The Bills should have Terrell Owens in the lineup on Sunday, but Buffalo's defense will again be shorthanded. Terrence McGee, Keith Ellison and Kyle Williams were all declared out for this weekend's game at Tennessee by head coach Dick Jauron Friday.
McGee, who had a knee scope for a torn meniscus the Monday after the Week 8 game against Houston, was hoping to test the knee in practice this week, but was never cleared to do so as he did not practice at all this week. His recovery period was determined to be 10-14 days. It's the first start McGee will miss this season.
Second-year cornerback Reggie Corner is expected to spell him on the left side in the team's base defense. In nickel packages Ashton Youboty is expected to play the left cornerback position with Corner moving inside to cover the slot.
Keith Ellison's absence from the lineup will create a much different set of circumstances at the linebacker position. Ellison, the team's leading tackler, suffered a quadriceps injury in the Houston game and has not seen the practice field since.
Set to replace him at outside linebacker is strong safety Bryan Scott, who has been studying night and day for a whole new set of alignments and assignments.
"The whole gamut is being thrown my way and it's not system overload, but it's pretty close," Scott told Buffalobills.com. "I'm just kind of taking it all in. I'm taking it home and processing it myself and trying to find crafty ways to remember everything."
Buffalo also has rookie outside linebackers Nic Harris and Ashlee Palmer as alternative options.
Up front Kyle Williams will miss a second straight game with a sprained MCL. Williams did not practice at all for a second straight week, though he was able to do some light work with the team's athletic trainers on Thursday.
Spencer Johnson will again fill his role in the starting lineup next to veteran Marcus Stroud on the defensive interior. Williams' absence leaves the Bills with just three healthy defensive tackles for Sunday's game.
It's a difficult week to be without three of the team's top eight tacklers as Buffalo faces the number two rushing offense in the league, and the NFL's leading rusher in Tennessee's Chris Johnson.