Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Sunday, October 18, 2009
Bills' O-line has just 47 NFL starts among them


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- When the Buffalo Bills started their season, the five starters on their offensive line had a combined 56 NFL starts, the fewest on opening weekend in since the 2002 New York Giants.

The Bills were supposed to build from there.

The total of career starts, of course, should go up by increments of five after each game as the youngsters gained their footing. Or at least that would be the hope.

As Bills enter their Week 6 game against the New York Jets in the Meadowlands, they've managed to get about 16 percent less experienced on their offensive line.

The Bills' projected Sunday lineup will have a total of 47 career NFL starts and feature four players who made their NFL debuts this year.

Center Geoff Hangartner has 32 career NFL starts. Nobody else has more than five.

Rookie guards Eric Wood and Andy Levitre have five starts apiece. Second-year left tackle Demetrius Bell also made his first appearance on opening night but missed a game because of a groin injury, giving him four starts.

Rookie Jamon Meredith, plucked off the Green Bay Packers' practice squad, is expected to make his NFL debut and be Buffalo's fourth right tackle this season. Meredith wasn't good enough to make the Packers' roster. The Packers have allowed the most sacks.

Original starter Brad Butler (31 starts) is on injured reserve. His replacement, Jonathan Scott (nine starts), is out with a groin injury. Kirk Chambers (six starts), who got the nod at right tackle in Week 4, didn't make the team out of training camp.