T.J. Graham was deemed unready for the NFL just three days ago by Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey.
Four days from now, that will have to change.
David Nelson was formally placed on injured reserve Tuesday, a day after it was announced he would be lost for the season because of a torn ACL in his right knee suffered Sunday in the season opener against the New York Jets.
So ready or not, Graham is set to make his professional debut this Sunday when the Bills open the home portion of their schedule against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It's a debut that will come seven days later than expected by most, given Graham's draft status. The Bills traded up in the third round to select the 6-foot, 180-pound burner out of North Carolina State, hoping he'd bring a deep threat to the offense at receiver.
Graham, however, was an inactive in the 48-28 loss to the Jets, and Gailey had a simple reason why.
"He was not ready," the coach said. "To be honest with you, he is very similar to where C.J. [Spiller] was two years ago when we had him as a rookie - very talented but not quite ready to play. Now he is going to be thrust in there. We were fortunate that we did not have to thrust C.J. in there too much as a rookie. We wanted him to play some. This will be T.J.'s chance."
Graham stuck around late Monday to watch extra film of the Chiefs.
"I'm a quick learner, but I still gotta ask more questions," he said. "I've got to figure things out. My time will come. I'll make plays, but if they don't trust me out there, then I've got to study a little more."
The Bills will have to determine exactly how they plan to use Graham. Nelson played a key role in the team's spread offense as a slot receiver, but that position is not suited for the rookie.
The Bills could move No. 2 receiver Donald Jones inside and have Graham line up outside, but Gailey indicated that decision had yet to be made.
"Let us determine all of that. We have Brad Smith, we have Ruvell [Martin] and we have some other guys who can play some different spots. Whether T.J. plays 10 snaps or 50 snaps, I do not know yet," he said. "We've got to work through some issues with T.J. to make sure that he's on the same page, because he's been here the shortest amount of time."
Graham said that even without playing last week, he picked up plenty, both from the intensity of practice and watching from field level.
"Coach says I was kind of slow to learning things, but I feel like I've learned a lot of things in the last week or so. Trying to figure out how to practice for a game week and even prepare for a real NFL game. Coming into Week Two, I feel like I'll be a lot more prepared for all that," he said. "That was probably the best thing for me, to be on the field. I got to hear all the calls. I got to see the game from a different angle. It's pretty fast, it's pretty physical."
Going back to training camp, Gailey has been consistent in his belief that Graham has potential game-changing ability, but that he has a lot to learn at the professional level.
"He has worked at being a better receiver. He has given it some thought. Not only working on the field, but he is giving it some thought. And the thing we do is we give him some freedom," the coach said during camp. "So if he will use his imagination and get out there and do the thing he does best as far as using his speed, the sky is the limit for the guy."
The first time to show that will come Sunday.
To replace Nelson on the active roster, the Bills re-signed running back Johnny White. A fifth-round pick of the team in 2011, White was released during final cuts last month. The 5-10, 202-pounder from North Carolina gained 38 yards on 12 carries in 12 games last season.
One of the victims in a triple homicide Sunday morning in Alabama is reportedly the brother of Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.
Simeon Gilmore, 19, was one of three men found shot to death Sunday afternoon at a house in Pelham, Ala., according to a report in The Birmingham News.
CBS42 news in Birmingham reported Tuesday that Gilmore is the brother of Dareus. The TV station said Dareus is making plans to return home to Birmingham to be with his family.
The Bills said they do not comment on personal situations regarding their players.