The absence of injured receiver David Nelson was an often-overlooked reason for the Buffalo Bills' offensive struggles.

Nelson crumpled to the Meadowlands turf with a torn knee ligament on opening day against the New York Jets and was done for the season. The loss hurt. He caught 61 passes for 658 yards and five touchdowns in 2011.

Nelson now calls the timing of his injury "a blessing" because he is so far along in his recovery that the knee should be back to normal well in advance of training camp.

"The way it's progressing right now, I'm hoping to be full-go for OTAs," Nelson told me in the Super Bowl XLVII media center, where he made the rounds at Radio Row. "I'll try to work myself in slowly and then be full-go for mandatory minicamp and then hit camp at 100 percent.

"It was a blessing to have it happen so early. Now I can be ready to go."

Nelson revealed he has been running pass routes, moving laterally and doing plyometric workouts. He said he's not cutting much, and deceleration "still gives me a little bit of an issue," but claimed he's ahead of schedule in his recovery.