ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Rookie receiver James Hardy hasn't made much of an impact for the undefeated Buffalo Bills. He'll get a chance to change that over the next month.
Hardy, Buffalo's second-round pick this past April, will likely have a bigger role in the offense after Roscoe Parrish had his right thumb surgically repaired this week. Despite his early season struggles, Hardy says he's ready to show what he can do Sunday when the Bills (3-0) travel to St. Louis (0-3).
``I'm excited,'' he said. ``You don't want to see guys go down, but this is the game of football and it happens. So when guys go down, other guys have to step up. Being a part of a winning organization, you've got to wait your turn. We're 3-0, we're winning, and everybody's happy. Now Roscoe's down for a couple of weeks and I've just got to step up.''
It won't be easy for Hardy to replace Parrish's production as the No. 3 receiver. The diminutive Parrish has seven catches for 60 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown late in the game the Bills eventually pulled out against Oakland last week.
likely be lined up on the outside opposite Lee Evans in Buffalo's three-receiver set, with Josh Reed now moving into the slot.
``That's why they drafted me. That's the position they want me to be at,'' Hardy said. ``Roscoe goes down, everybody shifts.''
Despite his lackluster start, Hardy did generate a critical 7-yard touchdown in Buffalo's Week 2 win at Jacksonville. He was able to outreach and outleap Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis in the back right corner of the end zone to haul in Trent Edwards' pass.
Hardy can't stretch the field like the speedy Parrish, but his lanky 6-foot-5 frame will give Edwards a large target when the Bills are in the red zone.
``I feel I'm coming along well,'' Hardy said. ``We're winning, so they're not just going to pull guys in and out. We've got veteran guys that are teaching me things that I need to know, the little kinks about being a professional. I just wanted to wait my turn. Now it's my time and I'm trying to show off.''
At Indiana, Hardy had a knack for finding the end zone. He finished his career with 36 touchdowns, including 16 as a senior last year.
Those gaudy numbers haven't followed into the NFL, but Hardy isn't too worried.
``It's a marathon,'' he said. ``I just wanted to come in, be patient, and wait for my number to be called.''
The wait is over.

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