By Tim Graham
PITTSFORD -- Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler was pleased with the way he handled a milestone practice.
Not only was tonight the opening session of training camp, but it also marked the first physical practice Chandler went through since he underwent reconstructive knee surgery.
"It's the most I've done in a while," Chandler said in Growney Stadium. "It's the first time I really got my hands on somebody and blocked them, the first time I ran a route with somebody guarding me.
"But it felt good. It was what I expected. Hopefully, I can come back out here and continue to build on that."
Chandler already had established his best statistical season when he went down in Week 16 last year, raising concerns he wouldn't recover in time for the start of the 2013 season.
He amazed many observers by running routes throughout voluntary workouts and minicamp, but tonight's practice was an accomplishment.
"It was good to get out there," Chandler said. "I'm excited to be a part of the team again. You feel excommunicated a little bit when you're just walking around on the sidelines. You try and be a little more of a rah-rah guy, but it's a lot more fun when you're out there and get to make plays."
Chandler was second on the Bills with 43 receptions for 571 yards and tied Stevie Johnson for the team lead with six receiving touchdowns.
Of Chandler's 43 catches, 36 of them went for a first down or touchdown. That rate of 83.7 percent ranked first among all tight ends and fifth overall in the NFL.