Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chandler will fight like a 'stubborn dog' for reps


Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler is only four and a half months removed from knee surgery, but he was already back on the field running some routes with his team on Thursday.

If he has it his way, his reps will only increase. (photo: Doug Kerr, Flickr)

Over the past two years, the veteran has hit his stride in Buffalo, pulling in more than 900 yards and 12 touchdowns while becoming a reliable option in the middle of the field and in the red zone.

That flow looked like it would be disrupted after tearing his ACL in Week 16 of last season, with rehab estimates set at seven to nine months.

When asked by Chris Brown of Thursday how the knee felt, however, the former Iowa product had a much different prognosis.

"Normal. I can't say enough about the job that Doctor Leslie Bisson did," Chandler said. "I feel great, I have a great PT staff back in Iowa and also here. Obviously the trainers have been working with me a lot, Greg McMillien, Bud (Carpenter). I can't say enough about what those guys have done, and I feel really good."

That's very good news for Buffalo, which face a similar situation as a couple of divisional foes in that they'll enter this season with an extremely young receiver corps. Chandler's veteran presence, coupled with the return of No. 1 receiver Stevie Johnson, will likely be a big help in getting all the fresh faces that are involved with the passing game on the same page.

Chandler couldn't say enough about the job that the collaborative medical staff has done since he went under the knife on Jan. 9, and he said that he's prepared to battle with them throughout his rehab to ensure that he can get back on the field as soon as possible.

"I'm not a guy who's gonna sit there and hope that it gets better, I'm gonna be pro-active," he said. "Between the strength coaches here, trainers here and the staff that I worked with when I went back to Iowa, I can't say enough about those guys. They've been with me every step of the way and kind of pulling the reins as I'm trying to pull them along. It's like that stubborn dog, I'm trying to be that stubborn dog."

When Chandler returns, he'll split reps with seventh-round draft pick Chris Gragg, Lee Smith, Mickey Shuler and Mike Caussin in coach Nate Hackett's new system. The 27-year-old is entering the final season of his contract with the Bills, and Chandler is the only one of the bunch who has put in more than two years of work in the NFL.

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