It didn't look good when Tampa DE Stylez White rolled up on Brad Butler's right knee at the tail end of a pass play in the first half Sunday, and it unfortunately proved to be the case. Head coach Dick Jauron confirmed on Monday that the 2009 season for his right tackle is over.
"We'll lose Brad for the year," said Jauron. "We'll miss Brad, but he'll be a part of it, be in the meetings. But that was a tough one."
"It's awfully tough," said Trent Edwards. "I have a very close relationship with Brad. He's one of the hardest working guys on our team. It's frustrating for me because he's a guy that's kind of a leader of that group. He's one of the more experienced guys on the line. To see him go down we're giong to need guys to fill that void."
Butler will undergo surgery in the near future, but Jauron declined to get into specifics on the nature of the injury.
With just seven healthy offensive linemen currently on the roster Jauron did admit they will have to add another to the 53-man roster.
"We probably will be looking," said Jauron. "We'll meet later (Monday) in the personnel area with (VP of Pro Personnel) John (Guy) and (GM) Russ (Brandon) and (Senior VP of Football Administration) Jim Overdorf and consult with Tom Modrak too and go over the possibilities. Recently we had a number of people in here."
Among those free agent visitors was veteran Jon Runyan, who visited on Sept. 12. The 13-year veteran is 35-years old and has played right tackle his entire career.
Still if a veteran free agent is signed, it would take that player time to get up to speed with Buffalo's offensive system. So for the time being the right tackle job belongs to Jonathan Scott.
"You've got to tip your hat to him," said Jauron of Scott. "He's done an outstanding job of fighting through a lot of stuff and hanging on. He's a good player."
"I think the fact that I wasn't really noticing anything coming up on tape that's a good sign," said Edwards of Scott's play Sunday. "I wasn't noticing any letdown once Jonathan got in there and nothing stuck out on tape. He'll continue to fill that spot for us and we'll need him to do that."
Scott won the swing tackle job coming out of the preseason, but now in the starting lineup the backup tackle role will fall to veteran Kirk Chambers.
Butler personifies the term 'team player' and in losing him the Bills lose a bit of their grit up front. The Virginia product worked so hard throughout the offseason to make the move out from right guard to right tackle, the position he played in college. Butler was holding his own through the first two games, but that transition back out to the edge has been cut short.
"It's frustrating because I see how hard he works," said Edwards. "He's one of those guys that's here all offseason putting in his work. For him to go down in week 2... I saw him this morning and it's hard to try to find the words to say to him. There's not really anything that you can tell him that's going to make it any better."
Jauron did not offer any further details on the three other injured players saying more time is needed for them to be re-evaluated. Tight ends Shawn Nelson and Derek Schouman suffered shoulder and knee injuries and cornerback Leodis McKelvin sustained an ankle injury.
"The rest of the injuries we're still looking at them so there's not anything more to tell you about them," he said.
More details on their injuries could come on Wednesday.