ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Dick Jauron had little time to focus
on the good news Monday.
That's because the bad news seems to always follow for the
Shortly after discussing how uplifting it was for the Bills to
end a three-game losing streak, Jauron announced running back
Willis McGahee has a broken rib and backup receiver Josh Reed spent
Sunday night in a Buffalo-area hospital with a bruised kidney.
Both players were hurt in Buffalo's 24-10 win over Green Bay,
with Reed's injury potentially the most serious. He is expected to
spend an extra night in the hospital as a precautionary measure.
As unlikely as it might be for them to play at Indianapolis this
weekend, Jauron said he will await further tests before ruling
either player out.
"We'll make initial decisions on Wednesday and then move from
there, but we'll be cautious with them," Jauron said.
Of the chances McGahee will play on Sunday, Jauron said: "It
depends on how painful it is and depends on the extent of the
fracture and all of those things that we're still learning."
Should he play, McGahee would be limited, likely forced to wear a
flak jacket, which would hamper his ability to hold the ball.
As for Reed, Jauron said the team is erring on the side of
caution by keeping him hospitalized for an additional day because
the injury is to an internal organ.
The injuries are not the fresh start the Bills (3-5) were
seeking coming out of their bye week.
Buffalo already has two players on injured reserve, linebacker
Josh Stamer (right knee) and defensive tackle John McCargo, the
rookie first-round draft pick who broke his left foot in Week 5.
Linebacker Takeo Spikes has missed four games with a hamstring
Now the offense is getting banged up.
McGahee was hurt on Buffalo's seventh play from scrimmage,
stuffed for a 3-yard loss by defensive tackle Colin Cole at the
Packers 9. Cole and fellow lineman Ryan Pickett then both fell
heavily on McGahee.
Buffalo's first-round pick in the 2003 draft, McGahee is the
Bills' leading rusher the past three seasons, including 579 yards
this year. He had 15 yards on four carries before he was hurt.
If McGahee can't play, the Bills would have to turn to veteran
backup Anthony Thomas, the 2001 NFL rookie of the year, who signed
with Buffalo last spring in an attempt to jump-start his career.
Seeing action in six of Buffalo's first eight games, Thomas has
31 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including a
95-yard, one-TD outing against Green Bay.
As a result, Thomas has already surpassed his numbers from last
season, when he had 92 yards rushing and no scores in splitting
time with Dallas and New Orleans.
It helps that Thomas is familiar with Jauron from their time
together when Jauron coached the Bears.
"When he's called on, he usually responds," Jauron said. "And
he responded really well yesterday. I'm just happy he's here."
Reed was hurt after making a 6-yard catch on a quick out route
early in the second quarter. Reed returned to the field later in
the half, but was diagnosed with a bruised kidney during halftime.
He was then taken to a hospital by ambulance.
Reed's injury could further deplete a receiving corps that's
already minus reserve Sam Aiken, who missed Sunday's game with a
Reed, Buffalo's second-round pick in the 2002 draft, has been
used as a slot, third-down receiver this season. He ranks third on
the team with 23 catches, and second with 229 yards, and has also
scored one touchdown.