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Bills QB Holcomb misses practice

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Nov. 16, 2005) -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Kelly Holcomb missed practice, still recovering from the aftereffects of a concussion.

That presented the possibility J.P. Losman will start at San Diego.

Coach Mike Mularkey said he's preparing as if Losman will start, but will wait until practice Nov. 18 to choose his starter.

Mularkey held out hope Holcomb, hurt in last weekend's 14-3 win against Kansas City, could begin practicing Nov. 17.

"I'm going to see if giving him today off helps him tomorrow," Mularkey said. "I'm a big believer that there are parts of your body you've got to be careful with. You just don't flirt with the head, the back."

As for Losman, Mularkey said: "He had a great practice today for us. I thought he threw the ball extremely well and executed the offense."

Holcomb is questionable on what's become a growing injury report for the Bills (4-5), who sit a game behind the AFC East-leading New England Patriots.

Safety Troy Vincent (shoulder), cornerback Terrence McGee (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sam Adams (knee) are also questionable. Only Adams, who missed last week's game, practiced.

Holcomb said the headaches he experienced earlier this week have subsided. Still, he not been medically cleared to practice.

"I feel better today. Getting better all the time," Holcomb said. "Today, I still don't feel myself. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll go in and tell those guys I'm ready to go."

Holcomb was briefly knocked unconscious when he was sacked by Jared Allen and fumbled in the second quarter. The back of the quarterback's head struck offensive tackle Mike Williams ' knee and then snapped back as he fell to the ground.

Holcomb also chipped his two bottom front teeth. He said he experienced dizziness and nausea.

He was making his fifth consecutive start since taking over for Losman after the first-year starter struggled in going 1-3 to open the season.

After Holcomb was hurt, Losman was poised and focused in engineering two scoring drives on his first four possessions, finishing 9 of 16 for 137 yards and two touchdowns.

Losman's performance against the Chiefs raised debate whether he deserves to reclaim his starting job even if Holcomb is healthy.

Losman has extra incentive to get in this game. The native of Venice, Calif., said he has about 450 friends and family members scheduled to attend.

"Of course, it's a storybook. I would love to go and perform in front of the family members and for our team to get a victory," Losman said.

Losman shrugged when asked if he deserved to start based on what he did last weekend.

"It's not going to spark me to say something where, `I need to be the guy,"' Losman said. "Whatever they ask of me, man, I've got to be ready. And that's what's going to take place."

Holcomb, a 10-year journeyman, said he's not concerned who starts.

"I'm just worried about getting better right now," he said. "Whoever's on the field is going to play. J.P. did come in and played well. Obviously, he was prepared. I was happy for him. I was happy for the whole team that we got a win."

Holcomb said the only other concussion he's suffered was in his freshman year at Middle Tennessee State.

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