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Bills lose Butler for rest of season

The new-look Buffalo Bills' offensive line will undergo another transformation when the team returns to practice Wednesday.

Right tackle Brad Butler will miss the rest of the season after suffering a right knee injury in Sunday's 33-20 win over Tampa Bay.

Bills coach Dick Jauron didn't reveal the exact nature of Butler's injury when addressing the media Monday, but did indicate surgery would be required. Butler was hurt late in the second quarter when Tampa Bay defensive end Stylez White fell and rolled onto the back of Butler's legs.

"We'll miss Brad, but he'll be a part of it. He'll be in the meetings and stay with us," Jauron said. "That was a tough one."

Butler was replaced in the game by third-year veteran Jonathan Scott, whom the Bills signed as a free agent last December. Scott played well in place of Butler, but he may not be the long-term answer at the position.

Jauron said the team would likely search the free-agent market for additional offensive line help.

"We'll meet later [Monday] with [Vice President of Pro Personnel] John [Guy] and [Chief Operating Officer] Russ [Brandon] and [Senior Vice President of Football Administration] Jimmy [Overdorf] and go over the possibilities," Jauron said. "Recently we've had a number of people in here."

One of those players who visited was 13-year veteran Jon Runyan. The 35-year-old Runyan, who met with the team Sept. 11, had started 192 consecutive games since 1997 and appeared in 202 games overall before this season. He spent the last nine years with the Philadelphia Eagles. Runyan signed with Philadelphia in 2000, when current Bills' Vice President of College Scouting Tom Modrak was the Eagles' director of football operations.

Runyan, who has played right tackle his entire career, had offseason microfracture knee surgery, but has been medically cleared to play.

Butler was making his second career start at right tackle after starting at right guard the last two seasons. Even though he's in just his fourth season, Butler had the second-most experience on the line behind center Geoff Hangartner.

"It's frustrating for me because he's a guy who's kind of the leader of that group [the offensive line]," quarterback Trent Edwards said. "To see him go down, we're going to need guys to fill his void."

In the 2006 draft, Butler was selected by the Bills in the fifth round, 143rd overall. Scott was chosen two picks earlier by the Detroit Lions. He made six career starts at tackle with the Lions before being released prior to the 2008 season. He was added to the Bills' 53-man roster Dec. 18 last season, but didn't see any action.

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Jauron wasn't as forthcoming when discussing the status of the other players injured Sunday; tight ends Shawn Nelson and Derek Schouman and cornerback Leodis McKelvin.

Schouman, the starter at tight end, was carted off the field Sunday late in the third quarter after getting his leg bent underneath him while being tackled by Buccaneers safety Will Allen. Nelson is dealing with a sprained shoulder, but didn't sound too concerned about the injury in a post on his Twitter page Sunday night.

"Thanks for the support. Shoulder is ok," Nelson wrote.

Should both Nelson and Schouman be unavailable for Sunday's game against New Orleans, it's possible tight end Jonathan Stupar could move up from the practice squad.

"We've done that once, so we could certainly do it again," Jauron said.

McKelvin's ankle was feeling much better Monday, according to the coach, but his status is also unclear. A full injury update is expected when the Bills return to practice Wednesday.

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Middle linebacker Marcus Buggs made his first career start in place of Paul Posluszny on Sunday and was pleased with his performance.

"I felt pretty good about it," he said. "I left a couple plays out there and made a few mistakes I have to get corrected, but we'll be doing that over the next couple of days."

Buggs made six tackles, including one for a loss.

"I thought he did a really good job of getting everything situated and getting guys lined up," Posluszny said Monday.

Posluszny had successful surgery on his broken left arm last week and began cardio workouts Monday.

"I saw the doctors [Sunday] and they said everything looks great," he said. "We took another X-ray that looks solid so I'm just waiting week to week to get each update and then keep moving forward. . . . The good thing is I know I'll be back out there this season."

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The Web site Profootballtalk.com reported Monday that Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish is again on the trade block. Kansas City, Jacksonville and Washington are listed as possible suitors.

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For the second straight day, wide receiver Terrell Owens didn't address the media. He did however, give some love to the fans and quarterback Trent Edwards via Twitter.

"Man was the Ralph rockin 2day!! Cn't wait til next!! Gonna b a good 1! Lovin trent more & more!! Watchin nfl primetime!" Owens wrote.

e-mail: jskurski@buffnews.com

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