Stevie Johnson returns to practice

AP

Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson said last week that he wasn’t sure when he would be medically cleared to return to practice after suffering a strained back during workouts last month.

It turned out not to be all that long a wait. Johnson was on the field with the rest of the Bills at Tuesday’s practice after getting the green light to return to work. Johnson didn’t sound like he was quite 100 percent but was pleased to have progressed faster than initially expected.

“It definitely feels good to just be out there on the field, even through the little pains I have,” Johnson said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “It’s getting better every week. They gave me a six-to-eight-week thing to even get on the field, and it’s only been about three, so I feel good.”

Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was also pleased that Johnson got the go-ahead to work because it will help him manage the “growing pains” of playing in a new system. Hackett also credited Johnson for giving a hand to less experienced teammates as they also learn the scheme the team’s installing this offseason. The Bills will likely take it easy with Johnson as long as he’s still having “little pains” as all the knowledge of the scheme won’t help much if the team’s best players aren’t available to run it.