Buffalo Bills linebacker Alvin Bowen is scheduled for surgery next week on a torn right knee ligament, likely ending his rookie season before it starts.
Coach Dick Jauron said Monday the Bills' fifth-round pick will need months to recuperate. The team hasn't determined whether to place Bowen on season-ending injured reserve. If he returns, it will be late in the regular season.
Bowen tore his ACL during practice Friday when he pulled up to avoid tackling fullback Jonathan Evans during a non-contact drill. Bowen's right cleat stuck in the turf, his knee buckled and he fell awkwardly, yelling in pain.
Bowen had been competing for a backup spot and a regular role on special teams.
Starting strong safety Donte Whitner was held out of practice Monday because of a minor ankle injury. Jauron didn't disclose the nature of the injury, but said Whitner will have tests as a precaution.
Receiver Josh Reed also missed practice because of a lower back injury.
The Bills also signed receiver C.J. Hawthorne on Monday. The undrafted rookie free agent from Hawaii had 61 catches for 859 yards and six touchdowns in 13 starts last season, his first at receiver after being converted from cornerback.
Hawthorne took the roster spot of Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters, who was placed on the reserve-did-not-report list. Peters is being fined for refusing to report to training camp because he wants the final three years of his contract restructured.