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Signs point to David Nelson being out a long while

By Tim Graham

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Buffalo Bills fans are holding their breath about running back Fred Jackson's injury.

Wide receiver David Nelson's injury might hurt the team more.

Both players suffered right knee injuries in a 48-28 loss to the New York Jets at the Meadowlands. Each walked to the locker room under his own power, but Nelson needed a golf cart to transport him from the locker room to the team bus.

"Fred doesn't look as bad as David," Bills coach Chan Gailey said. "We don't know how bad David is, but it doesn't look good right now."

Jackson's injury is believed to be a sprain. There was no word on how bad Nelson's knee was. They will be re-evaluated Monday after MRIs pinpoint the extent of their injuries.

Jackson got hurt in the second quarter. He ran off right tackle for a 7-yard gain before Jets safety LaRon Landry cut him down. Landry hit Jackson on the left leg, but Jackson's right knee twisted on the way down.

Jackson, who missed the final six games last season with a broken leg, was visibly emotional, crying as he paced on the sideline for several minutes. He jogged in place and tried to make some cuts with medical professionals observing. He went to the locker room and didn't return.

C.J. Spiller had a boffo game in Jackson's absence. Finding a replacement for Nelson will be tougher.

Nelson's injury occurred in the fourth quarter and away from the play, apparently while cutting. He was Buffalo's second-leading receiver last year with 61 catches for 658 yards and five touchdowns.

The Bills kept only four full-time receivers at the end of preseason and added special-teamer Ruvell Martin this week when they placed cornerback Ron Brooks on injured reserve.

Martin dressed today, while third-round draft choice T.J. Graham was a healthy scratch. The Bills also could promote Marcus Easley from the practice squad.

If the Bills want to sign another receiver, then University at Buffalo star Naaman Roosevelt might be the guy. He's still available. But they can't get Derek Hagan back. Hagan signed with the Oakland Raiders after the Bills cut him.

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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 |