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Stevie Johnson says he's 90 percent

By Jay Skurski

SJohnsonMug11Bills receiver Stevie Johnson took about 10 reps during the team portion of today's first minicamp practice, a small but significant step in his recovery from groin surgery.

Johnson said after the practice on the Bills' grass field he's about 90 percent recovered. Johnson revealed that the surgery he had performed early in May was actually to repair a tear in his groin, which he suffered during last year's training camp.

"Definitely, today was a big step. Still a lot of work to do. Mentally I feel [OK], everything else I think I am pretty good. My groin felt good. I still have to get over the mental aspect of it," he said. "That is why I wanted to come out for this minicamp. I can get acquainted to running routes and try to get over the mental aspect of being out there, cutting on my left leg and trying to trust it. I think this is big. I do not want to go into training camp thinking how I am thinking now out there. I think this is a big step."

Johnson's eager to increase his workload, but understands the need to take things slow. It is June, after all.

"I do not want to be selfish because they are doing a good job with me. But at the same time, I want to be selfish," he said. "I need more so I can get better and get over this mental part. I believe in what they [the team's trainers] are doing. They have given me the right steps since the surgery so I am going to go with what they are doing now. I believe in it."

Johnson didn't miss a game in 2011 despite the injury, becoming the first receiver in team history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick drew a laugh when he was asked how Johnson looked in practice, deadpanning: "I try not to stare down my receivers."

"He did not have a ton of balls thrown his way today. Some of that is just the way they are playing coverage. I talked to him during and after practice to ask him stuff. I think it is good for him to get out there just to get his confidence back in his groin and get his legs under him. I thought he did fine and we had a lot of discussion out there," Fitzpatrick said. "Great to see him out there. He is a special player and he is obviously a guy that we need out there."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |