Monday, September 24, 2007
Bills sign familiar QB Nall with Losman to miss at least two weeks
By Len Pasquarelli
Down to just one healthy quarterback, and with injured starter J.P. Losman expected to miss at least two weeks with a sprained left knee, the Buffalo Bills on Monday re-signed veteran free agent Craig Nall, who the team had released at the end of the preseason.
Nall, 28, will serve as the backup to rookie Trent Edwards, who replaced Losman in the first quarter of Sunday's 38-7 loss to New England, and who will make his first regular-season start next Sunday when the Bills host the New York Jets.
In other Bills injury news, rookie linebacker Paul Posluszny's
season is over.
Posluszny became the sixth Bills player -- and third defensive starter -- placed on injured reserve this season after the rookie
second-round draft pick broke his left forearm in the second
quarter of the loss to New England on Sunday.
Posluszny, who had surgery Monday, was hurt making a tackle, getting his arm caught underneath Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. A two-time Bednarik Award winner as the best defensive player in the nation while at Penn State, Posluszny had a
team-leading 23 tackles in Buffalo's first two games.
The Bills' linebacking corps is already depleted with starter
Keith Ellison (high ankle sprain) expected to miss the next two
games and Coy Wire (sprained knee) out indefinitely.
A sixth-year pro, Nall spent the first four seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers, but signed with Buffalo as an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2006. He was the No. 3 quarterback on the roster all of last year and did not take a snap.
It was generally assumed, after the Bills dealt veteran Kelly Holcomb to Philadelphia in a March trade, that Nall would be the No. 2 quarterback. But Edwards, a third-round choice from Stanford, was impressive in the preseason and Buffalo officials opted to keep only two quarterbacks on the roster.
Nall has worked out for a few teams since his release, but the Buffalo situation is a good one for him, since he knows the staff and the offense. Given his familiarity with the Buffalo offense, and the fact he was still living in the Buffalo area, team officials did not consider any other candidates after determining they had to add a quarterback to the roster.
The former Northwestern (La.) State star was the Packers' fifth-round choice in 2002. In his four seasons in Green Bay, he appeared in six games, completing 23 of 33 passes for 314 yards, with four touchdown passes, no interceptions and a passer rating of 139.4. At one point, it appeared Nall might be the heir to Brett Favre's starting job, but that was before the Packers chose Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005.
Losman, who started every game in 2006, suffered a strained medial collateral ligament on the first play of Sunday's loss, when he was hit low by New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork, a play that could result in a fine to the Patriots' lineman. Losman played two more snaps before leaving the contest for good.
Medial collateral sprains do not require surgery, but Losman will have to rest his knee and try to re-strengthen it through rehabilitation. Buffalo officials were confident on Monday that, if there are no complications, Losman could return in a couple weeks.
In his relief stint, Edwards completed 10-of-20 passes for 97 yards, with one interception.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.