Edwards to miss all-important third pre-season game (Photo Source)
The NFL must be thrilled with this decision.
On Sunday night, the Indianapolis Colts will unveil its brand new Lucas Oil Stadium - fondly referred to as "The Lube" by Colts fans - in a pre-season contest against our very own Buffalo Bills. And that, folks, is about all there is to be interested in - unless, of course, you're a die-hard, as I'm sure the vast majority of folks reading this are.
Seriously - take this from an outsider's perspective. Indy's brand new stadium will be christened with an old-fashioned gunslinger battle royale between the Colts' Jim Sorgi and Buffalo's J.P. Losman. The NFL must be quivering with delight at the ratings that the matchup will bring in on their hard-to-find NFL Network.
Peyton Manning headlines a large list of injured and inactive Colts, and Buffalo's starting quarterback, Trent Edwards, will also miss this game with a thigh contusion. Half of Indy's defense will sit this one out, though stars Dwight Freeney and Bob Sanders are expected to play, if only briefly. Prominent Bills - other than Edwards - that will miss the game include receiver James Hardy and Roscoe Parrish. The injuries evaporate most of the on-field excitement that the game may have provided, even for a pre-season matchup.
A glimpse into the future?
Never before have I been less thrilled to watch the Bills in a pre-season matchup. Y'all know what I'm like - I'm detail-oriented, I love charting tendencies and immensely enjoy the intricacies of even the waning moments of a run-of-the-mill pre-season game. But this game is different.
This game will be symbolic of an inevitability that, if I ponder for too long, invokes a powerful nausea within me: what you see tomorrow night is what you'll see if - no, when - Edwards gets dinged up during the regular season. I like J.P. Losman. I respect the man probably a bit more than most NFL players, because he's one of the few in this league who are willing to do what he's done: swallow his pride, keep his mouth shut and do what's best for the team. I think even Losman himself would forgive me, however, for being less than thrilled at the idea of watching a pre-season game in which our lame duck backup quarterback attempts to run an offense that doesn't play to his strengths.
Oh, and Gibran Hamdan will relieve him - fascinating, I know.
This is, however, the reality we must face as Bills fans, and it's best that we get the initial shock of it out of our systems in the pre-season. Edwards has never proven to be durable, especially at Stanford, so the chances that we'll see extensive amounts of Losman during the regular season seems probable. I will enjoy watching Losman play Sunday night, because watching Losman is like watching a thunderstorm - you never know when lightning will strike. But even if Losman channels the spirit of Jim Kelly and shreds Indy's defense, it will be hard to forget the type of progress that Edwards might have made had he been able to play. And if Losman plays in the regular season... well, let's just cross that bridge when we reach it, shall we?
I don't mean to scare anyone off - not in the least. There will still be things to watch for, which we'll discuss tomorrow prior to the 8PM kickoff. We'll cover the game live in an open thread, just as we've done with every Bills game since the 2007 season started, and I hope you'll join me in that thread tomorrow night. But I won't blame any of you if you feel inclined to skip this party. The NFL itself shouldn't be thrilled about the entertainment, either.