PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) -Buffalo Bills tight end Derek Schouman missed practice Sunday and is out indefinitely with a strained left knee, all but ending his chance to win the starting job out of training camp.
Coach Dick Jauron said trainers informed him that it will be weeks before Schouman is expected to be cleared for practice, meaning the player likely will miss the Bills' two final preseason games.
``It's not good, but it could have been worse,'' Jauron said.
Schouman was hurt when a teammate was knocked into him while covering a kickoff in the second quarter of Buffalo's 24-21 preseason victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday. He limped off the field and did not return.
The Bills' 2007 seventh-round draft pick out of Boise State, Schouman had three catches for 19 yards in three games as a rookie. His season ended in mid-November when he was placed on injured reserve after hurting his calf.
Schouman was given the opportunity to compete for the starting job after incumbent Robert Royal missed the team's spring minicamps while recovering from knee surgery. Schouman opened training camp practicing with the first-string offense and started in Buffalo's preseason opener against Washington on Aug. 9.
Rookie receiver James Hardy, the Bills' second-round pick, was held out of practice Sunday and is expected to miss a few days after aggravating a left hamstring injury against Pittsburgh.
The Bills welcomed back veteran slot receiver Josh Reed, who returned to practice after missing two weeks with a lower back injury. Reed had back surgery this offseason but said the injury was not in the same area.

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