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REED, LINTON EXPECTED TO MISS AT LEAST FOUR WEEKS

The Buffalo Bills' injury list looked about as bleak as their 0-3 record after Sunday's loss to St. Louis.

Wide receiver Andre Reed will be out at least four weeks with the third-degree shoulder separation he suffered early in the fourth quarter.

After watching the play, coach Wade Phillips said he thought Reed had sustained a broken collarbone and might be gone for the rest of the season.

"It's good news from what I saw," Phillips said. "I thought, 'Gee, this guy's broken his collarbone and he's out for the whole year.' I guess (the separated shoulder is) the good-bad news."

Rookie running back Jonathan Linton will also be out for at least four weeks after suffering a torn hamstring while covering the Bills' second kickoff in the first quarter. Linton had been one of the team's better players on kick coverage.

Phillips said center Dusty Zeigler is undergoing medical tests to try to determine why he has been bothered by dehydration in all three games.

"He didn't have this problem at all last year," Phillips said. "That is a concern for us that a guy would have problems after the preseason, working hard, and is from the South (Georgia), and works out in the South."

The Bills have won only one of their last 10 regular-season games, which is the NFL's worst record over that stretch.

The Philadelphia Eagles have lost six of their last seven games.

Quarterback Rob Johnson offered the following take on the Bills' three losses by a combined nine points: "I'm in shock. Everyone's so sick of hearing excuses, but with no luck at all, we should be 2-1. Hopefully we can treat (the 0-3 start) like the preseason and we've got a new season coming up with 13 games left."

Despite the nine sacks allowed Sunday, Phillips said it was hard to totally dismiss the offensive line's performance as a disaster because of the team's season-best rushing output.

"Our offensive line certainly isn't what we want it to be as far as pass protection overall," Phillips said. "But I do think you have to look at both sides of it when you have 215 yards rushing. You can't just browbeat those guys into the ground and say they don't do anything well."

Phillips also pointed out that, on at least three occasions, Johnson ran out of bounds without making yardage, and those plays were recorded as sacks.

"In those situations, you've got to throw the ball," Phillips said. "The other side of that is, you have a quarterback who is as talented as he is running the football . . . you can't completely discourage the guy from running. If you want him to get away and make a big play (running), you have to give him some leeway. You can't say, 'Get back in the pocket and throw it every time,' because it's not always going to be there.

"What we have to do is train him to different situations. We're doing that, but we haven't progressed enough. We're going to reemphasize this week that when he gets out of the pocket, if we can run with it and there's nobody there, run with it; if there's somebody there, throw it away.

"That seems simple, but we haven't worked it enough obviously."

Nose tackle Ted Washington said he did not intend to injure St. Louis running back Greg Hill, who suffered a broken leg while being tackled for a safety in the fourth quarter.

Washington said he did not even realize the extent of Hill's injury until Monday.

Phillips went out of his way to praise the performance of left tackle John Fina.

"For the first three games, I think John Fina has certainly played the best of anybody on our offensive line," Phillips said. "I don't think that; I know that. I've watched the film, I've watched who he's played against, and he's playing well for us."

The Bills began their bye week Monday with meetings. They will be off today, and are scheduled to practice Wednesday and Thursday.

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