Ailing Bills lose LB Coleman; OL Hangartner and Urbik out

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- It isn't only losses that are piling up for the Buffalo Bills. The injuries are mounting, too.

Shortly after coach Chan Gailey said Monday that reserve linebacker Antonio Coleman will miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury, the Bills announced that they claimed former New England Patriots linebacker Pierre Woods off waivers.

Woods joins the Bills after being released by the Patriots last week. He's a five-year NFL veteran who has appeared in 54 games, including eight starts.

The move comes a day after Coleman was hurt in a 38-14 loss Sunday to Minnesota.

And the roster shuffling won't end there for a Bills team that, at 2-10, suddenly has numerous holes to fill on a banged-up offensive line as it prepares to play host Sunday to the Cleveland Browns (5-7).

Center Geoff Hangartner and guard Kraig Urbik already have been ruled out from playing this weekend after both hurt their right knees against the Vikings. Although Gailey said it's too early to determine whether those injuries are season-ending, he noted the team will have to add another offensive lineman or two this week.

Hangartner's injury is considered the most serious blow to a raw and patchwork unit. The six-year veteran is the Bills' most experienced lineman and has been also relied upon to adjust blocking schemes prior to the snap.

He was hurt in the first quarter and replaced by Urbik, who was making his first career start at right guard. Urbik was hurt in the fourth quarter.

The Bills finished the game with guard Andy Levitre at center and rookie Ed Wang taking over for Levitre at left guard.

Guard Eric Wood is scheduled to return this weekend after missing two games because of a sprained ankle. Gailey said he's not sure whether Wood or Levitre will take over at center.

"We'll just have to work and do the best we can to try to patch together a group to go play," Gailey said.

The offensive line has been in flux much of the season. Buffalo is on its third starting right tackle in Mansfield Wrotto, and Wang made his NFL debut Sunday.

The injuries and lack of continuity caught up to the Bills against the Vikings. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked once, hit five times, lost two of three fumbles and threw an interception.

The Bills managed just 239 yards on offense -- their lowest total since putting up 223 in a 38-14 loss to the New York Jets in Week 4. And the lopsided score was a setback for a team that had been competitive while going 2-4 in its past six games, with all four losses by three points, three of them in overtime.

"Unfortunately, we played like a 2-10 team yesterday," Fitzpatrick said. "They had our number yesterday. They just physically, I think, were better than us."

Woods' addition is the latest to address a patchwork linebacking group that has lost starters Kawika Mitchell, Andra Davis and Reggie Torbor to season-ending injuries.

And then there's linebacker Shawne Merriman, who was placed on injured reserve two weeks ago. Claimed off waivers from San Diego, Merriman couldn't get through his first practice before aggravating an Achilles' tendon injury.

Woods had appeared in only two games with the Patriots this season and mostly was used on special teams.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.