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LOSMAN GETS IN THE GAME, AND STRUGGLES

A sack, one lost fumble and an interception wasn't the debut rookie quarterback J.P. Losman had in mind. He can only hope it gets better from here.

Losman got his official welcome to the NFL, playing the final 4 1/2 minutes of the Buffalo Bills' 29-6 loss to the New England Patriots.

Losman, the second of the Bills' first-round draft picks, hadn't played since the Bills' second preseason game because of a broken left fibula.

The rust showed. After gaining 5 yards on a scramble, he fumbled after being sacked. He also completed one pass for 5 yards, but his only other throw was intercepted.

"Obviously, it was something I've been looking forward to," Losman said. "It was kind of like watching somebody else play because I have been waiting so long to play. It was more of a wake-up call than anything."

He had been the Bills' No. 3 quarterback for four games, including this one. But with the game out of hand, coach Mike Mularkey decided to give the rookie some snaps.

"We limited some of the things we did," Mularkey said. "We didn't want to obviously make him run like he did. But we just wanted to get him some game exposure when the time was right. Just to see what happens."

Losman showed off his mobility on his 5-yard run, but his interception was an indication that he has a lot to learn.

"You have to go out and do what you've always done, and I didn't do that," he said. "I was thinking about my leg a lot, which I shouldn't have been. It was good to get my feet wet, but now it's time to play. If I ever get a chance to play again, I'll be more prepared and know what to expect."

When Losman will get a chance to play again is a question Mularkey will be asked a lot over the next several days.

Mularkey didn't say if Losman would replace starter Drew Bledsoe anytime soon, but Mularkey said Losman could see more action as the No. 2 quarterback.

"It depends on the game situation," Mularkey said. "That's all I can tell you. It depends on how the game is unfolding, whether he's the two or the three."

The Bills added some extra beef to their active roster by signing Jason Peters off the practice squad.

The 6-foot-4, 328-pound Peters was a tight end when the Bills signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas in April. But he was moved to offensive tackle a month ago.

It didn't take the Bills long to get Peters involved. He came in on the second play of the Bills' first offensive series as an extra tight end. He also played on special teams as an interior lineman on the kick-blocking unit.

"It's not a good taste in my mouth right now coming out of this game with a loss, but it felt good to be able to go out and fight with my teammates," Peters said. "It hasn't been that big of a jump, moving to tackle. It's just getting the techniques down, knowing what to do, getting the pass sets, run blocking. This was my first step. I still have a lot to learn."

Peters first caught the Bills' eye because he displayed remarkable quickness and agility for a big man. The team gave him a shot to stick with the team as a tight end, but he was released after the first round of cuts during training camp.

The Bills quickly signed him to the practice squad after the final cuts and began his transformation to offensive tackle.

The Bills have been using defensive tackles Justin Bannan and Sam Adams as extra blockers, but Peters presents a legitimate threat as a receiver. He caught 28 passes for 300 yards and four touchdowns in three seasons in Arkansas. He left school with a year of eligibility remaining.

To make room for Peters on the 53-man roster, the Bills placed rookie defensive end Constantin Ritzmann on the season-ending injured reserve list. The undrafted free agent from Tennessee was inactive for the first six games before a foot injury put him on the sidelines for the past two weeks and now the remainder of the season.

Rookie wide receiver Jonathan Smith made a big splash Sunday, returning a punt 70 yards for a touchdown. It was Smith's second game since being signed off the practice squad.

"(Patriots punter Josh Miller) had been kicking the ball everywhere, so they had me back there to pick up a gunner," said Smith, a seventh-round draft pick. "But if it's short, I was supposed to catch the ball. I caught it and luckily I made a few people miss and I had great blocking. I just had to find a hole and get out of the gate."

Wide receiver Eric Moulds continues to be a model of consistency at his position. The ninth-year veteran reached 50 catches for the seventh consecutive season Sunday. Andre Reed is the only Bills receiver with a longer streak. Reed had nine straight 50-catch seasons and 13 overall.

The only active NFL players with more consecutive 50-catch seasons than Moulds are Tampa Bay's Tim Brown (11), San Diego's Keenan McCardell (nine), Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison (eight) and Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith (eight).

Cornerback Troy Vincent (knee), wide receiver Josh Reed (knee) and strong safety Coy Wire (abdomen) were inactive due to injuries. Running back Shaud Williams, offensive guard Mike Pucillo, defensive tackle Tim Anderson and offensive tackle Dylan McFarland were healthy scratches.
e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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