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Stevie Johnson says rehab 'way ahead of schedule'

SJohnsonMug11By Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson had groin surgery in late April. The procedure was considered minor, but significant enough to keep him out of team drills until training camp at St. John Fisher College.

Less than two weeks ago, Bills coach Chan Gailey virtually ruled out Johnson's return in time for next week's minicamp.

But after today's voluntary workout, Johnson declared himself a legitimate possibility to be on the field next week.

Johnson worked out by himself and away from his teammates this afternoon at One Bills Drive and said he is "way ahead of schedule" after practice.

"I'm ready to go," Johnson told reporters. "They said it was about six to eight [weeks for recovery], but I'm feeling like I'm ready to be out there, and I think we're moving towards that next week.

"We'll see how things go. As of now, they're saying I'll be out there to get some reps."

Johnson became the first receiver in Bills history to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons last year and is by far the most experienced, talented and dangerous threat in the passing game. His presence on the field isn't an absolute requirement at this stage of the offseason, but it would be a nice development for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense.

Johnson admitted his legs feel weak and a little dead lately, but he's getting positive feedback from trainers and is eager to run routes against defensive backs.

"That's always in the back of your head when you come back from an injury or a surgery. You don't want to rush it," Johnson said. "But we've been doing a lot [of physical therapy]. It feels like it's about 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 |