The rookie seasons for two members of Buffalo's 2010 draft class were brought to a close before they began. Fourth-round pick Marcus Easley and sixth-round pick Danny Batten were both placed on injured reserve by the Bills late Sunday effectively ending their season.
"Obviously it's not what we wanted, but it's just something that had to be done looking at the long term prognosis for both of them," said Gailey.
Batten and Easley each suffered significant injuries the first week of training camp. Both players were injured on the same day of practice (Aug. 2). Batten sustained a severe shoulder injury that had his arm in a sling for two weeks. Head coach Chan Gailey had given him a prognosis of two to six weeks, but it was apparently determined that shutting him down for the year was the best course of action.
"They were both going to miss a significant part of (the season)," said Gailey. "We just couldn't see time-wise that it was going to benefit them to try to make it back this year."
No word as to whether Batten will have surgery now that his rookie season is over.
Easley landed awkwardly on his knee during practice the first week of camp and never recovered. After seeking a second opinion on the injury on Aug. 9, the receiver had surgery this past week. Gailey never provided a timetable on a possible return for Easley, as he indicated that doctors needed to perform the surgery before being able to ascertain the extent of the damage.
"It was about what they thought it would be," said Gailey of what the doctors found, though specifics were not provided.
Batten was expected to be a contributor on special teams as a rookie and perhaps earn some playing time in certain defensive packages as the season wore on. Easley, who had flashed big play ability in the spring and early going of training camp, was expected to land one of the receiver roles on the 53-man roster as well.
Buffalo now has two vacant roster spots, and the Bills have a tight end position where there could use some reinforcements. They currently have just one healthy player on the roster with Shawn Nelson and Derek Schouman both injured and Michael Matthews leaving practice early Sunday night.
"We've got some adjustments to make obviously," said Gailey. "It's just like losing the two running backs. When you lose the two guys we lost, it kind of sets you back a bit with respect to the direction you'd like to go and the progress you'd like to make. Same thing with tight end. We've got one healthy tight end on the field right now. It makes it very difficult, but that's part of it. You deal with it and go on."
There was no news of any player signings being imminent at the time the current roster moves were made, but with Matthews status undetermined following the night practice Buffalo has almost no choice but to act quickly.