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Fowler, Crowell Still Out as Bills Camp Nears Close

The Bills held their final night practice of 2007 training camp last night, and have just two more padded practices until this thing closes out on Wednesday. A few injured Bills are attempting to make it back onto the field, some pretty important playmakers are starting to make plays and position battles are reigning supreme. Let's go:

Crowell and Fowler out, Butler and Scobey returning?
LB Angelo Crowell and C Melvin Fowler continue to miss workouts - Crowell with swelling in his left knee and Fowler with an ankle injury he sustained a week ago today. Neither injury is considered very serious, but it's still surprising that neither of them has made it back onto the field within a week.

RB Josh Scobey could be close to returning...

Josh Scobey is working with trainers on the alternate practice field so he must be close to returning. He's shed the support stocking on his calf.

... as could OG Brad Butler.

The right guard battle is still going on as well although Duke Preston is spending all his time at center with Melvin Fowler still recovering from an ankle sprain. It also looks as though Brad Butler will soon re-enter that competition as he was limited in practice Monday night.

Losman, Whitner Making Plays Monday Night
From the sounds of it, J.P. Losman may be shedding off some of the rust he's exhibited in the first two pre-season games:

The Bills starting quarterback had a lot of zip on his passes throughout the evening with his best effort coming in 7-on-7. Losman launched a 50-yard bomb to Lee Evans down the left sideline. Despite perfect coverage from Terrence McGee, Losman's pass was right on the money as it dropped in over Evans' shoulder for a touchdown reception.

Man, I love the J.P.-to-Lee connection. Let's see this Friday night, Mr. Losman.

SS Donte Whitner - of whom we here at Rumblings have seemingly begged for big plays - may be ready to deliver:

After dropping into the deep third on an 11-on-11 play, Whitner came screaming up into the middle of the field to make a diving interception, did a tumbling roll as he made the catch and was back on his feet heading in the other direction.

Whitner seems to be coming on particularly after strong performance against Atlanta last Friday night.

Boy, do we need this from Whitner. It's obvious that the defense isn't up to shutting down opponents yardage wise (did you see Joey Harrington and Jason Snelling torch our first unit Friday night?), but if the team can force turnovers, they can keep points off the board. And in the end, that's all that matters.

MLB/RG Still Open; Edwards at #2 QB?
As expected, the battles for the starting middle linebacker and right guard jobs are still open:

Jauron on MLB:

"It'll probably go down to the wire," Jauron admitted. "I think they're both doing well and both playing well and both are progressing. John DiGiorgio is certainly not an old veteran so he's still learning and Paul Posluszny is brand new to the scheme. We feel real good about both of them both as defenders and as special teams players."

Jauron on RG:

"I don't really have a deadline," said Jauron of the right guard competition. "I still just want to see it play itself out. I'd love to get Brad Butler back into the mix. I don't know if he'll make this game or not. He practiced a little bit tonight and we'll just have to see on a daily basis how that thing is. He was doing well until he got hurt. We'd like to get him back into it. I feel good about all of them. Certainly with Jason Whittle and Duke (Preston) there's a comfort level there."

While I still don't believe it logically possible to have a "comfort level" at any position without a true starter, I'm still willing to hold out throwing a hissy fit about it until after the Titans game. That is the absolute maximum, in my mind, that Jauron can let these things go unresolved, especially with right guard. Time will tell whether or not he's ready to make a decision on his own, but I'm not counting on it.

One last note: Chris Brown, Bills blogger extraordinaire over at the official site, seems to think that Trent Edwards could be this team's #2 QB. Edwards has been taking the majority of second-team reps in the practice setting ahead of Craig Nall. Brown's point:

If Edwards continues to perform as he has in the last two preseason games, Nall will need to really shine to convince the coaches to keep him in the number two slot. Of course he needs to get that opportunity first.

I love CB, but I couldn't disagree more. While it's certainly conceivable for Edwards to see playing time this season, it will only be if the team's record is terrible, the Bills are getting blown out and there's five minutes left in regulation. Edwards is still a rookie, regardless of how good he's looked against the respective scrubs of the Saints and Falcons, and he's just not ready to face an NFL defense. Any other situation than the one described above, and Nall is in the game, no questions asked. I'm excited to see how Edwards performs in the last two pre-season games, but make no mistake - the chances of Edwards supplanting Nall as the #2 are remote at best. He's just not ready yet.