Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: September 7, 2:13 PM ET
Stevie Johnson nursing groin injury
ESPN.com news services
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The hat Stevie Johnson wore had the word "Blah!" written on it, and yet the Buffalo Bills receiver was a little more upbeat in discussing a groin injury that prevented him from practicing Thursday.
"I'm expected to play, and I'll do everything I've got to do in the training room to be out there," Johnson said, referring to his expectations of playing in the season opener at the New York Jets on Sunday.
Though saying he can't divulge too much about the injury, Johnson said he is fully prepared to return to practice on Friday.
Johnson said the injury happened during practice Wednesday, and added that it's something he expected to occur occasionally after having surgery in May to repair a groin injury that nagged him for much of last season.
Johnson was listed by the team Friday as questionable and will remain a game-time decision.
Johnson also complained of stiffness in his groin during training camp.
He didn't consider this a setback, and doesn't expect to have to deal with lingering pain throughout the season as he did last year.
"It'll definitely be gone, and nothing we should really have too much to worry about," Johnson said.
Johnson's status is a prime concern for Buffalo, because he is the team's leading receiver and expected to play a critical role in Buffalo's multi-pronged passing attack. He led the Bills with seven touchdowns and 1,004 yards receiving to become the franchise's first player to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark in consecutive seasons.
He also faces a daunting test against the Jets, when he'll likely be matched up against Darrelle Revis, one of the NFL's top cornerbacks. Johnson had success against Revis in two losses last year, combining for 11 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Bills coach Chan Gailey was cautiously optimistic that Johnson would be able to play Sunday.
"A guy doesn't practice on Thursday, there's always concern, but I think it's going to be OK," he said. "He could've gone out there today, but we kept him in."
After riding a stationary bike before practice began, Johnson stood by and watched as receivers took part in individual drills during the portion open to reporters.
In other injury news, starting right guard Kraig Urbik (back) practiced on a limited basis after missing the session Wednesday. Urbik was listed Friday as probable, as was receiver Brad Smith (groin).
Rookie cornerback Ron Brooks was on crutches and had his broken right foot in a cast in making his first appearance in the locker room since having surgery last week. Brooks was placed on short-term injured reserve on Tuesday, meaning he'll be eligible to begin practicing in six weeks.
Brooks, the second of Buffalo's two fourth-round draft picks, didn't have a timetable for how long it might take him to recover.
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton was used in this report.