The Buffalo Bills have suffered another blow to their porous defense. Defensive end Mark Anderson will have surgery on his left knee and will be out indefinitely.
Anderson, who signed a four-year, $27 million contact prior to the season, suffered the injury – and had difficulty putting any weight on it – in the second half last Sunday during the 45-3 blowout at San Francisco.
”It looks like he needs surgery and he is going to be out. I don’t know how long,” Bills coach Chan Gailey said. ”He will be back. It is not like he is going to miss the rest of the season. They just said indefinite and they will no more when they go in.”
According to general manager Buddy Nix, Anderson will visit Dr. James Andrews to determine the severity of the injury.
That leaves 10-year veteran Chris Kelsay to take over the starting duties at right defensive end. Kelsay traditionally plays the left side. Kyle Moore will also see action and former All-Pro Mario Williams will remain at his left end spot.
The Bills are down to three defensive ends because veteran backup Spencer Johnson is expected to miss his second game with an ankle injury.
”(Anderson) has been a very good addition to our football team. You hate to lose people that have his kind of energy and have been playing the way that he has been playing,” Gailey said. ”It hurts your depth, it hurts your pass rush, and it hurts every little thing there. Next guy in line has to step up. We got three defensive ends right now and those guys are going to have to make it happen.”
The Bills attempted to improve their defense by signing Anderson and Williams in March. The plan’s been unsuccessful so far.
Williams, who has been hampered by a left wrist injury, has not played up to expectations, having managed just 1 1/2 sacks so far. The injury has bothered him since hurting it in the final week of the preseason, though he’s not been placed on the team’s injury report because he’s not missed practice. That changed on Wednesday, when the Bills listed Williams on their report as having practiced fully with a wrist injury.
The move comes days after the NFL revealed it is investigating whether the Bills have violated a league rule, stating that teams are required to list players on their injury report even if they don’t miss practice time. And the rule stresses that it’s especially important to list ”key players.”
Williams didn’t think the issue is a big deal.
”I don’t care about that. Only thing that matters to me is that I am playing,” Williams said. ”It is still the same pretty much. That is why I have to cope with it. It is one of things you have to deal with.”
A potentially more worrisome development is starting defensive tackle Kyle Williams being listed on the injury report as missing practice due to an ankle injury.
Without Anderson, more pressure will be placed on Mario Williams to perform up to his capabilities.
”It is going to be a huge challenge,” Williams said. ”Mark is a great player. Having him, his intensity, and his demeanor out on the field is definitely going to be a (challenge) for us. We have to be able to pick it up. Not just us needing to do it for ourselves, but to fill in his place and the injuries we have been faced with.”
Buffalo (2-3), which plays at Arizona (4-1) on Sunday, has allowed a combined 97 points and 1,201 yards in its past two games.
Notes: Starting C Eric Wood (foot) was limited in practice, as was starting S Jairus Byrd (chest). … Guard Chad Rinehart, who has a calf injury, did not practice Wednesday. Left tackle Cordy Glenn and guard Kraig Urbik are both recovering from right ankle injuries. As of Wednesday, the Bills have only six offensive lineman. … With the rash of injuries to the offensive line, the Bills signed guard Reggie Wells Wednesday. He has played in 10 NFL seasons, seven of those with Arizona. Wells is not expected to be ready for Sunday’s game, but could see action the following week, when Buffalo hosts Tennessee. … To make room for Wells, the Bills placed guard Colin Brown on injured reserve. Brown suffered a hamstring injury Sunday. … The Bills will again practice in Tempe at Arizona State on Thursday.