ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — As if a deflating season-opening loss wasn't bad enough in putting a dent in the Buffalo Bills' high expectations. Now they have injuries to two key offensive players to contend with.
Receiver David Nelson will miss the rest of the season after tearing a ligament in his right knee. The news is at least a little more encouraging for running back Fred Jackson, who will miss at least four weeks after he also hurt his right knee.
Coach Chan Gailey provided the update Monday afternoon, a day after both players were hurt in a dreadful 48-28 loss at the New York Jets.
"It's a setback," Gailey said. "You lose experience and you lose versatility. But I think our guys can adjust."
The injuries hit two key players on an offense that's already off to an inconsistent start after producing four turnovers against the Jets, including three interceptions by starter Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Buffalo attempts to regroup in preparing to face the Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) in its home opener Sunday.
Nelson has been a reliable target in the slot, and finished second on the team with 61 catches for 658 yards and five touchdowns last season.
Jackson is a respected team leader who's been a dual-threat workhorse in rushing and receiving. Despite missing the final six games with a broken bone in his right leg last year, Jackson still finished with 1,376 combined yards to account for nearly a quarter of the Bills' total offense.
"I hate it. It's dumb to feel like I do right now just because it could've been a lot worse," Jackson said after taping an episode of his local television show at a suburban mall. "I'm not happy about it at all, but I'll deal with it."
Wearing a brace underneath his jeans, Jackson said he was diagnosed with a sprained knee ligament. He's aiming to be back within four weeks, meaning Jackson could return in time for Buffalo's game at San Francisco Oct. 7.
Though calling it unlikely, Jackson would prefer to be back a week earlier, when Buffalo hosts AFC East rival New England.
Jackson was hurt early in the second quarter when he was cutting across to his right and Jets safety LaRon Landry hit Jackson just above the left knee. Having already planted his right foot, Jackson felt his knee pop as he went to the ground.
Jackson was able to walk off on his own and test his leg on the sideline before heading off to the locker room with a towel draped over his head.
"After I looked at it on film, I'm extremely happy with what it is instead of what it could've been," he said. "I'm blessed."