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Bills notebook Holcomb may start due to Losman injury

Kelly Holcomb may start at quarterback for the Buffalo Bills this week due to a shoulder injury J.P. Losman suffered in Sunday's loss to New England.

Bills coach Mike Mularkey said all indications are Losman's injury is not serious. However, Losman was not able to practice on Tuesday, which puts a big crimp on his chances of serving as No. 1 Saturday when the Bills face the Denver Broncos. Holcomb took the snaps with the starting unit in the team's workout.

Mularkey said Losman was scheduled to have a precautionary magnetic resonance imaging test.

"It's not (significant) from the tests our guys do," Mularkey said. "We typically want to double-check everybody, especially at a position like J.P.'s, and the throwing arm and everything, just to make sure we're not missing anything."

Losman was not able to throw Tuesday and also had his left leg wrapped. He took numerous hits from Patriots' pass rushers in the 35-7 loss. The injury came on the first series of the game when Losman was flushed out of the pocket and hit by Pats defensive end Richard Seymour.

"It's bothering him," Mularkey said of the shoulder. "That's why we wanted to give him the time off with everything, not just throwing. He's banged up elsewhere, too. Normal bumps and bruises, but with a quarterback it's magnified."

If Losman can't rebound quickly and practice today, Holcomb is expected to start Saturday's game. Missing the two heaviest days of preparation would preclude Losman from being ready to start, Mularkey indicated.

"J.P., especially with his experience, every rep(etition) is a critical rep to him, as are practices," Mularkey said. "So a lot of it will be based on how he feels. . . . We don't seem to think it's going to be anything real bad."

Losman has started the last four games. Holcomb went 2-2 as a starter from the fifth to eighth games of the season. He started the ninth game but got knocked out early with a concussion. Losman came on and helped the Bills defeat the Chiefs.

Meanwhile, Bills defensive tackle Lauvale Sape (ankle) is listed as doubtful. Guard Mike Williams (sore back) remains questionable. Neither practiced.

Denver will be without starting cornerback Darrent Williams, who has an injured groin. Denver defensive end Courtney Brown missed practice Tuesday but is expected to play.

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This will be just the second Saturday night game for the Bills since their AFL days. The Bills played a Saturday night game in Seattle on Dec. 23, 2000, a 42-23 victory. It was the season finale that year. The Bills played 19 Saturday night games in the AFL. The last was Oct. 11, 1969, against Boston at War Memorial Stadium. The Bills won, 23-16. The Bills' record on Saturday night in the AFL was 10-7-2. All but one of those was at home.

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Walt Cudzik, who started at center for the Bills in the 1964 AFL championship game, died at age 73 on Sunday at his home in Gulf Shores, Ala. Cudzik played for the Boston Patriots from 1960 to '63. He earned a law degree and practiced as an attorney after his football career ended.

e-mail: mgaughan@buffnews.com

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