Veteran strong safety Lawyer Milloy returned to the field Sunday during the Buffalo Bills' 20-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Milloy had been out since breaking his right forearm in the Bills' third preseason game Aug. 28.
"It was great just to be back out with the fellas," Milloy said. "I was a little fatigued as far as my conditioning in the first half, but I guess that was to be expected. But overall, I'm happy to be back. Being on the sidelines is something I wasn't used to."
Milloy had never missed a game in his previous eight years in the NFL before this injury. He practiced fully with the Bills for the first time last week, but he played like he hadn't missed a game.
Milloy was credited with six tackles (four solo) and brought a physical presence to the game.
"That's what I do," the four-time Pro Bowler said. "I wanted to come back and have as little hesitation as possible. I don't know any other way to play football."
Milloy said getting a chance to practice all week in simulated game situations helped him make a smooth transition back on the field.
"We wanted to make sure the arm was right, and I think we did that," he said. "Then today it was just a matter of trusting that the arm is healed and just throwing it around a little bit."
A win would have made Milloy's return more special. But the Bills' lackluster offense wasted another great performance by Milloy and his defensive cohorts.
He believes every player has to perform with a greater sense of urgency to salvage this season.
"I realized being out the last seven weeks how precious the game is," Milloy said."
It wasn't exactly Don Beebe knocking the ball away from Leon Lett in the Super Bowl, but Bills wide receiver Eric Moulds provided the same message when he made a touchdown-saving tackle on Ravens strong safety Chad Williams' interception return.
It appeared that most of the Bills stopped running after Williams broke into the clear. But Moulds avoided three blockers surrounding Williams and made the tackle at the Bills' 6-yard line. The Bills' defense held the Ravens to a field goal.
"I don't know if the other guys quit on the play or not, but I was always taught when I came here with Marv Levy that you don't stop fighting," Moulds said. "Guys like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith always showed me that you don't stop no matter what that score is because that uniform you've got on is bigger than your name.
"I don't know if guys realize that. Maybe I did a poor job of letting guys know that. I think I have to bring up the fact that there were great players here that played before you and you've got to respect those uniforms."
Moulds' effort inspired at least one teammate.
"It's priceless," said linebacker Takeo Spikes. "It's big from the fact that I know I can depend on you in the heat of the battle."
Moulds made a catch in his 100th consecutive game Sunday, extending his team record. His streak is the seventh longest among active players. Tampa Bay's Tim Brown entered Sunday with a catch in his last 178 games.
With 203 passing yards, quarterback Drew Bledsoe moved into 11th place on the NFL's all-time career list. His 38,086 yards moved him ahead of Boomer Esiason (37,920).
Ravens cornerback Deion Sanders recorded his ninth career touchdown on an interception with a 48-yarder against the Bills. That ties him with Ken Houston and Aeneas Williams for the second-most all time. Only Rod Woodson (12) has taken more interceptions to the house.
Sanders has scored 23 career touchdowns six different ways: interceptions, punt returns (six), receiving (three), kickoff returns (three), rushing (one) and fumble returns (one).
The Ravens did something few Bills opponents have been able to do: make Lee Evans a nonfactor.
The rookie receiver, who has given the Bills a major deep threat opposite Moulds, was held without a catch Sunday. Bledsoe rarely threw in Evans' direction as Evans had a tough time getting open against the Ravens' talented secondary.
"They have some athletes back there," Evans said. "They get paid like everybody else. In certain situations, they put themselves in positions to make plays. They ran their defense well and we didn't execute."
Rookie J.P. Losman was the Bills' third quarterback, the first time this season he was in uniform. Left tackle Jonas Jennings did not suit up, though he practiced Thursday and Friday. He missed last week's game with a sprained ankle.
The other inactives were center Trey Teague, cornerback Troy Vincent, safety Rashad Baker, defensive tackle Tim Anderson, running back Shaud Williams and defensive end Constantin Ritzmann.
Bledsoe was sacked four times by the Ravens. Two came from pass-rushing linebacker/defensive end Terrell Suggs, who apparently had little doubt about his putting heat on Bledsoe.
"We knew their offensive line was suspect to allowing sacks," said Suggs, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season. "We caused havoc today."