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Bills lose Smith and Sobieski for season

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (Aug 8, 2005) -- The Buffalo Bills ' offensive line lost some depth when coach Mike Mularkey announced that reserves Lawrence Smith and Ben Sobieski will likely miss the season with injuries.

Smith, a backup guard, injured his knee and was carted off the field during Buffalo's practice at Green Bay. Without disclosing the nature of the injury, Mularkey said that Smith is getting a second opinion but he doesn't expect the player back this season.

Sobieski is out after being placed on injured reserve. Sobieski had missed all of training camp with a back injury.

A two-year NFL veteran acquired by the Bills as a free agent in January 2004, Smith started the first eight games for Buffalo last season before being relegated to backup duty. He was expected to serve as a backup guard behind newly acquired starter Bennie Anderson.

Buffalo's 2003 fifth-round draft pick, Sobieski had appeared in only one game in 2003. He spent the first month of last season on the Bills' practice squad before being placed on the injured list.

Meanwhile, the Bills welcomed back versatile offensive lineman Ross Tucker, who was activated off the physically unable to perform list. Tucker had missed the start of training camp while recovering from back surgery.

He participated fully in the afternoon practice after being held out of the morning session.

A five-year NFL veteran, Tucker has had 17 starts in 28 appearances in two seasons with the Bills. He proved a valuable player for Buffalo last season, when he started at center and then took over the left guard spot while also seeing time at right guard.

Tucker was eager to get back.

"I was tired of watching. It felt great to be one of the guys out there flying around, hitting," Tucker said. "When you're hurt ... it's like you're letting everybody down. So when you have a chance to come out and participate, you feel like you're holding up your end of the bargain."

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