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Easley, Hardy out

Coach Chan Gailey confirmed that rookie receiver Marcus Easley will need surgery soon due to a leg injury. It’s believed to be a knee, which has kept him out of practice the past week. Easley is a fourth-round draft choice out of Connecticut.

“It looks like he’s going to need surgery,” Gailey said. “I don’t know exactly when that’s going to take place. I think we’ll get a better determination on what we’re talking about, long term, short term, after that.”

Meanwhile, third-year man James Hardy is out with an injury that will keep him out of Friday’s preseason opener and most likely out of the second game next Thursday.

“Hardy’s going to be out for probably at least a week to 10 days, unless something major happens,” Gailey said. “It’s tough on him. I feel bad for him. I feel bad for us, too. We wanted to get a good look at him. He had done some good things.”

Hardy’s injury gives Stevie Johnson an even better chance to win the No. 2 receiver job. It also gives Chad Jackson and rookie David Nelson more opportunity to win playing time and make the roster. If the final cuts were today, Jackson, the former Pats second-round pick, would be on the team and seeing quality playing time. Nelson, who is 6-5, has made his presence known out of the slot in camp. The Bills have seven receivers healthy for the Redskins game. So undrafted rookies Naaman Roosevelt and Donald Jones also are going to get a good chance to make an impression.

Asked if the Bills will have to add a receiver due to injuries, Gailey said: “We’ll have to see. We’ve got a short week next week so it’s not like we can go out and do a ton in between the next two ballgames. Then we’ll make a decision probably during the week next week whether we need to address it for the long term or not.”

---Mark Gaughan

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