Quarterback Brian Brohm moved one step closer to making his first NFL start on Thursday.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team's starter the past five games, and backup Trent Edwards, each did not practice for a second consecutive day due to ankle injuries suffered in last Sunday's loss to New England.
Brohm took all the repetitions with the first unit for a second day in a row. While interim coach Perry Fewell refuses to rule Fitzpatrick out for Sunday's game at Atlanta, missing two critical installation days makes Fitzpatrick a long shot to start the game.
Furthermore, there is a general desire within the organization to see Brohm in action. The former second-round pick of the Green Bay Packers was signed by the Bills off the Packers' practice squad last month. He was a standout at the University of Louisville. If Brohm shows something in the final two games of the season, it could influence how the Bills address their quarterback situation in the offseason.
Brohm understands the magnitude of starting Sunday if the opportunity presents itself.
"Everybody just wants an opportunity, and, if I get the opportunity on Sunday to play, I need to seize it and try to make the most of it," he said.
The Bills would have to operate a scaled-back version of their offense against the Falcons defense, which ranks 28th overall and ranks 30th against the pass. The Falcons do have a decent pass rush, however, and the linebacker corps is solid with the likes of Curtis Lofton and Mike Peterson.
Fitzpatrick did a little more throwing on Thursday but it is still awkward for him to backpedal, plant and throw. Edwards has a high-ankle sprain and is definitely unavailable to play. Gibran Hamdad, re-signed this week after being cut to make room for Brohm, is strictly an emergency option.
For two days, Brohm has gotten used to throwing to Buffalo's starting receivers instead of the backups on scout team.
"I definitely had an idea (about the offense), and being around the last five weeks, just getting a feel for the offense and knowing the route concepts, but it's totally different when you actually get the reps and see the receivers run the routes live," Brohm said. "Before now I've been throwing to James (Hardy) and Justin Jenkins the whole time, so to get those reps with Lee (Evans) and Terrell (Owens), I have to get a feel for how they run their routes."
--QB Brian Brohm took all the repetitions with the first unit on Thursday and it appears he will start Sunday's game at Atlanta. Coach Perry Fewell may not make a decision until game time when he evaluates how veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick warms up. Fitzpatrick injured his ankle in last Sunday's loss to New England.
--LB Bryan Scott missed his second day of practice after suffering a concussion last Sunday against New England. He is doubtful for Sunday's game at Atlanta.
--CB Drayton Florence missed Thursday's practice due to an illness. He should be fine for Sunday's game at Atlanta.
--WR James Hardy, who was expected to get more playing time Sunday in Atlanta, did not practice due to an illness. Missing time will hurt his chances of garnering more reps but he should be dressed for the game.
--LB Ashlee Palmer was limited with a sore ankle. He's expected to start Sunday's game at Atlanta with Bryan Scott recovering from a concussion suffered last week against New England.
For analysis on how Brohm starting could help his career
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