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Bills QB Holcomb expected to start again

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Dec. 20, 2005) -- Journeyman backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb likely will make his second start in place of limping J.P. Losman when the Buffalo Bills play at Cincinnati on Dec. 24.

Coach Mike Mularkey said after practice he's leaning toward starting Holcomb even though Losman practiced on a limited basis. Losman sat out Buffalo's 28-17 loss to Denver last weekend after hurting his throwing shoulder and left leg in a loss to New England on Dec. 11.

Losman, who is listed as probable to play, showed no signs of difficulty throwing passes in practice, but did walk with a slight limp.

The Bills (4-10), who have lost five straight and seven of eight, will face the Bengals (11-3), who already have clinched their first division title in 15 years and are attempting to secure a first-round playoff bye.

Offensive lineman Mike Williams, who has missed three games with a pulled back muscle, is listed as questionable after missing practice. Reserve tight end Ryan Neufeld (right knee) is listed as out after he was hurt last weekend.

Holcomb had an OK outing last weekend, going 22-for-35 for 202 yards passing and a touchdown in making his sixth start of the season. The 10-year veteran has been the Bills' more efficient quarterback this season, going 108-for-162 for 1,017 yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions.

The Bills also are 3-3 in games Holcomb started.

Losman is a first-year starter who was awarded the No. 1 job in February in place of Drew Bledsoe, who was released and now is starting in Dallas. In eight starts and nine games, Losman has completed less than 50 percent of his attempts and has eight touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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