Published September 24, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Bills starting defensive end Alex Carrington is done for the season after tearing his left quadriceps.
Starting cornerback Leodis McKelvin is iffy to play against Baltimore this weekend after hurting his right hamstring.
And injuries aren't the only issues mounting in Buffalo. So were center Eric Wood's frustrations on Monday, a day after the offense bumbled through a 27-20 loss to the New York Jets.
"We've got a lot of young guys, and we're going to get better as the season goes on," Wood said. "But yesterday, was unacceptable."
Wood's ire was up after the Bills became the first team since the Chicago Bears in 1951 to lose when their opponent was penalized 20 or more times. The Jets were flagged 20 times for 168 yards.
Rather than taking advantage, Buffalo converted just 4 of 18 third-down opportunities, and settled for three field goals on three trips inside the Jets 20. Just as alarming was the Bills' inability to blunt the Jets' aggressive pass rush by allowing eight sacks — the most since giving up nine in 2000.
"Some of the mistakes we made were terrible, myself included," Wood said. "We obviously have to bounce back, but that was a game we kind of threw away."
Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel struggled against the blitzing Jets, finishing 19 of 42 for 243 yards, while sailing numerous throws out of bounds.
The defense was hardly better.
Buffalo allowed 513 yards of offense, including a season-worst 182 yards rushing.
And now, injuries are starting to catch up to the Bills (1-2).
Carrington was placed on season-ending injured reserve after he was carted off the field late in the fourth quarter.
Buffalo's third-round pick in the 2010 draft, Carrington had struggled to get playing time in his first three seasons, before earning a starting job on the left side under new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.
As for McKelvin, coach Doug Marrone said it's too early to determine how serious the hamstring injury is until the player tests it in practice this week.
McKelvin's injury would be another blow to the Bills' already thin defensive secondary. Starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore is expected to miss at least two more weeks with a broken wrist, backup Ron Brooks is out with a broken foot, and Pro Bowl safety Jairus Byrd has missed the first three games with foot injuries.
If McKelvin can't play, that would leave Buffalo giving Brandon Burton and Johnny Adams a shot to play. Burton was signed a week before the start of the season, while Adams was promoted off Buffalo's practice squad two weeks ago.
Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith was successful in beating the Bills with deep throws. Second-year cornerback Justin Rogers was beat on both touchdown passes, including Santonio Holmes' 69-yard catch that broke the 20-20 tie with 9:23 remaining.
Marrone wouldn't be surprised if the Ravens take a similar approach.
"I don't want to be the guy who stands up here and makes excuses, 'Hey, this guy's hurt, we're not playing with him,'" Marrone said. "The elephant in the room, and everyone knows is that Gilmore's out, if Leodis is out, Byrd's not playing ... if you're looking to attack, you're going to attack the secondary."
Marrone was at least able to deliver some good news on the injury front.
He said starting defensive linemen Mario Williams (left ankle) and Marcell Dareus (right ankle), and starting running back C.J. Spiller (right quadriceps) are expected to play Sunday after all three were hurt against the Jets.
Spiller has yet to get on track this season. He was limited to 9 yards rushing on 10 carries on Sunday.
Spiller credited the Jets' for crowding the line of scrimmage to take away the run, and force Manuel to beat them with his arm. He expects other opponents to follow suit.
"If I'm a defensive coordinator that would be my biggest thing, too, to stop our run and pretty much make our rookie quarterback beat us," Spiller said. "I have all the confidence in EJ. He's going to be great. But teams are going to force him and try him, and see how he handles it."
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