Scott Chandler's recovery from ACL surgery has gone better than the Buffalo Bills originally anticipated, meaning the tight end will likely have time to practice and get back into shape before the NFL season begins.
Chandler tore the ligament Week 16 of last season, ending his year, and was given an estimated recovery date of the beginning of the 2013 regular season. However, the Bills' website reports that Chandler will be roughly a month ahead of time, giving him most of training camp to properly condition. He's at Bills OTA's and should be able to participate for large parts of training camp.
The extra practice time will also give him more time to physically participate in a new offensive scheme put in place by Doug Marrone and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, while meshing with whoever it is starts at quarterback for the Bills.
Chandler has come on strong with Buffalo: a fourth-round selection of the San Diego Chargers in 2007, he didn't catch a single pass between several franchises before joining the Bills in 2010. He rose to become one of Ryan Fitzpatrick's leading targets, reeling in 43 catches last season, tied for second on the team behind Stevie Johnson.
At 6'7, he could provide a huge target for first-round draft pick E.J. Manuel or free agent signing Kevin Kolb, although neither player has shown much of a propensity to toss the ball to a tight end at previous stops. Chandler is basically assured the starting tight end spot ahead of Lee Smith as long as he's healthy.