Earlier this off-season, the Buffalo Bills were worried that tight end Scott Chandler wouldn't be ready to hit the field for the start of training camp after January ACL surgery. They were so concerned, in fact, that they targeted tight ends on the free agent market (Delanie Walker and Fred Davis), then took a shot on seventh-round pick Chris Gragg of Arkansas in the 2013 NFL Draft. Gragg was the only tight end departed GM Buddy Nix picked in four years on the job; that should give you some insight on how worried about Chandler's knee.
Perhaps their worry was a bit overblown. Just five months removed from the injury and a little over four from the surgery, Chandler is already running routes (albeit not at full speed), according to BuffaloBills.com.
"The knee feels really good," Chandler said at the conclusion of his solo workout. "I feel great. Running routes you could probably tell it's not 100 percent, but it's better than most so I feel good."
Chandler also told reporters that he'll make an attempt at participating in the team's mandatory mini-camp in mid-June, but that it's more realistic that he'll return to the field when training camp begins in late July.
"Honestly I just wanted to be ready to go when training camp and the season came around," Chandler said Thursday. "I’m not a guy who is going to sit there and hope that it gets better. I’m going to be proactive."
If Chandler is indeed on the field when training camp, he shouldn't have any trouble holding onto his starting job. As a full-time starter over the last two years, Chandler has recorded 81 receptions for 960 yards and 12 touchdowns in 29 games played. Every other tight end on Buffalo's roster - including Dorin Dickerson, who has been moved to receiver - has a combined 20 career receptions at the NFL level.