Bills will be without four starters vs. Patriots

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Bills will be without four starters when they travel to New England to play the Patriots in a key AFC East game on Sunday.

Starting right guard Brad Butler (left knee sprain), starting defensive end Aaron Schobel (foot), starting strong safety Donte Whitner (separated shoulder) and No. 2 receiver Josh Reed (ankle) have all been ruled out for Buffalo (5-3).

Whitner will be missing his first game since hurting his shoulder in last week's loss to the New York Jets. Schobel has missed four straight games, Butler will be sitting out his third, and Reed his second.

Bryan Scott will replace Whitner at New England (5-3). Ashton Youboty , who was put on injured reserve with plantar fasciitis, will be replaced by either rookies Reggie Corner or Leodis McKelvin at nickel back.

Right guard Jason Whittle (back) and linebacker Kawika Mitchell (ankle) are both questionable after being limited in practice all this week. If Whittle can't play, Kirk Chambers would likely be his replacement.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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