Loss of Murphy cripples depth at LT (Photo Source)
Quick Note: We're still making a valiant attempt to get everyone signed up for Buffalo Rumblings Fantasy Football. If you haven't checked out the announcement yet and it's relevant to you, please do so ASAP!
The Buffalo Bills returned to the practice field Monday night following their pre-season opening 17-14 loss in Washington, and before the night was out had been dealt a crippling blow to their depth at offensive tackle. With Jason Peters still MIA amidst a contract holdout, two more tackles - Matt Murphy and Patrick Estes - suffered injuries and left practice early. The Bills finished practice with just three healthy tackles: Langston Walker, Kirk Chambers and rookie Demetrius Bell. The seriousness of the two injuries are not yet known, but neither is likely to play in Thursday's pre-season matchup with the Steelers in Toronto.
The loss of Murphy - who performed admirably Saturday night - is especially concerning, as he was working with the second team as the left tackle. Estes was working with the third team at the same position. With just three healthy tackles on the roster, the team might have to experiment with players such as Jason Whittle, Robert Felton or Nevin McCaskill at tackle; they could also make a roster move soon. Jason Peters' holdout has never looked more desperate than it does today.
In other injury news, SS Donte Whitner returned to practice, was subsequently dinged, left, and did not return - again. It wouldn't be shocking to see him sit out Thursday's game. LB Blake Costanzo also left early with a minor head injury. Not participating were wideouts Josh Reed, Scott Mayle and Roscoe Parrish, tight end Tim Massaquoi and linebacker Marcus Buggs. LB Angelo Crowell participated fully, and DE Copeland Bryan also returned.
Surprise! Offense Goes Deep
The Bills took some serious heat in the press for their incredibly vanilla offensive performance Sunday. But hark! Monday night was a smorgasboard of deep passes for Buffalo's offense. Should we be surprised?
The first beneficiary of the deep passing game was rookie wideout James Hardy. On the third snap in team work Trent Edwards aired out a 50-yard bomb to Hardy on a deep post as he got between Terrence McGee and Ko Simpson, made the catch and completed the 70-yard scoring play.
Show me some of that during actual pre-season action - as well as increased playing time for Trent Edwards - and I'll get excited about this. For now, it's merely something that sounds good from the practice setting that hasn't translated the field, a.k.a. a disappointment.
Question of the day: Is there seriously a good reason for the Bills to take Edwards and most of the first unit offense off of the field before halftime on Thursday?
The Bills practice at 1PM today, have a closed practice Wednesday, and hit the turf at the Rogers Centre for the first time Thursday.