Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bills' WR corps readjusting for year without Nelson


The Buffalo Bills' receiving squad has been shaken up a bit since the loss of David Nelson on Sunday. Donald Jones and Stevie Johnson are up for the challenge.

Nelson tore a ligament in his right knee early in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets before finding himself on injured reserve and incapacitated for the remainder of the season.

No. 2 receiver Donald Jones will likely take over in the slot position, a job he had become accustomed to in training camp.

“I can do everything that they ask of a slot receiver to do whether that is block or being down in the end blocking a linebacker,” Jones said Wednesday, according to the team's media site. “Anything they want from screens to any type of routes in the field I can do it all. Whatever they ask me to do I’ll do it and I’ll be good at it.”

As the Bills' No. 1 receiver, Johnson is feeling the pressure to perform as well, especially after being held to only 55 yards against the Jets, 30 of those coming from his touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter against a backup cornerback.

“Yeah, it is tough because you have a guy in David who has played well. He goes down. Then you have your stud back in (Fred Jackson) and he goes down," Johnson said. "So it is like, ‘Come on Stevie, let’s do something. Let’s put some points up and turn things around. Let’s get back to the old you.’”

The Bills are certainly going to need the “old” Johnson going forward, as the team has relied heavily on his offensive production the past few years. The fifth-year receiver is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and only tallied under 55 yards six times last year.

Nelson's injury also gives Jones the chance to show he has fully-recovered from his ankle injury nearly a year ago. Jones made the most of his appearances last season, and coach Chan Gailey expressed his confidence in Jones taking over the slot position.

“He (Jones) can go inside and play inside," Gailey said. "I do not have any problems with that. I think he proved to us in the offseason and preseason that he can go do that if need be.”

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