ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — It's been so long since anyone's called Terrence McGee "Game Day," the Buffalo Bills cornerback chuckled on Monday when reminded of his nickname.
"Ha, ha, hopefully, I can still live up to that," McGee said.
Against some tall odds, he's made it this far.
McGee picked up the "Game Day" nickname early in his career as a result of his perseverance. No matter how sore he felt during the week leading up to a game, he was usually ready to play come Sunday.
That's a reputation that certainly applies to McGee this year in his successful bid to make the Bills' roster for a 10th season.
Overcoming season-ending knee surgery and several setbacks that limited his practice time this offseason, McGee declared himself ready to play Sunday, when the Bills travel to face the New York Jets.
"I'll be out there on Sunday," he said. "I can't really put a (percentage) on it, but I'm good enough to play."
That's a relief for McGee, who at times had questioned his future in Buffalo.
And it's a big plus for the Bills, who are relying on his veteran presence to steady their young starting cornerback tandem made up of rookie first-round pick Stephon Gilmore and second-year player Aaron Williams.
Just as important, the Bills are already down one backup cornerback in rookie Ron Brooks, who had foot surgery last week and is expected to miss about two months. That leaves McGee expected to fill the fourth cornerback spot behind Leodis McKelvin.
"We've got to keep hoping Terrence progresses the way he's progressed thus far," coach Chan Gailey said. "There have been a couple of minor setbacks, but really no major setbacks. And if we can just keep working, I think it'll be good for the entire season."
Selected in the fourth round of the 2003 draft, McGee was a six-year starter after taking over the job in his second season. An assortment of injuries (rotator cuff, back, knee and a nerve problem), however, began to catch up with him.
He's had nine starts in 15 games over the past two seasons and finished last year on injured reserve after tearing a ligament in his left knee in a loss to Miami on Nov. 20.
Aware that his recovery was going to take between eight and 10 months, McGee took a proactive step in February to improve his chances to stick with the Bills. That's when he agreed to restructure the final two years on his contract.