Bills QB Edwards' backup status uncertain because of swollen hand

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Bills quarterback Trent Edwards missed his second straight practice on Thursday due to a swollen right hand. It's uncertain whether he can serve as a backup Sunday when Buffalo hosts Cincinnati.

Coach Dick Jauron said he'll wait until practice on Friday before deciding whether to promote Gibran Hamdan to No. 2 behind J.P. Losman, who will make his first start in five weeks.

"It's better, but it's not good enough that he could throw," Jauron said. "I'm not overly optimistic about it, put it that way."

Edwards, a rookie third-round draft pick, was making his fourth consecutive start last weekend when he was injured while sacked during the third quarter of a 13-3 win at the New York Jets. Losman came in and produced two fourth-quarter scoring drives to secure the victory, the Bills' third in four weeks.

For Losman, the game against the Bengals (2-5) marks a chance to win back the No. 1 job, which he lost to Edwards after spraining his left knee against New England.

Edwards' throwing hand has been swollen all week and he's been unable to grip a ball.

Jauron said he has confidence in Hamdan, who was promoted off the practice squad two weeks ago. Hamdan has bounced around the NFL since 2003, when he was drafted by Washington in the seventh round out of Indiana.

Hamdan has appeared in only one NFL game, going 1-of-2 for 7 yards in a mop-up role with Washington in 2003.

Free safety Jim Leonhard practiced for a second straight day on Thursday, and could be ready after missing three games with a calf injury.

Defensive end Ryan Denney has also resumed practicing, but he's unlikely to be ready to play this weekend. Denney has been out since breaking his left foot during a preseason game in August.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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