Coach Dick Jauron said Owens' hip
began bothering him during the team's day off on Tuesday, and he noted
that the receiver was feeling "very uncomfortable" when he arrived for
meetings on Wednesday. It's unclear how Owens was hurt, because he
practiced on Monday after the team returned from a four-day break
following its bye.
Jauron was unsure whether Owens would be able to practice as the Bills (3-5) prepare to play at the Titans (2-6) on Sunday.
"We're kind of hoping it goes away as quickly as it came," Jauron said. "We really won't know any more until tomorrow."
Owens declined to speak to reporters
when he made a brief appearance in the locker room after practice. He has
not missed a game this season since signing a one-year deal with the
Bills in March, but he did miss Buffalo's final four preseason games
because of an injured toe.
One of the NFL's most prolific
receivers, Owens has failed to provide a spark to what's been a
sputtering offense, which ranks among the NFL's worst. With 23 catches
for 281 yards and two touchdowns, including one rushing, Owens' numbers
for the first half of the season are his lowest since 1996, his rookie
year in San Francisco.
His injury overshadowed other developments as the Bills attempt to make a second-half push to climb back into contention.
Jauron announced Edwards will start
against the Titans, having reclaimed his job after missing two games
with a concussion. Second-year receiver James Hardy's comeback is
complete after he was activated from the
reserve/physically-unable-to-perfom list 11 months since tearing a
ligament in his left knee.
In switching quarterbacks, Jauron
said Edwards "earned the right" to start after the offense continued to
struggle under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over after Edwards was
hurt in a 16-13 overtime win at the New York Jets on Oct. 18.
Fitzpatrick rallied the Bills to
beat the Jets, and then went 1-1 in two starts, but the offense failed
to generate much of an attack in a 20-9 win at Carolina followed by a
31-10 loss to Houston two weeks ago. In those two games, the offense
generated a combined 371 yards and 18 first downs.
"Certainly, if you had an offense
that scored 40 points a game, I don't know that you'd start fooling
with it," Jauron said. "But all that being said, that's not what
Though the offense has struggled no
matter who has started, Jauron noted that Edwards showed signs of
improvement before he was hurt, and after the Bills had scrapped their
Edwards is eager to play after having spent the past two weeks practicing.
Having a chance to watch tape of his
first six games, Edwards noticed he was having trouble with his
accuracy, footwork and was inconsistent reading opposing defenses.
"Those things can kind of get out of whack when you start losing football games," Edwards said.
He particularly struggled in the
three games before he was hurt, a stretch in which he went 50 of 92 for
500 yards with a touchdown and five interceptions.
Hardy was eager to return, too, but it's unclear how he'll fit in on a team that's carrying seven receivers.
"I feel great. This is the best I've
ever felt, period," said Hardy, who was cleared after spending the past
three weeks practicing with the team. "It's been a long process but I'm
glad it's over. Now I'm just ready to get back on this field."
A second-round draft pick out of
Indiana last year, Hardy has been out since tearing a ligament in his
left knee in a 31-27 loss to the Jets in December. He finished with
nine catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games.
To make room on their roster, the Bills waived third-string running back Xavier Omon, a sixth-round draft pick last year.
S Donte Whitner, who's missed
two games with an ankle injury, isn't sure whether he'll be ready to
return this weekend. … DE Aaron Schobel continues to miss practice
since hurting his groin against Houston. … Other starters missing
practice were CB Terrence McGee (knee surgery), LB Keith Ellison
(quadriceps) and DT Kyle Williams (right knee).