Bills fifth-round pick Alvin Bowen's rookie season may never get off the ground after the linebacker suffered what appeared to be a severe knee injury in Friday's afternoon practice.
"It's really unfortunate to have Alvin Bowen go down like that," said head coach Dick Jauron. "It doesn't look like it's going to be a good one, so we'll wait and see, but we anticipate that he's not going to be playing much football this year."
The injury occurred in the open field and did not involve any contact. Fullback Jonathan Evans had just caught a pass in the flat after coming out of the backfield. Bowen came to close on Evans, who made a cut. The rookie linebacker tried to react to that cut but his right foot stuck in the grass awkwardly as his full body weight bent his leg at an unusual angle over his knee and he fell to the ground.
Bowen was screaming in pain as he immediately grabbed his knee.
"Every player understands that its part of the game and it happens, but it's never easy to see it or happen like that in a public setting," said Jauron. "But we're pulling for him."
In all likelihood Bowen suffered torn ligaments in his knee though the Bills had no official word on the nature of the injury Friday afternoon.
"If it's what we think it is we'll fix it and hopefully he'll play in the future," said Jauron. "It's just tough for him because he worked so hard for this opportunity."
Bowen was visibly upset as the athletic training staff lifted him into a waiting cart as he was driven from the field to the locker room.
"Any time a guy gets injured it's tough," said fellow linebacker Paul Posluszny. "You never want to see something like that."
Jauron said Bowen was faring well in his first training camp with the club.
"He's a rookie so it was very different for him and he was having a lot of stuff thrown at him," said Jauron. "He was working really hard at it. I anticipated that he'd do real well on special teams. But hopefully he'll recover and spend the year getting stronger and bigger and come back next year."
It's expected that the rookie linebacker will be taken to an area hospital for testing for definitive results on the nature of the injury.