Double whammy: Bills' Stroud out for game, Ellison out for season

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud has been ruled out of the game and linebacker Keith Ellison was placed on season-ending injured reserve, leaving the NFL's worst-run defense further depleted entering Sunday's meeting with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Bills' decision to end Ellison's season came after interim head coach Perry Fewell hadn't mentioned the move was imminent when he issued the team's injury report following practice Friday.

Ellison has been out since hurting his quadriceps during a 31-10 loss to the Houston Texans on Nov. 1. He becomes the 12th Bills player -- and second starting linebacker, joining Kawika Mitchell (knee) -- to be placed on IR this season.

The rash of injuries continue to mount for a Buffalo team that's coming off a tumultuous week, which included Fewell taking over for dismissed coach Dick Jauron on Tuesday.

Stroud was ruled out because of a knee injury that has prevented him from practicing after he was hurt during a 41-17 loss at Tennessee last weekend. Except to refer to Stroud as day to day, Fewell wouldn't divulge the nature of the injury.

Stroud's absence means the Bills (3-6) could be without both of their starting defensive tackles Sunday. Kyle Williams has missed three games because of a knee injury, and he was listed as questionable after he practiced sparingly this week.

That leaves Buffalo with just two other defensive tackles on its roster -- reserves Spencer Johnson and John McCargo.

The Bills have allowed an NFL-worst 173 rushing yards this season and prepare to face the run-happy Jaguars, who are led by Maurice Jones-Drew. The running back is tied for fourth in the league with 860 rushing yards and has scored seven of his 12 touchdowns in the past four games.

While strong safety Donte Whitner is set to return after missing three games with an ankle injury, the Bills' defense could be down another regular with rookie safety Jairus Byrd questionable because of a nagging groin injury. A second-round draft pick out of Oregon, Byrd has a league-leading eight interceptions to tie Buffalo's rookie single-season record. He also has a five-game interception streak.

Reserve cornerback Ashton Youboty also was ruled out after hurting his ankle last weekend.

Mitchell made an appearance in the Bills' locker room Friday. Placed on injured reserve after hurting his right knee during a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 11, Mitchell said he had surgery five weeks ago and should be ready to begin working out in March.

The Bills filled Ellison's roster spot by promoting rookie defensive back Cary Harris from their practice squad.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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