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Reed's understudies at wide receiver

While there's little question that picking up the slack for Josh Reed will be a collective effort for the entire receiving corps if he's unable to play on Sunday, there are two men in particular who will have to carry out his specific assignments in the offensive scheme.

Those two men will be Justin Jenkins and Steve Johnson.

"It's going to be very critical this week with Josh (Reed) down," said Trent Edwards. "We're going to need those guys to step up. Steve Johnson and Justin Jenkins are both going to be a part of our offense, and those guys haven't had a ton of reps. They've had reps on the practice field, but not really on Sundays."

Reed has worked primarily out of the slot for the Bills in the passing game and has been a crucial third down converter the past few seasons. He's also been a force in the run game.

"Josh besides the catches plays a huge role," said Jenkins. "He blocks some of the biggest guys on the team like linebackers and strong safeties and that's hard to do. Josh has that mentality to do it so they're going to use myself and Steve to kind of fill that role as a duo and get as many reps as we can in practice and do you just do your best while you're in there. They know we're new at this in a way, but at the same time they're depending on us and we have to go out there and do it on Sunday."

Jenkins is practically a clone of Reed. Just three pounds lighter and two inches taller, a lot of what prompted the Bills to sign Jenkins out of NFL Europe two years ago was the fact that he had a similar playing style to that of Reed.

"I was brought in as a strong safety at college and I always loved the contact, so I take pride in my blocking," said Jenkins. "So when I see Josh do what he does every Sunday, I look at that and smile and say, 'I can do that.' It's not like I'm trying to take his place or anything, but it's fun to see another guy get out there and get dirty."

And getting dirty is what he and Johnson will have to do against the Jets. For Johnson, who has spent most of his career outside as a flanker, it will be an adjustment. But blessed with a pro body already Johnson is capable of shielding defenders from the ball and mixing it up when necessary.

Johnson and fellow rookie wideout James Hardy often discuss how they can make more of an impact sooner rather than later and this week appears as though it will be their chance.

"Being rookies you want to show your peers and your teammates that you can help out," said Johnson. "As far as going out there and making plays that's what we want to do to show that we can play at this level."

With the Jets being very varied in their blitz schemes and good at disguising their looks, the men stepping into the lineup will have to be sharp on their keys. And the coaching staff will also make sure not to put too much on their plate.

"We're going to try to put those guys in positions to make plays and not ask them to do too much," said Edwards. "We have our different packages that utilize what they do best, and that's the thing I like about Turk's (Schonert) offense, is that we're going to put them in positions to use them to their advantage and hopefully we won't make too many mistakes and keep the ball moving."

Knowing Johnson has appeared in just one game thus far this season, Jenkins will be keeping a watchful eye out for him to help him along.

"On the sideline if I see him in there and he does something good or bad, I'll either congratulate him on it or tell him, 'You can do this better next time,' because I'm on the outside looking in," Jenkins said. "I'm looking at the play and what he's doing. So I'll keep a close eye on him to help him, which will be important in a big game like this."

Jenkins and Johnson know they're going to be tested early by the Jets' defenders. That's just the way things go in the NFL, but they insist they'll be ready.

"This is what we do and that's why you have backups," said Jenkins. "And I'm happy to go in there and get grimy with those guys because they're going to try to take us lightly. They'll see a new guy in there and they're going to try to come downhill on us. So it's going to be fun for the first quarter and a half letting them get to know me a little bit."

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