BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills suddenly have a new backup quarterback - rookie Trent Edwards - and an old problem: No experienced depth at defensive end after veteran Al Wallace was placed on the reserve-injured list.
Edwards' emergence, which led to the team cutting veteran Craig Nall on Saturday, and Wallace's injury were the most surprising developments after the Bills released 20 players to determine their 53-player season-opening roster.
Wallace hurt his right shoulder in the first half of Buffalo's preseason finale, a 16-13 win at Detroit on Thursday, the player's agent, Jerrold Colton, told The Associated Press.
Colton described the injury as "significant," adding Wallace will miss a good portion of the season.
The move means Wallace will not be allowed to play for Buffalo this year, a sudden reversal after the seven-year veteran was expected to be the team's top reserve after he was signed by the Bills on Aug. 22.
The Bills, who did not reveal Wallace's injury following the game, declined comment on the moves they made Saturday. The team returns to practice Sunday, a week before it opens the regular season hosting Denver.
The injury is the latest blow to Buffalo's defensive end corps, which lacks experienced depth behind starters Aaron Schobel and Chris Kelsay. Backup Ryan Denney is out indefinitely after breaking his left foot three weeks ago, while Anthony Hargrove will miss the first four regular-season games after being suspended by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Nall's release was unexpected, and leaves the Bills with two quarterbacks, Edwards and starter J.P. Losman.
The Bills had touted Nall as a potential starter when they signed him as a free agent in the spring of 2006.
Nall, who played his first four NFL seasons as a backup in Green Bay, spent last season as the Bills third-stringer, and saw his playing time diminish this preseason behind Edwards, Buffalo's third-round pick out of Stanford.
Nall played in only two series against Detroit, and finished the preseason going 12-of-19 for 111 yards passing.
Edwards was among the Bills most pleasant surprises, and capped the preseason with a strong effort, engineering all of Buffalo's four scoring drives - a touchdown and three field goals - against Detroit.
He went 18-of-24 for 182 yards against the Lions, and finished 46-of-61 for 332 yards passing and a touchdown in four preseason appearances.
The Bills other notable cuts included reserve tackle Terrance Pennington, who started the final nine games during his rookie season last year; veteran long-snapper Mike Schneck; and third-year running back Shaud Williams.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press