Bills tight end Derek Fine's thumb injury turned out to be pretty severe as the rookie had surgery to repair the damage suffered in the Indianapolis game Sunday night.
"His thumb was surgically repaired (Tuesday)," said head coach Dick Jauron. "The repair went well and so we'll just see. It's not going to be short, but we're very optimistic about it. It's been done before."
Fine told Buffalobills.com that the injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's preseason game at Indianapolis.
"It happened when I was making the tackle on the long kick return," said Fine. "I got a piece of him and then I landed wrong on my thumb."
Fine's surgery required a hand specialist to perform the operation.
"It's going to be a significant amount of time that he's going to miss," said Jauron. "But as you know he hasn't been put down in any way shape or form. So we're counting on him to come back."
A thumb injury might not seem like much, but for a tight end that has to block and catch the opposable digit is essential.
"You don't realize how much you use your thumb until something like this happens," said Fine.
Fine's injury certainly puts the Bills in a bind moving forward at the tight end position because the team is already without Derek Schouman for the foreseeable future.
"Derek Schouman's is coming along very well," said Jauron. "We're optimistic that it's within a three week range and (head athletic trainer) Bud (Carpenter) doesn't really know how to make it any more precise than that. Derek has been happy with the progress and we'll just have to wait and see, but hopefully it comes back fast."
With Fine and Schouman out indefinitely it leaves Buffalo with just Robert Royal, Courtney Anderson and Tim Massaquoi as the only healthy tight ends left on the roster.
Schouman is a virtual lock to make the final roster. Fine was also considered a likely member of the squad as well after a solid training camp and preseason. However, the injuries have dramatically changed what Buffalo's coaching staff probably had mapped out in terms of who was making their 53-man roster.
"Yeah it does," said Jauron. "I guess what we've all learned is all the things you start deciding in your mind, today, whether it's three days in front of the decision making time or a game in front, they usually change by the time you get there. We certainly look at it and write it down and we debate it, but it could all easily change by the time we get to making those final decisions."