Niagara Gazette

Bills

May 31, 2009

BILLS: Road back for Bowen nearly complete

ORCHARD PARK — The road has always been long for Alvin Bowen. Originally, Bowen’s football odyssey took him from New Jersey to a Kansas junior college, then later to Iowa State — a long way from a New York City suburb.

But the most recent stretch of pavement’s been the toughest — an uphill climb from the injured reserve.

After an ACL injury suffered during last year’s training camp at St. John Fisher, the Buffalo Bills’ fifth-round draft choice in the 2008 draft has been working diligently to get back on the field.

The knee is rested and rehabbed, and he’s had a chance to do just that during the team’s organized team activities in Orchard Park.

“I’m feeling good. I’m feeling ready to get back in there and tear some stuff up,” Bowen said.

His participation is a significant marker on Bowen’s road, but it’s not the end by any means.

With plenty of competition at linebacker, he still has to make the roster, which will be no small task. Listed as the third-string strong side linebacker behind Kawika Mitchell and Orchard Park native Jon Corto, Bowen isn’t worried about the numbers crunch for now.

“You make your own opportunities. You just got to get out there and work hard,” Bowen said. “We brought in some good linebackers, you’ve just got to compete and work hard. The end of the day, that’ll all sort itself out.”

Linebackers coach Matt Sheldon said watching a young player like Bowen go down before getting a chance to prove himself is difficult, but he’s been impressed with the resolve he’s shown since the injury occurred.

“I know it’s a pretty big shock to a young player, especially if he’s been healthy in earlier parts of his career," Sheldon said. “And then it’s a big challenge. It’s a challenge to work at the rehab, as if he was working on game development. He’s done that. That’s exciting. He’s come all the way back to where he’s moving pretty well.

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