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RB McGahee earns Bills starting job

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ Willis McGahee will start at running back Sunday for the Buffalo Bills in hopes of igniting a sputtering offense.

``He's made some more yards after first contact,'' coach Mike Mularkey said in announcing that the second-year back will start ahead of veteran Travis Henry.

``We're just trying to get a spark. It's not the only position that that may happen to. But right now that's the one that it is. And hopefully that's the spark in the run game that gets us rolling.''

The Buffalo offense has failed to score more than 20 points in a game this season and has yet to produce a touchdown rushing inside the opponent's 20-yard-line. It is last in the NFL with 77 points and its per game average of 12.8 is next to last.

The move could represent a permanent change at running back for the Bills, who selected McGahee 23rd overall in the 2003 draft despite having a proven starter in Henry.

McGahee had missed his entire rookie season recovering from reconstructive surgery on his left knee. He has become progressively healthier since he was cleared for full contact last spring.

In the last three games, McGahee has had the bulk of the carries, and gotten 211 of his 239 yards rushing for the season. That includes an 111-yard performance Buffalo's only 100-yard rushing effort this year in the Bills 20-13 win over Miami on Oct. 17.

He is averaging 3.9 yards a carry.

Henry, who did not play against Miami because of a sprained left foot, leads the team with 300 yards rushing, but is averaging just 3.4 yards a carry, after rushing for more than 1,300 yards in two consecutive seasons.

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