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8 Laces: Get caught up on all things Bills heading into Week Eight

The Buffalo Bills are having injury problems again. That much you know.

But compared to the rest of the league, what are the extent of those problems?

According to the website, the Bills have been the fifth-most injured team in the NFL this season, with 98 games lost due to injury. That counts players on injured reserve and those who are ruled "out" in a particular week.

However, the quality of those players lost tells a different story. The Bills rank 25th in the website's "injury impact to team" metric, based on the career quality of players. That makes sense considering the Bills have players like Blake Annen, Jonathan Dowling and Phillip Thomas. Those career quality of those players hardly matters.

The San Diego Chargers have lost 138 games to injury to lead the NFL, while the Philadelphia Eagles have lost just 19. As far as injury impact, the Minnesota Vikings lead the way as a result of the absences of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson. Of course, at 5-1, the Vikings are showing how injuries can be overcome.

The Bills' "injury impact" score will rise this week if running back LeSean McCoy does indeed miss Sunday's game against the New England Patriots after he was declared doubtful following Friday's practice because of a hamstring injury. McCoy did not practice all week.

The Bills will also be without safety Aaron Williams (neck) and wide receiver Marquise Goodwin (concussion), both of whom were ruled out by coach Rex Ryan.

What to root for

Buffalo's loss to the Dolphins knocked the team out of a postseason spot. The Bills are currently in the seventh spot in the AFC, tied with Pittsburgh at 4-3, but behind the Steelers based on conference record (Pittsburgh is 3-2 while the Bills are 1-3). Here is what to root for in Week Eight:

• In NFC vs. AFC games -- Washington to beat Cincinnati, Tampa Bay to beat Oakland and Detroit to beat Houston.
• Indianapolis to beat Kansas City -- Someone has to win the AFC South, and there's a chance three teams could be tied at 4-4 after the weekend. At 4-2, the Chiefs are a bigger threat to the Bills at the moment.
• Cleveland to beat the New York Jets -- At 2-5, the Jets are probably out of the race anyway, but another loss wouldn't hurt. Plus, it would be funny.
• San Diego to beat Denver -- This scenario would get the Chargers to 4-4 and the Broncos to 5-3. It looks like Denver and Oakland could fight it out for the AFC West title, leaving the other team to be a prime wild-card candidate.

#SaintDoug Watch

The Jacksonville Jaguars' miserable performance Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans had Twitter on fire that head coach Gus Bradley might be fired, making way for ... wait for it ... Doug Marrone! Alas, owner Shad Khan doused those flames when he told the Florida Times-Union there wouldn't be a coaching change. I'll add the word "yet" to that. Bradley is 14-41 -- 14-41! -- during his tenure. It just feels like a matter of time until a change is made, which could pave the way for Saint Doug to get another crack at it. That would set up a return to Buffalo for Marrone when Jacksonville visits next month. Game. On.

Deadline approaching

The NFL trade deadline arrives at 4 p.m. Tuesday. As I've written before, on the sports calendar, it usually falls somewhere behind the day after the MLB All-Star Game in terms of excitement, but given the Bills' injury situation at wide receiver, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they would be in the market for some help at the position. Stay tuned.

Podcast talk

On this week's BN Blitz podcast, Vic Carucci and I talk about the telephone book-sized injury report the Bills have, and what that might mean for their chances against the Patriots, Tom Brady's return from suspension and what the game plan should be against New England. We also answer questions submitted from Twitter to either @VicCarucci or @JaySkurski.

You can listen online or, better yet, subscribe on iTunes.

On the air

News Sports Reporter Tim Graham hosts "The Tim Graham Show" every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. on 1270 The Fan. On this week's show, Graham and co-host Joe Licata spoke with ESPN's Mike Rodak and John Wawrow of the Associated Press.

News Sports Columnists Jerry Sullivan and Bucky Gleason also co-host a show on 1270 The Fan, every Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. with Bob Koshinski. Both shows can be streamed live on The News' Facebook page.

The links

• Offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson opens up on his battle with Crohn's disease and his recent drug suspension.
• Rex Ryan says the Bills have "long-term concerns" about Aaron Williams' health after he suffered a neck injury on a brutal, dirty hit from Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry.
• Tim Graham's column on his reaction to seeing that hit is a can't miss.
• Jerry Sullivan says that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is playing as well as he ever has as he approaches 40.
• The Bills are decided underdogs after breaking it down in this week's scouting report.
• Marcell Dareus declares he'll play Sunday against New England.
• In a related note, Vic Carucci says Dareus has to produce against the Patriots.
• Nick Veronica lays out the numbers that show why the Bills need more from quarterback Tyrod Taylor late in games.

Final word

#Neverforget that the Bills selected Torell Troup one pick ahead of Rob Gronkowski in the 2010 NFL Draft. If you want to relive that nightmare, check out this story from The News' archives.

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