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American Football: Bills Brown gets good news

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posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 04:15 PM
Teetering on the brink of potential disaster at the backup quarterback spot, the Buffalo Bills got some relatively good news Monday, as an MRI exam indicated Travis Brown did not tear the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee, as originally feared.

Instead, the injury, suffered in Saturday night's preseason loss at Indianapolis, is to the medial collateral ligament. The sprain probably will sideline Brown, the top backup to starter Drew Bledsoe, for four to six weeks. While that still leaves Buffalo scrambling for a veteran backup, a situation likely to be addressed sometime Monday, the news is far less dire than anticipated.

The injury to Brown, a four-year veteran who has appeared in just four regular-season games but is still the most experienced backup on the roster, concluded a week in which the Bills also lost rookie quarterback J.P. Losman to a broken left leg. The latter of the Bills' two selections in the first round of the draft, Losman last week underwent surgery to insert a plate, and there is some optimism he could return to practice by late October or early November.

It is unlikely the Bills will place Losman on injured reserve because, by definition, that would end his season.

Bills officials are hopeful that Brown, 27, will miss only the first month of the season.

In the meantime, the Bills on Monday added journeyman Shane Matthews, who was with Cincinnati in 2003, but did not appear in a single game. The 10-year veteran certainly meets the requirement of being able to get into camp with the Bills, quickly assimilate the offense, and serve as a stopgap of sorts.

Matthews, 34, had played with Chicago (1993-2001) and Washington (2002) before signing a one-year contract with the Bengals last summer. The former University of Florida star has appeared in 29 games and started 22 of them, and has completed 490 of 836 passes for 4,712 yards, with 30 touchdown passes and 24 interceptions.

He twice started seven games in a season, with Chicago in 1999 and Washington in '02, but never has attempted more than 275 passes in a season. The Bills hope Bledsoe continues his durability streak: He has started 32 straight contests since being traded to Buffalo in 2002.

In related injury news, it is not known yet whether safety Lawyer Milloy, who suffered a broken forearm Saturday, will be ready to start the regular season. Milloy underwent surgery Sunday and seemed confident he could play in the Sept. 12 opener with a soft cast. If he cannot play, third-year veteran Coy Wire is the most likely replacement.


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