Alex Carrington was on the way up, earning the praise of his new defensive coordinator and head coach all summer en route to a starting gig on the Buffalo Bills' defensive line.
Carrington, however, will have to start over again next year, as the fourth-year defensive end was placed on injured reserve Monday after sustaining a torn quad tendon Sunday in the Bills' loss to the New York Jets.
"I feel bad. I’m not going to lie to you," Bills coach Doug Marrone told the media Monday. "I’m not going to sit here and say, ‘Next man up.’ You have feelings and that’s what’s difficult."
Carrington tallied 10 tackles in three games and established himself as one of the Bills' better run defenders. It was during a running play late in the fourth quarter when he was injured.
"Here’s someone who may not from a standpoint of numbers, of people looking at, but has been very very productive for us in three games," Marrone said. "Someone who is a very very good football player. I look at it as here’s a player that put in a lot of time, that’s been very consistent, been a good leader for us, done everything we asked him to do and unfortunately he has an injury."
First-year defender Corbin Bryant will step up in place of Carrington, who is slated for free agency in 2014.