With a broken shoulder that was going to make the ability to tackle dangerous if called upon to do so, the Bills placed kicker Rian Lindell on injured reserve Thursday effectively ending his 2011 season.
It's the first time in the veteran's 12-year career that his season has been ended prematurely due to injury. Lindell is the 15th player to go on injured reserve this season for the Bills.
Lindell suffered a broken bone in his shoulder along with some ligament damage when he made a touchdown-saving tackle while covering a kickoff in the Bills' first meeting with the Jets in Week 9. The kicker's injury was initially given a 2-6 week prognosis.
Already at the five week mark now and wanting to avoid a recurrence of the injury, the club chose to shut down their all-time most accurate kicker.
"I didn't think it would take this long," said Lindell. "I've never really broken anything, especially a shoulder. I tore my labrum when I first got here and I was able to kick with that. That was my left shoulder and that was a little different. This is a much sharper pain."
Lindell finishes the 2011 season 13-15 on field goal attempts, with one of those misses being a blocked kick.
Stepping in for Lindell has been Dave Rayner, who will now hold down the job for the rest of the season. He's hit each of his last four field goal attempts for the Bills including a pair from 50-yards plus.