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With Josh Allen out, Bills turn to QB Derek Anderson against Colts

Derek Anderson will make his Bills debut Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

Anderson, signed last Tuesday, will start in place of the injured Josh Allen, coach Sean McDermott announced Wednesday.

McDermott cited Anderson's experience, his familiarity with the concepts of the offense used by offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.

"It’s only going to get better as we move forward," McDermott said of Anderson, who took first-team rep in Wednesday's morning walkthrough and will continue to do so through practice.

Anderson, 35, spent the previous seven seasons with the Carolina Panthers. He appeared in 25 games and made four starts with the Panthers.

A former Oregon State standout, Anderson entered the NFL in 2005 as a sixth-round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He was with the Cleveland Browns from '05 to 2009 and was with the Arizona Cardinals in 2010 before joining the Panthers a year later.

Allen suffered a strained elbow in the third quarter against Houston.

McDermott said he is confident that Allen will play again this season. There is no plan for surgery and will be listed as week to week, McDermott said.

"I’m not getting into crystal ball," he said. "It’s a medical situation right now. We’ll take it one week at a time."

Allen's MRI was sent to Dr. James Andrews, who affirmed the original diagnosis.

"Everybody is on the same page with what it is and how we need to move forward," McDermott said, noting "We want to make sure he is healthy before he plays."

Derek Anderson to start for Bills against Colts

McDermott reiterated what he said Sunday after the game that he took issue with the hit by Whitney Mercilus that injured Allen but he said he took that issue up "with the powers that be." McDermott opted against saying more, adding, "I've learned my lesson from Mike Tomlin."

The Steelers' coach was reportedly fined $25,000 by the league for calling the officiating a "joke" in the Steelers' win against Atlanta.

McDermott said Allen and Nathan Peterman will be able to learn from Anderson in how he handles his preparation.

The coach was asked if he learned losing the locker room if he started Peterman.

"No," he said. "I’m always going to do what I feel is right for the football team. I have a heck of a lot of respect for our locker room."

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