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Bills owner Wilson returns home from the hospital

Associated Press Modified: September 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson is back home and doing well after being released from the hospital.

Team spokesman Scott Berchtold provided the update Wednesday after coach Chan Gailey was asked whether he had spoken to Wilson as he usually does during a game week. Gailey said he had not, but added that Wilson had returned home on Tuesday.

"I'm sure we'll talk sometime soon," Gailey said, and later referred to Wilson as being "tough as nails."

The Bills are preparing to open their season on Sunday at AFC East rival New York Jets.

The 93-year-old Hall of Fame owner was hospitalized last week and had been listed in good condition.

The team has not revealed why Wilson was hospitalized.

Wilson had hip surgery in spring 2011, and his health has slipped, making it difficult for him to travel. After he's regularly attended Bills home games since founding the franchise in 1960, Wilson was able to attend only one last season.

News of Wilson being hospitalized came at a critical juncture for the franchise he founded as one of the inaugural members of the American Football League. The Bills are in the middle of negotiations with Erie County to extend their lease at Ralph Wilson Stadium. As part of the talks, the Bills are seeking taxpayer dollars to help fund more than $200 million in proposed renovations to the 39-year-old facility.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said last week that negotiations will continue while Wilson recovers.

The current lease expires in July. Though Bills officials have maintained the team's commitment to staying in Buffalo for the long term, there remain concerns of what happens to the franchise once Wilson dies.

Wilson has previously said he has no intention to leave the team to his family, and instead intends to have his heirs sell the franchise.

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