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SHOULDER FORCES MOULDS TO SIT

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills were forced to get into a shootout with the high-powered Indianapolis Colts without their biggest offensive gun.

Wide receiver Eric Moulds suffered a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder in the first half of a 42-26 loss and did not return.

"I took a little shot on it and it started swelling my chest up a little bit," said Moulds, who had a sling on to stabilize his heavily wrapped shoulder. "I couldn't raise my arm up. I was going to play back on it in the second half, but I couldn't raise my arm."

The Bills offense sputtered at times even when Moulds was on the field. Without him, though, the Bills lost their most vital weapon.

Although the Bills scored 26 points, they weren't able to move the ball consistently either because of poor execution, missed assignments or penalties. A lot of quarterback Rob Johnson's 257 passing yards came after the game was no longer in doubt.

"We've got a lot of guys on this team that can make plays, but we just aren't making them," Moulds said. "It's easy for us to talk a good game, but we're not showing it on the field. Today I felt guys made some plays, but not enough. You look at the Colts' offense. They are consistent running and throwing. That's where we need to get to."

How long Moulds will be out has not been determined. However, he doesn't expect to miss Sunday's home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"It takes some time to get that movement back, but hopefully next week I'll be back," he said. "I've missed two games since I've been playing and it's frustrating, so I doubt I'll miss it."

Moulds wasn't the only Bills player on the casualty list after Sunday's loss.

The most serious injury was middle linebacker Brandon Spoon, who could miss two to three weeks after dislocating his left elbow in the third quarter.

The rookie had been having a good game to that point. Making his first start and playing primarily on first down and short yardage, Spoon had seven tackles to share the team lead with cornerback Ken Irvin.

Spoon also did a good job containing Colts star running back Edgerrin James. Fifty of James' yards came after Spoon's injury.

It was on a running play that Spoon got hurt. "I had a hold of Edgerrin and as soon as I grabbed him another guy and one of my teammates hit me," Spoon said. "As we were going down, my arm got caught and I landed the wrong way."

This has been a frustrating first year for Spoon, who already missed a lot of practice and game time because of knee and hamstring injuries dating back to training camp.

However, he's undeterred by his recent setback.

"It's a contact sport," Spoon said. "Injuries are a part of the game. You've got to roll with the punches. It's only going to take a couple of weeks, and I'll be back."

Meanwhile, Johnson and rookie right tackle Jonas Jennings suffered hip injuries.

Johnson strained a hip muscle after being hit on a screen pass to running back Sammy Morris early in the second quarter. Johnson remained in the game but was limping noticeably throughout.

Jennings got a hip flexor during a running play midway through the second quarter. The possibility of a prolonged absence by Jennings would be a huge blow to the offense.

Jennings is an excellent run blocker and more physical and athletic than his replacement, Kris Farris.

Left tackle John Fina played the entire game but was barely able to walk in the locker room afterward. His status will be updated later today.

e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

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