By Jay Skurski
Kirk Morrison has made 95 starts in his eight-year NFL career.
He has appeared in 110 games overall. Not one of those totals, though, has gone up this season.
The Buffalo Bills' linebacker has been a healthy inactive in each of the team's first nine games this season.
"Going into this season, I came in hoping to be a starter on this team. I guess it didn't work out that way," said Morrison, who lost out on the job of weak-side linebacker to Arthur Moats in training camp. "My attitude is just 'Come into practice every day and do what I can to make the team better.' That's what my role is right now. You want to, hopefully, elevate that role throughout the season."
Prior to coming to Buffalo, Morrison wasn’t just a starter. He was one of the more dependable players in the league. In his first six seasons –- five with his hometown Oakland Raiders and one with Jacksonville –- he started 95 of 96 games, twice recording more than 100 tackles in a season.
"Game days are ... pretty tough. I put a lot into it during the week. Even still, I work out four or five times a week. I'm still preparing as if I'm going to play [the next game]," Morrison said of his current role. "When you have that build up all week long and you come out there on Sunday, you get excited just like the other guys. You want to go out there and perform and show what you've practiced all week for.
"It's been a little tough because you know you're not going to go out there and get that opportunity, but that doesn't stop me from the way I prepare and go about my business. It's tough. You just sit back and you hope you get the opportunity to show what you can do. I think sometimes you feel like you should be out there."
Morrison has not gotten any indication his role will soon change.
"You know what, I haven't heard anything. I just keep my head down to the ground and just keep grinding. I know that my opportunity is going to come, and I hope it does soon ... before the season's over with," he said.
Moats has since lost his starting role to Nigel Bradham, but the change hasn't mattered much. The Bills have allowed 285 points through the first nine games, an average of more than 31 per game. That's on pace to top 500 for the season, which would shatter the francise record of 454 set in 1984.
"That part is frustrating because I feel like there's something that I can add on game day on the field that I can do. Right now I'm doing the best I can as far as being a leader, while not playing, but I feel like there's something I can do in games," Morrison said. "Maybe coming in for one rush off the edge, or coming in for one play here, just being on that field with the guys. It's hard for me ... you feel like you can play and you want to go out there and play."