Buffalo's top wideout did not participate in Day 1 of OTAs as expected coming off of what was termed "minor" groin surgery earlier this offseason. On Tuesday head coach Chan Gailey gave a strong indication that the amount of time Stevie Johnson could be sidelined will stretch into late July.
"Training camp," said Gailey when asked for a timetable as to when Johnson could be expected back on the field participating in team drills. "Training camp."
With another three weeks of spring practices, including the Bills' mandatory minicamp from June 19-21, Gailey wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of Johnson returning before training camp, but he did not sound optimistic.
"I don't see him making minicamp," said Gailey. "I'd love to say he would, but I don't know if he will or not. We'll see."
"I don't know exactly when I'm going to be back," Johnson said. "It's just whenever this little pain goes away. Right now I feel good, but I don't want to step out there and go hard and then something snaps and I have to get back further on the schedule we were on. So I'm just doing whatever they're telling me to and getting stronger so I can be ready."
Johnson, who said he is five weeks removed from surgery is dealing with some residual pain, but it's not in his groin area.
"They've got me doing a lot of work in the pool and the first day out here doing ladders and striding," Johnson said. "I don't really feel too much (pain) in my groin. It's just a little in my hamstring and once we get that out of the way then I'll be full go."
At this point Gailey in concert with the athletic training staff is content with taking things day by day with Johnson's rehab. Their intent is to adjust Johnson's work level as needed based on his progress.
"You don't ever want to rush it to the point where you have a chance of injuring a guy further," said Gailey. "We'll try to be smart about it, but if he can work we'll work him. He needs it like everybody else. We all need it."