Quarterback Trent Edwards missed practice Wednesday due to a groin injury, opening the possibility of J.P. Losman making his first start in more than a year on Sunday, when Buffalo hosts the Miami Dolphins at Toronto.
Noting that Edwards was still "pretty sore," coach Dick Jauron said the decision on whether the quarterback will play likely won't be made until game time. Edwards walked with a slight limp as he watched practice from behind the line of scrimmage.
Edwards tried to play through the injury before being sidelined after the first half of a 10-3 loss to San Francisco on Sunday.
Losman took over and went 11-of-17 for 93 yards, but failed to generate a touchdown as Buffalo came away with three points on three trips inside the 49ers 20 in the second half. Losman lost his job twice to Edwards last season and hasn't started since a 36-14 loss at Jacksonville on Nov. 25, 2007.
The Bills (6-6) have lost five of six and dropped to the fringes of the AFC playoff race as they prepare to play division rival Miami (7-5) at Toronto's Rogers Centre. The game is the first of five annual regular-season games Buffalo will play in Toronto as part of a bid to generate additional revenue and interest in Canada's largest city and financial capital.
On the bright side, safety Donte Whitner, who's missed all but two quarters of the past four games with a separated right shoulder, returned to practice and is expected to play this weekend. Whitner, the Bills defensive co-captain and most versatile defensive back, listed himself at 90 percent.
Starting defensive end Aaron Schobel (left foot) returned to practice for the first time in two months, but it's not clear whether he'll be ready to play this weekend. The Bills top pass-rusher has missed seven games and said he wants to see how his foot feels as the week goes on.
Schobel was relieved to be back practicing after he initially feared the injury to the ligament that holds his big toe in place could have threatened his career.
"I'm hopeful I'll play before the year's out. I'm not saying this week," Schobel said. "But it's definitely improved and that's the main thing. ... I'm glad that the thing's going to heal on its own and I won't have to have surgery."
Losman's potential return comes as he approaches a critical juncture of his career. The second of Buffalo's two 2004 first-round draft picks, he has had difficulty hanging on to the starting job. Aside from last year, Losman twice lost the No. 1 role to Kelly Holcomb in 2005 and has a 10-22 record in games he's started.
Losman has been unhappy with how the Bills have treated him, and doesn't plan to re-sign with the team once his contract expires after this season.
"Personally, it's a great opportunity for me to be able to get a chance to play well and do well for a numerous amount of reasons," Losman said. "But all that stuff is going to work out, so I'm not really focusing on that. I'm really focusing on this team and this opportunity that we have together right now."