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Lynch doubtful for Sunday night

After failing to practice all week Marshawn Lynch's status for Sunday night is not positive.

"Marshawn is going to be doubtful," said Jauron. "We'll see where it goes tomorrow."

Lynch's ailing left ankle, which Jauron says is in an immobilizer boot, has been simply too sore to allow Buffalo's feature back to practice at all this week.

"He's been in all of our meetings, but has not come on the field," said Jauron.

Jauron indicated that Lynch was interested in testing it Saturday, but is far from sure that even that will happen.

"I'm doubtful about that," said Jauron. "He's not doubtful, so we'll see."

At this point it would be a shock if Lynch played Sunday night. His loss will be a big blow for the Bills' offense to absorb. Lynch has had a hand in seven of Buffalo's 10 offensive touchdowns this season and is responsible for 36-percent of the team's total offensive yardage through the first nine games.

"He's got unique skills and we'd hate to play the game without him, but that's the nature of our business," said Jauron. "We've had a number of injuries; we just have to go with it."

Veteran running back Anthony Thomas is expected to carry most of the load for Buffalo Sunday night should Lynch be out. In a game of this magnitude against the undefeated Patriots, Jauron is likely to rely on experience, although rookie Dwayne Wright and first-year back Fred Jackson should be mixed in through the course of the game.

"Anthony (Thomas), Dwayne (Wright) or Fred (Jackson) are going to have to step up and make some plays as well," said J.P. Losman. "We'll have some things to cater towards what those guys do best as well which will help us out. Right now our offensive line is comfortable with Anthony and those guys and we need to keep it rolling."

With New England's wide array of blitz packages, Thomas is also expected to be on the field in all third down situations if Lynch is a no go.

"This isn't my first time around," said Thomas. "I know what's going on and I keep my head in the books and I even know when people need help with their own blocks and I try to help them out. I like to be in the right place at the right time."

For week 11 of the season, it may be the best Thomas has felt in his seven-year career with just 10 carries under his belt this season.

"I'm the freshest I've been in my life," said Thomas.

Thomas performed admirably when he was thrust into the starting role for Buffalo last season. Former Bills tailback Willis McGahee suffered cracked ribs early in Buffalo's week nine contest against the Green Bay Packers and left the game. The 'A-Train' provided 95 yards on 20 carries in a 24-10 win.

The following week with McGahee still on the shelf, Thomas rushed for a game-high 109 yards in a 17-16 loss at Indy after a game-winning field goal attempt failed for Buffalo with six minutes remaining.

In his second straight start at Houston the next week, Thomas had 56 yards on 19 carries, but set a career-high with seven receptions including four catches for 21 yards on the Bills game-winning touchdown drive in the final seconds to beat Houston 24-21.

The veteran back got a few carries in at the end of the game last week, after Lynch was injured to kill the clock before Rian Lindell's game-winning field goal and he feels it has prepared him for what he could be facing should he have to take up for Lynch Sunday night.

"Those carries definitely helped," said Thomas. "I took a couple of shots I wasn't expecting to take, but it was good. I think it will help."

Thomas could be a valuable safety valve for Losman out of the backfield this week with all the different pressures that New England can bring.

"Even when I'm chipping I'm trying to hurry and get out so I can help provide a checkdown for him as an outlet," said Thomas. "It's a comforting feeling I like to provide. He knows I'll be reliable and where I'm supposed to be at the right time."

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