Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will bring a special guest to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Saturday's game against the Bills.
Jacob Rainey, a high school junior from central Virginia whose football career was ended by a tragic injury, will be flown up to Buffalo with his family to cheer on the Broncos. Rainey, a 6-foot-3, 213-pound quarterback, suffered a broken leg in a scrimmage on Sept. 3, and the leg had to be amputated due to a severed artery.
Tebow's charitable foundation runs a "Wish 15" program that benefits a wish-granting organization in Jacksonville, Fla., and also brings a youngster and his or her family to every Bronco game during the season.
Tebow said living in a spotlight is worth the hassle due to the charity work he conducts.
"I think for me the good outweighs the bad as far as all that goes," Tebow told Buffalo reporters on a conference call. "More than anything it outweighs it because [of] the ability to walk into a hospital and share with kids. The ability to go talk with kids or talk to a high school or the ability to have dreams come true, [to have a] kid come to every one of my games. The ability to have Jacob Rainey come to the Bills game and be on the sideline.
"Here's a kid that a few months ago was playing football and got hit in the back of the knee and I think ruptured an artery," Tebow said. "They amputated his lower leg. He was ready to get scholarship offers and all that, and now he can't play football. So you have to realize how blessed you are and use that platform. That's why I'm so blessed to take Jacob and his family to the Buffalo game. What an amazing kid and what an amazing outlook that he has."
Rainey drew comparisons to Tebow during his playing career due to his running ability and was receiving interest from ACC football schools.
"I think it puts things into perspective, too," Tebow said. "Before you go out there to play a game, so many people want to make it all about you, you, you and all this football. You have a chance to really have the right perspective about trying to give back and make someone's day and hopefully put a smile on their face and bring them a little hope."
The Bills' seven-game losing streak has overshadowed the presence of Tebow from a ticket-buying perspective.
The Bills announced Saturday's game against Tebow and the Broncos will be blacked out. There are roughly 24,000 tickets remaining. The game may see the lowest attendance at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Bills since 2001 or 2002. The Bills drew 47,850 for a season-finale against Cincinnati in 2002. They drew 45,527 for a snowstorm game against the Pats in 2001.
Bills tight end Scott Chandler was limited in practice Wednesday, while defensive tackle Marcell Dareus practiced fully.
Chandler has missed the last two games with a sprained ankle and still is feeling the affects of the injury. But Bills coach Chan Gailey is hopeful he will be ready to face Denver on Saturday.
"I think we've got a decent chance," Gailey said. "I'm not ready to give my full endorsement but I think we've got a decent chance."
Chandler's availability is important, because the Bills lost their No. 2 tight end, Lee Smith, to an ankle injury last week. That leaves Mike Caussin and two newly acquired players, Fendi Onobun and Kevin Brock, as the other options at the position.
Meanwhile, Gailey said both Dareus and receiver Stevie Johnson should be good to face the Broncos. Dareus injured his hand against Miami. Johnson was limited in practice with a sore groin. Receiver and special-teamer Ruvell Martin also was limited in practice. Running back Johnny White did not practice due to a concussion.
Denver is in good health entering the game. Safety Brian Dawkins (neck) was limited.