FLORHAM PARK, NJ — Jets wide receiver David Nelson still has fond memories of Buffalo, NY.
“I’m a Duffs guy,” he joked with Jets Insider, referring to the city’s famous wing joint. “I went to Duffs probably twice a week. I miss Buffalo for that reason, for the food.”
As for Buffalo’s football team, well, the memories are a little more stale.
“Anybody who tells you that when they play an old team or a team that cut them, that it’s just another game, is lying to you,” Nelson said. “Because this is definitely more than just another game for me.”
Sunday’s divisional game against the Bills will be the first time Nelson is back in Buffalo, the place where he started his career as an undrafted rookie out of the University of Florida in 2010, since the Bills decided not to tender him a one-year deal back in February.
Nelson was in the process of rehabbing an ACL injury, which he sustained in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the Jets, when he got the news that he would not be returning to Buffalo.
“I found out through Twitter, like a lot of other things in life,” he said.
The Bills didn’t notify him or his agent before the wide receiver got the news while at a Chicago Blackhawks game.
“Because of the way it kind of ended, it’s still a little difficult for me to swallow,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m glad to be here. I consider it a true blessing to be here and I’m glad the way it worked out.”
Nelson has been a pleasant surprise for the Jets this season since signing as a patchwork free agent on Oct. 2, catching 13 passes for 179 yards in three games.
In that time, he’s managed to play himself into an important role on the Jets offense, becoming one of Geno Smith’s most consistent targets, considering the glut of injuries and the suspension of Kellen Winslow.
“The fact that he’s able to pick up an offense in the short amount of time that he did, that’s very impressive. It speaks volumes about the teachers that you have in there … those guys do a great job, but it tells you about him. It tells you about the person,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “He put it upon himself to really learn it and I think that’s really, really impressive. I know he gained all the respect in the world from all his teammates.”
So, with the backing of his new teammates, Nelson will prepare to face his old ones on Sunday and he’s not holding back.
“This isn’t just another game for me,” he said. “It’s going to be personal and I think you’ll see that on Sunday.”