Buffalo Bills receiver Roscoe Parrish is busy this week carrying a Nerf football.
The Bills hope it won't be too long before he's grabbing a real pigskin.
Parrish said he is recovering well from the torn ligaments in his thumb, which he suffered in the Bills' win over the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 21.
"Everything went pretty good with the surgery," Parrish said after Bills practice this week. "The surgery was only 20 minutes, so it wasn't a long process. We have everything going pretty good right now, and I'm just taking it day-by-day."
After his surgery, it was estimated he would be out of the lineup for four to six weeks. So he is expected to miss the Bills' next game, against San Diego, on Oct. 19. The four-week mark is Oct. 21. So there's a chance he could be ready for the game in his hometown of Miami on Oct. 26. If Parrish were to miss six weeks and have no setbacks, he would return for the game at New England on Nov. 9.
"I don't want to say I'm going to be back on this day, I'm just taking everything day-by-day and I'm going with my rehab every day," Parrish said. "This bye week is helping me out a lot."
Parrish was watching practice inside Ralph Wilson Stadium this week. He suggested he might try to do some sort of limited practice work in the coming week.
He was walking around the locker room this week squeezing an orange Nerf football to build up strength in his left thumb.
"Each day I'm feeling better about it," Parrish said. "I'm squeezing the Nerf ball to get the strength back. As far as the movement of it goes, I have that back."
Parrish adds an explosive element to the Bills' offense and special teams. He had seven catches for 60 yards and a touchdown in the first three games. The TD came on a 14-yard pass in the fourth quarter of the Oakland game. Parrish actually had injured the thumb before the touchdown play. But it wasn't too painful so he went back in the game.
On punt returns Parrish is averaging 15.2 yards on 11 returns, with a 63-yard score, which came in the season-opener against Seattle.
Parrish broke his left wrist during training camp of the 2005 season. He came back and played with a cast on his wrist over the final 10 weeks of the regular season. Parrish said he's expecting an easier adjustment this time.
"It's a much different process than the wrist injury," Parrish said. "If you look at it, I still finished the game with the injury against Oakland and caught a touchdown pass. It's not as difficult this time. With the wrist injury, I was in pain when it happened and wasn't able to do anything."
Some of the details of Lee Evans' contract are out, and it is largely a front-loaded deal. Evans gets base salaries of $11.73 million this year, $9 million in 2009 and $5.4 million in 2010, according to the NFL Players Association. There is a $3 million roster bonus in 2010. That's at least $29 million over the first three years of the deal.
Bernard Berrian's benchmark deal with the Vikings in March paid a reported $23 million the first three years. Evans' deal, counting this year and the four years of the extension, is worth a total of $38.2 million. It could go up to $39.3 million, according to union sources. Evans' base salaries are $3.025 million in both 2011 and 2012, and he has $1 million roster bonuses both of those seasons.
Like many teams, the Bills have picked their middle linebacker, Paul Posluszny, to be the one defensive player on the field who has a radio receiver in his helmet. This is the first season in which the defensive signals are sent in via radio from the sidelines.
A second defensive player is allowed to be the backup in the communication system and also have a speaker in his helmet. For the Bills, that's reserve middle backer John DiGiorgio.
At no time can two defensive players be on the field with radio receivers in their helmets. So DiGiorgio has two helmets for every game, one with the receiver and one without. The one with the receiver stays in a box on the bench and only would be used if DiGiorgio replaces Posluszny in the game.