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McKelvin dances like a star

It was near sunset in Ralph Wilson Stadium, but Leodis McKelvin put on his dark sunglasses because on this day he was a star.

As the media gathered around his locker room stall, one of his teammates yelled, "Tell them your nickname."

Then McKelvin rattled off something straight from George Clinton's universe with, "Fly guy Futuristic Swag McKelvin."

Buffalo Bills radio announcer John Murphy said he liked it, to which McKelvin replied, "I love it, too."

McKelvin was so full of action on special teams Saturday that his name should be a verb. His 135 punt return yards in the victory over Denver broke the team record by Roscoe Parrish, who had 120 yards against Seattle on Sept. 7, 2008.

McKelvin got the bulk of his yardage on a pulsating 80-yard touchdown return in the second quarter that gave Buffalo a 10-7 lead they would never relinquish.

"I thought Leodis made some very good decisions, whether it be run the ball or whether to catch it and not run it," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "Of course the big play was the touchdown "

but that helps you field-position wise. It gives everybody a boost, a vote of confidence or a shot of confidence when you have those situations and you get big plays or good field position out of your kicking game."

After losing his starting job at cornerback following a horrid performance against the Dallas Cowboys, McKelvin is making an impact on special teams.

"You guys know all the things that have been going on with me this season," McKelvin said. "Being able to bounce back, being able to go out there and not keep my head down and just go out there, play my part and play my position and do the best that I can do in the game. It's giving the best field position for the offense or even score, that's my job."

Through film study, McKelvin noticed that Denver punter Britton Colquitt has good hang time and kicks deep, making for easier returns.

"Give me three times with the ball in my hand and I guarantee one ball will go into the end zone," McKelvin told his teammates before the game. McKelvin had a 38-yard return to the Denver 28 in the first quarter and two fair catches before the backbreaking 80-yard return.

"The guys had the wall set up and by the time I got past the last man I didn't see anything but blue jerseys," McKelvin said.

"They did a great job of blocking for me and I did my job of making them look good by getting into the end zone. I just have to do my job and make things happen."

McKelvin came close to stepping out of bounds. Replays showed his right heel and left foot danced near the sideline yet he stayed in bounds.

"Naw man, I didn't go out of bounds," McKelvin said. "Didn't you see my footwork?"

Yes, it was star quality.

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The Bills suffered another set of injuries to key players and Gailey didn't sound optimistic about any of them.

Left tackle Demetrius Bell, center Kraig Urbik and tight end Mike Caussin all suffered knee injuries and didn't return. Wide receiver Kamar Aiken left the game briefly with an arm injury but returned.

"Bell doesn't look good, Urbik doesn't look good, Caussin doesn't look good," Gailey said.

Chris Hairston will take over for Bell at left tackle next week at New England and Colin Brown will play center, as he did Saturday against Denver. Caussin, who started Saturday, is Scott Chandler's back up at tight end and Chandler will likely return to his starting role after being limited with an ankle injury. Reserve tight end Fendi Onobun could be active this week.

Onobun and Naaman Roosevelt were among the Bills' inactives along with Ruvell Martin, Johnny White, Joshua Nesbitt, Sam Young and Jarron Gilbert. The Broncos' inactives were Quan Cosby, Kyle McCarthy, Mike Mohamed, Manny Ramirez, Tony Hills, Julius Thomas and Derrick Harvey.

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Saturday's attendance of 45,112 is the Bills lowest since Dec. 9, 2001 when they drew 44,549 against Carolina.

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The Bills' offensive line did a good job of neutralizing Denver pass rushers Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil, who came into Saturday's game with 20 combined sacks. Dumervil had the Broncos only sack while Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in last April's NFL Draft, was credited with one assist.

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Strong safety George Wilson, who started his career at wide receiver, played in his 75th career game. C.J. Spiller's 38-yard run in the first quarter was a career long. Wide receiver Stevie Johnson established a career-long with his 55-yard reception. Johnson has 72 receptions this season, becoming the third Bills player with at least 70 catches in consecutive seasons. The others are Andre Reed (1988-91) and Eric Moulds (2004-05). Buffalo's 40 points were one shy of their season high of 41 scored in the season opener at Kansas City. With two interceptions returned for touchdowns, the Bills set a franchise record with five interceptions returned for TDs in a season.

email: rmckissic@buffnews.com