ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- With Bills starting quarterback Trent Edwards doubtful for Sunday's game against Miami because of a groin injury, backup J.P. Losman is likely to return to a role he relishes.
Losman would have the weight of Buffalo's season squarely on his shoulders in his first start of the season, the team's slim playoff hopes riding on the 2004 first-round pick once seen as the team's savior but now reduced to an afterthought.
"Yeah, you could write all these stories up, and that's a great word," Losman said when asked if there was something "poetic" about the opportunity. "I'm not going to repeat it, but it's a great word to use, I guess. The ball bounces funny in this game."
Losman has certainly been bounced around since the team picked him 22nd overall four years ago. He lost his starting job twice in 2005 to Kelly Holcomb, then was overtaken again by Edwards last year.
His contract runs to the end of this season and he doesn't plan on signing again with the team that suddenly needs him to stay in the running.
"I want these guys to experience winning. I want to experience winning," Losman said. "We're a very, very good football team. We've just got to keep putting it together. We have an opportunity right here in front of our face to do so. I personally want to do well for them, for my teammates."
Receiver Lee Evans, drafted 13th overall in 2004, has always been a fan of Losman and expressed confidence in the embattled quarterback.
"We all know what J.P. likes to do. He likes to move around and let it go down the field a little bit," Evans said. "If that's the case, then I'm sure he'll step up and take advantage of his opportunity. If he gets the shot, I'm excited to see him play and excited to see what he's going to do."
Losman is only 10-22 in games he has started. This season he took over in a Week 5 loss in Arizona when Edwards was knocked out with a concussion on the third play of the game. Losman also played in the second half of last Sunday's loss to San Francisco after Edwards left with the groin injury.
He's completed 26 of 38 of his passes for 313 yards this season, with one touchdown and one interception.
"I think he's handled it with a lot of class and I think he's done it the right way and now he's getting his opportunity," Evans said of Losman's trials over the past four years. "I think this is the only thing he's been preparing himself for ... the opportunity to come in and play. So here it is for him, or it's close for him, so we'll have to see what happens."
The Bills, who play Miami in Toronto, will be without cornerback Jabari Greer. He'll miss his third straight game because of a knee injury. Defensive end Aaron Schobel (left foot) returned to practice this week, but remains sidelined. Starting strong safety Donte Whitner (separated shoulder) and Robert Royal (hamstring) are both questionable.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press