On Sunday Roscoe Parrish's breakout season on offense came to a premature close. In a game in which the elusive receiver set a career high for receiving yards in a season, he also suffered a broken wrist when he landed awkwardly while trying to make a high-reaching catch along the Bills sideline in the fourth quarter.
"It's bad," said head coach Chan Gailey. "We've lost Roscoe for the season. They're going to have to operate on the wrist."
Parrish broke his right wrist in training camp his rookie year and missed the first six games of his NFL career in 2005. According to Gailey this most recent break is of a similar nature.
For Parrish the 2010 campaign was finally one in which his talents were effectively utilized on offense. Pegged as a special teams returner by the previous coaching staff, Gailey saw a game breaking talent for his offense and made Parrish the team's slot receiver.
"It takes an offensive-minded coach for that to happen," said Parrish last week. "I have Chan Gailey and so it just takes the right coaching and then you've got to keep working. I promise you every punt returner or kick returner wants to play offense or have a primary position."
And for eight games this season Parrish had a primary role in the passing game. He was tied for fifth in the AFC in third down receptions (13) and was second only to Stevie Johnson on the team in catches and receiving yards. Gailey knows filling that void will not be easy.
"You don't just replace guys that have been that productive," said Gailey. "But it's an opportunity for someone else to step up. Donald Jones will jump into the fray and we'll see what he can do."
Jones, an undrafted rookie, replaced Parrish on Sunday and recorded one reception for eight yards in the late stages of Sunday's loss to Chicago. He's primarily served as a gunner on the team's punt coverage unit. He did have a productive receiving career at Youngstown State where he had 77 catches for 700 yards and six touchdowns in just 11 games.
Another player to keep an eye on is practice squad receiver and U.B. product Naaman Roosevelt.
"He is under consideration," said Gailey of Roosevelt. "We have to decide what direction we want to go there. We've got two guys on the practice squad now and we're looking at all the other guys out there now that are available to see what the best fit might be for us at this point."
Gailey was also referring to their other practice squad receiver Paul Hubbard, but it's likely that the Bills will also look outside the organization for alternatives.
"We'll make that decision in the next couple of days about what direction we're going to go."