Another critical blow has been dealt to Buffalo's defense before the season has even started. Starting weak side linebacker Keith Ellison, who had a strong training camp this summer, is out indefinitely after suffering a high-ankle sprain in the preseason finale against Detroit last Thursday.
"Keith has the dreaded high ankle," said Dick Jauron. "So it's not good for us. It's going to be a while. How long I don't know. I don't know how anybody predicts those."
Ellison was seen moving through the Bills locker room after practice Sunday on crutches with an immobilizer boot on his right ankle.
The injury happened on the first play of the second quarter in the preseason finale at Detroit.
"It was the third-and-one play," said Ellison. "I was taking on a block and my foot kind of got caught in the turf and it kind of rolled on me. It's tough because I was looking forward to the season starting, but I've just got to stay positive and move forward from it."
Set to fill the void is Coy Wire, who was slated all along to be the first backup off the bench no matter where a starter might be lost in the linebacking corps due to injury.
"Coy is very intelligent," said Ellison. "I think he'll do a good job playing (weak side). He just has to get back into playing this week because he's spent much of the preseason on the strong side. He'll be fine. He'll be ready to go on Sunday."
Ellison now joins defensive end Ryan Denney on the shelf for the foreseeable future on a defense that isn't long on depth.
Buffalo now has six healthy linebackers on the active roster.