Charles Clay has participated in every practice for the Buffalo Bills this offseason, but that doesn’t mean his knee injuries are behind him. Plagued by chronic knee problems since before he joined Buffalo in 2015, head coach Sean McDermott did not mince words on his featured tight end.
"We are concerned with Charles' knee situation," McDermott told reporters Thursday. "It's something we have to manage moving forward in order to have him on the field for us, which is important moving forward. He's a weapon for us."
Clay routinely missed practices over the past two years with Rex Ryan as head coach but didn’t miss a game due to the knee. In 2016, he missed one game for the birth of a child and in 2015, missed the final three games of the season with a back injury.
Last December, offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn said the constant missed practices were hampering his chemistry with quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
"He's participated in most all of it," McDermott said about offseason workouts. "That said, just like with all of our players, we have to put them in position to be successful, Charles no different. So if managing his reps, if that's what we have to do, then we'll continue to do that."
Buffalo has hosted free agent tight end Gary Barnidge, who is in no hurry to sign a contract anywhere. Nick O’Leary leads the other tight ends on the roster, but provides a much different skill set from the athletic Clay.