ORCHARD PARK —
Injuries are piling up for the Buffalo Bills, who are searching for a kicker and face the possibility of losing starting defensive tackle Kyle Williams for the rest of the season.
Coach Chan Gailey on Monday described the injury to kicker Rian Lindell's right shoulder as "not good." Without being definitive, Gailey said Lindell either broke something or nearly had his shoulder pop out a day earlier in a 27-11 loss to the New York Jets.
Either way, it leaves the Bills (5-3) set to try out replacements this week as they prepare to travel to play Dallas (4-4) on Sunday. Sitting in a three-way tie atop the AFC East, Buffalo plays its next three — and four of its next five — on the road.
Gailey ruled out Lindell from playing Sunday, but wouldn't say whether the injury was season-ending.
Lindell was hurt making a diving touchdown-saving tackle, tripping up Joe McKnight on a 59-yard kickoff return to open the second half. He was slow to get up and held his right arm in pain as he walked to the sideline. He hit a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter, but was held out in the fourth quarter.
He's not missed a game in his nine seasons in Buffalo, and ranks second on the team with 204 career field goals and 875 points.
As for Williams, Gailey said the player will visit a specialist this week to examine a nagging left foot injury that's forced him to miss the past three games. Gailey didn't rule out Williams' season being over.
"That is a possibility, I'm not going to say it's not," Gailey said, while adding Williams will not play Sunday.
Williams didn't address reporters Monday, but was spotted walking with a distinct limp in a hallway outside the locker room. He wasn't wearing the protective boot he had on for parts of the past two weeks.
Williams is a six-year starter coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance. Williams has been the defense's most consistent player, and was rewarded for that in August, when he signed a six-year contract extension potentially worth $39 million.
The injury has been bothering Williams since training camp. At one point, the equipment staff cut holes out of the back of his left cleats to help alleviate the pressure.
Gailey also ruled out starting left tackle Demetrius Bell (right shoulder) and starting linebacker Chris Kelsay (left calf) from playing Sunday.
Bell will miss his fifth consecutive game, and said he was scheduled to meet with a doctor later in the day.
Kelsay aggravated the calf injury in practice last week and did not play against the Jets. He had only returned a week earlier after missing the previous two games.
If the injuries aren't bad enough, the Bills were left smarting from their worst performance of the season in losing the Jets.
It was a game in which the offense sputtered — managing just five first downs, 151 net yards and three points through three quarters. The defense wore down by the end, giving up 24 points on three consecutive second-half possessions.
"Yesterday, we took a step back, so you can kind of feel the subtle mood around the facility today," receiver David Nelson said. "Guys aren't very happy."
The Jets became Buffalo's first opponent to slow what had been an effective offense.
The 11 points were the fewest scored by the Bills this season, and ended a seven-game run of scoring 20 or more. They converted just three of 11 third-down chances, and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two interceptions to give him seven turnovers (six interceptions and a fumble) in the past four games.
"It was a bad game," Fitzpatrick said. "We certainly didn't have our best effort out there, and I think that's where a lot of disappointment and frustration comes in, especially with the magnitude of the game."
The Bills squandered a chance to regain control of first place atop their division and a gain momentum in entering their three-game road trip.
"It will be a difficult stretch, but we don't have to play all three of them at the same time," running back Fred Jackson said. "If we go out and continue to make plays like we have been throughout the season, we feel like we'll be OK."
Notes: The Bills promoted tight end Mike Caussin off their practice squad and released defensive back Terrence Wheatley. Caussin spent the final five games of last season on the Bills' roster, but did not play after being signed off Jacksonville's practice squad. ... Wheatley was the odd-man out with rookie cornerback Aaron Williams set to return to practice this week after missing five games with a chest injury. ... The Bills' next home game is Dec. 4 against Tennessee.