Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Opportunity for Bills receiver Easley a 'sigh of relief'


Want to know about tough times in the NFL? Just ask Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marcus Easley.

The first ever receiver to be drafted out of UConn, Easley was a much anticipated pick for Buffalo -- a mix of size and speed that could complement Stevie Johnson and balance out a questionable passing attack.

What transpired, however, was a series of misfortune and inconsistency. A knee injury his rookie season and a heart condition last season has kept him off the field the majority of his pro career. (photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr)

A less-than-stellar preseason this year again had Easley on the outside looking in. But now comes an opportunity, as a minor thigh injury to Johnson could mean another chance for the eager 25-year-old Easley to show he's got what it takes.

"(It's) a sigh if relief definitely," Easley told reporters Wednesday about his move to the 53-man roster, according to quotes released by the team. "It has been a long road for me and I am just grateful for this opportunity and I'm ready to get going."

While Easley may be raring to go, the Bills' offense may not be ready for him. Johnson's injury was a bit of a concern earlier in the week, but coach Chan Gailey assured reporters Wednesday that he felt Johnson would he "just fine" barring any setbacks, and that Johnson should be back at practice Thursday.

Where that leaves Easley remains to be seen.

"He deserves an opportunity to come up and see what he might be able to do," Gailey said. "I do not know if he will get active soon or not, but we would like to give a chance to have that opportunity at some point. We will see how it goes and how he practices. Let him get some reps and go from there."

So until that decision is made, Easley says he'll be ready for anything.

"I'm not really too sure as far as the game plan is concerned where I fit in at," he said. "I'm just going to do what they ask of me. If that's possibly going out and playing special teams or on offense, I'm willing to do it."

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