ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Quarterback J.P. Losman has had enough ups and downs in three years that he's not surprised to be asked whether he deserves to be a starter.
"I shouldn't say it's frustrating. It's more of, you're used to it," Losman said Wednesday after practicing with the Buffalo Bills for the first time since spraining his left knee against New England three weeks ago. "I have to prepare myself like I'm starting. I do feel that way, and we'll just see how it goes."
Losman said his knee feels fine and he should be ready once the Bills (1-4) return from their bye week to host Baltimore on Oct. 21.
But the question is whether he'll be given an opportunity to reclaim the job after rookie Trent Edwards was effective in leading the Bills to a 1-1 record in two starts, providing a semblance of rhythm to a sputtering offense.
Coach Dick Jauron wants to see how Losman performs in practice. And it didn't matter to Jauron that receiver Lee Evans publicly backed Losman a day earlier.
"I read that," Jauron said. "That's Lee's opinion. He's got a right to his opinion."
Losman said he's prepared for whatever the Bills decide.
"I just have to deal with whatever situation I'm dealt with. I'm ready to handle that situation as positively as I can," Losman said. "Trust me, I am because I have made a commitment to these teammates, to my friends, that I will be here for them throughout the whole season."
Losman shrugged off a question about whether it was fair to lose the job due to injury.
"Oh, I don't know. We'll deal with that when the time comes," he said. "Regardless of what happens, I'm always going to have my feelings on it."
And not much has changed since Losman, the second of Buffalo's two 2004 first-round draft picks, was awarded the No. 1 job in February 2005, a move that led to Drew Bledsoe's departure.
Since then, Losman twice lost the starting job to journeyman Kelly Holcomb in 2005 and, last year, was forced to win a three-way competition in training camp to reclaim the role.
Losman finally appeared on the right track after playing every snap last season. He became the first Bills quarterback to pass for 3,000 yards since Bledsoe in 2002 and helped Buffalo to a 7-9 finish by winning five of its last nine games.
But questions surfaced again when the Bills opened this season with two losses, a stretch in which Losman went 29-of-46 for 251 yards and the offense produced 10 points and a meager 407 total yards.
It didn't help Losman's case when Edwards led the Bills to a 17-14 win over the Jets in his first start. The rookie third-round draft pick went 22-of-28 for 234 yards and the offense produced a season-best 304 total yards, 19 first downs and 17 points.
Edwards was inconsistent in a 25-24 loss to Dallas on Monday night, but he still produced 176 yards passing and 229 yards offense -- both more than the Bills mustered in either of Losman's starts this season.
Jim Kelly, the Bills' Hall of Fame quarterback, gave Edwards an `A' grade for his first start.
"This was a big stepping point for the Bills and for Trent," Kelly said earlier this week. "Of course that puts more pressure on J.P. now."
On Wednesday, Evans reiterated his belief that Losman deserves a second chance.
"Yeah, it's more principle than anything. I'm not taking anything away from Trent," Evans said. "But J.P. has done a lot to earn his starting position. ... He deserves it. And I don't think it would be warranted to leave him on the bench for the whole season."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press