Bills' McGahee continues his rehabilitation

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR STAFF
wholtsclaw@starhq.com
NASHVILLE - The last playing clips of Willis McGahee were not that pretty.
After a nasty hit in the fourth quarter with Miami in the Fiesta Bowl against Ohio State last season, the running back is slowly coming around from a torn anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.
Saturday night at the Coliseum, McGahee made his first game appearance as a member of the Buffalo Bills after signing last week. He slowly walked around on the sidelines, smiling, happy to be back on the field in any condition.
In the most surprising move of the NFL Draft, the 2003 Consensus All-American was drafted in the first round by the Bills, who already had Travis Henry and recently signed former Georgia Bulldog and Denver Bronco Olandis Gary.
It only makes the road tougher for McGahee, but he is ready to get to work.
"My goal right now is getting my quad strong and that's the only thing I'm worried about right now," he said after the Bills' 37-24 loss to Tennessee. "Then when that happens, everything will fall into place and then I can get with the team and hopefully everything will be okay."
Many analysts and team staffers have set time tables for a return, but nothing is set in stone for the rookie.
"We actually don't know right now," said McGahee. "It really all depends on me, seeing how I feel and getting the opinion from the doctors and the team, seeing how they feel about the situation."
Although the odds are still stacked against him, he's just happy to be in a program with a new-found emphasis on running the football.
"These guys did a real good job tonight," he said. "Travis Henry did a good job with the long run he had, Olandis had two touchdowns and it was all nice. I'm just happy to be here with these guys. We'll see how things work out."
Willis carried 282 times for 1753 yards (6.2 avg) and 28 touchdowns his senior season with the Hurricanes, all school records.
TITANS INJURY STATUS
- Tennessee tight end Frank Wycheck is expected to be fine after the concussion he received on the first play of the game. He will sit out of practice this week and Saturday's contest against Cincinnati.
- Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and fifth-round pick Donnie Nickey went down in the game with a bruised ankle and shoulder burn respectively, they are expected to be fine.
PLAYERS SHOW BIG IMPROVEMENT ON FIELD
Titans wide receiver Justin McCareins and back-up quarterback Billy Volek both helped their cause for the 2003 season Saturday night with outstanding all-around performances.
McCareins was in the midst of a heated battle for the second receiver slot, while Volek is battling to stay on the roster. McCareins caught two touchdown passes, matching his career high, while Volek was 10-of-16 for 127 yards and two scores.
"I would've rather saved them for a regular season game, but I'll take them," McCareins said. "I just need to use it as motivation for the regular season.
"When you've got the number one group blocking for you, it's working for you and I love the feel," said Volek. "The three of us (quarterbacks) have good chemistry, so we have to keep on competing."