Bills top wideout Stevie Johnson is one half of the marquee matchup in Sunday's Week 1 division showdown between the Bills and Jets. Johnson however, might not be going into the game 100 percent after he sat out practice Thursday.
"He got tight yesterday," said head coach Chan Gailey. "He could've gone out there today, but we kept him out. We think he'll be back out (Friday) and be back Saturday and be ready to go Sunday. That's what we think. That's what's anticipated."
"I'm expecting to play and do everything I've got to do in the training room to be out there (Sunday)," said Johnson.
Johnson took a spill in practice Wednesday when his momentum on a fade route carried him out of bounds and onto a rubberized track surface at the edge of the perimeter of the team's grass field. He continued practicing after that fall. The Bills top wideout said he pulled up on a play later in practice Wednesday.
The plan right now is for Johnson to practice Friday with his teammates. The extent of his participation remains to be seen.
"I could've went out there (Thursday), but coach said, 'We'll sit you for this one,'" said Johnson. "So I have a couple of more days to get it right and then I'll be out there."
Gailey anticipates that Johnson will be ready, but doesn't deny that he's concerned.
"Of course," he said. "If a guy doesn't practice on Thursday there's always concern, but I think it's going to be okay."
Johnson had groin surgery in the spring and missed most of the team's OTA practices. He did participate in spring minicamp and was full go for almost all of training camp and participated in all four preseason games. Johnson, who said this current issue isn't related to his offseason surgery, doesn't believe it will become a nagging weekly problem like it was last season.
"I'm not concerned at all about having to deal with this like I did last year," said Johnson. "I think that the offseason surgery helped out a lot so I think it's just something that'll be gone."
According to Johnson one of the after effects of the offseason surgery are minor twinges that will crop up every now and then.
"That's what they said," he said. "It's natural for something like this to happen, but it'll definitely be gone and it's nothing we should really have too much worry about."
When asked if Johnson's groin issue might force the Bills to scale back his workload every week to avoid future problems, Gailey wasn't ready to take things that far.
"I don't know. Let's get through this and then we'll evaluate all that," he said. "He'd been going great so if it's a one-time incident then it's no big deal. If it looks like it's chronic then it's an issue and you've got to deal with it. I'm not trying to make up problems right now."