serve as the #2 quarterback for the Bengals game. If not, the team will elevate Gibran Hamdan to that role.
What This Means
Essentially, the fact that Losman is starting means nothing as far as the long-term stability at the QB position is concerned. Simply put, Losman is starting because Edwards is still hurt. There is a very high likelihood that if Edwards' wrist was fully functional, he'd be getting the nod in a few days' time. With that said, this remains a strong opportunity for Losman to prove his worth.
Losman will have the opportunity to face a Bengals defense ravaged by injury, ranking 28th against the pass and the rush, and playing on the road. He'll have a top wideout in Lee Evans who will be energized by his return. Most importantly, he never lost the confidence of the coaching staff. The opportunity is ripe for Losman to have a big game - and make no mistake, the pressure is on him to deliver.
Just as Edwards had when he started against the Ravens, this is a one-game shot for Losman. A gift. Unlike Edwards, Losman probably needs to have a lights-out game to fully reclaim the starting role. For example: 250+ yards, multiple touchdowns, no crippling mistakes, and consistently moving the offense. The definition of success for Losman is far higher than Edwards' - and as a result, if he can't deliver, he'll head back to the bench once Edwards is healthy.
As Gus Johnson (over)dramatically stated this past Sunday, it's do or die time for J.P. Let's see if the kid can deliver - if he wins this game in convincing fashion, the Great QB Debate will get very interesting once more in Buffalo.