Bills top wideout Stevie Johnson was grimacing as he clutched his left hamstring on the way off the practice field Friday morning. On Saturday he was watching practice from the sidelines, which is where he'll remain for the time being.
"I just cut and burst off my left and felt it pop," said Johnson in describing how the injury happened Friday. "It was a wrap from there."
"He's going to be out for a while," said head coach Doug Marrone. "We're going to make sure we don't work hard to get him back as fast as we possibly can. So he's going to be out for a while and what I mean by a while, at least a week and then after that I'll probably come out with something (new) and see where we are by then."
Johnson, who was in treatment for most of the morning following the team's practice, is naturally frustrated by the injury, but is not letting the setback affect his preparations for the season.
"I'm feeling alright. The mentality is still locked in," Johnson said. "Obviously now there will be a lot more mental reps than the physical reps. I just know it's pulled and it's about getting in there and getting the right treatment for it."
Johnson, though he hasn't missed a game the last three seasons, has dealt with preseason injuries before.
"Every training camp I've had, I've had an injury," said Johnson. "But working with the (athletic trainers) they've always gotten me back out there for Week 1 and for the rest of the season. So hopefully it's the same thing. Just something that'll affect me for this amount of time and then when the season comes I'll be ready to go."
Filling the void in the slot, where Johnson has lined up for most of training camp was second-round pick Robert Woods among others. The rookie receiver isn't foreign to the slot having lined up there in college as well as in his time with the Bills.
"You're working against nickels, linebackers and safeties, guys that are not used to covering like that and you have a two way go so that's an advantage for us," said Woods. "I see it as just another position. I came in to play receiver, not just outside or slot receiver. I want to do it all and I got an opportunity to do so."
"He's one of a couple of guys that plays all three positions for us and I think that's important in a league that's based on matchups," said Marrone of Woods. "When you look at Stevie (Johnson), Robert (Woods), Marquise Goodwin, those are three guys that can play all three (receiver positions) and throw Brad Smith into that mix too."
Johnson said his timetable for a return is wide open based on how his hamstring heals over the next week or so.
"Timetable for me was within a week or a few weeks," he said. "It's all in between based on how I feel and how my leg feels and we'll go from there."
In no way does Johnson see his participation in the season opener being in jeopardy. He expects to be ready by then for sure.
"Yeah definitely," he said. "The season is where the money is made and I'll be out there to play."