Well, it was fun while it lasted! The Buffalo Bills ended their 2017 season with a 10-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card Playoffs. While the game left the fan base expecting more than 3 points, it was still a fantastic season. This unexpected campaign has created stability within the franchise, allowing for the entire front office to mold the team in their vision and find the pieces they need to take that next step.
Even though the season is done, my job is not. Today’s post will outline the injuries sustained in Sunday’s loss and determine the level of severity and identify any possible long term side effects. Starting off, G Richie Incognitio suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st quarter with 5:20 left that removed him from the game for a short duration. Video observation shows that he injures his left shoulder while being spun around to the ground, colliding with DT Marcell Dareus. He was able to walk off the field under his own power and required some time to rest on the bench. There does not appear to be any specific mechanism of injury; just two big men that collided and Incognitio took more of the force.
Next up is TE Charles Clay who suffered a right hamstring injury running a route with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter. The injury did not appear to be anything more routine than a minor Grade 1 strain. Clay was able to return later in the game and it appeared that most of the players injured tried to return in order to give the Bills the best chance at winning.
The Bills were relatively injury free for over a quarter of the game until the 3rd quarter when S Micah Hyde suffered a head injury with 13:25 in the 3rd quarter when he collided with DT Kyle Williams during a tackle. Hyde was forced to leave the game for a short time, eventually returning before hitting his head during a low tackle on Marcedes Lewis with 6:30 left in 3rd quarter which ended his day. Neither hit appeared to severely injure him, but as he appeared to be having some symptoms of a concussion as trainers tended to him; he was entered into the concussion protocol which ended his day. I question whether he should have left after the first hit, but he was tested and cleared to return by training staff.
As the game progressed, S Colt Anderson sustained an injury attempting to catch an interception. It was reported that he injured his hand while diving but was observed to be placing weight through both hands while trainers tended to him. Upon further review, it appears that he hit his right shoulder or forearm. He did have a compression sleeve on his right forearm indicating his broken forearm from earlier in the season and may have hit it in such a way that sent significant pain through his body. Either way, there has not been any updates and his presence all season has been irrelevant at best.
Finally, QB Tyrod Taylor suffered a hard hit to the head during a tackle by Dante Fowler late in the 4th quarter and then suffered another lesser hit from Fowler falling into him while attempting to get up. He initially appeared to be unconscious while medical staff assessed him. Taylor presented as dazed coming off the field and as he went into the tunnel to be evaluated for a concussion. However, the effects of the hit appeared to have little impact on him as he was observed attending a Toronto Raptors game with RB LeSean McCoy on Tuesday. This indicates two things; either the hit was not as severe as initially thought and has since recovered, or he is not following doctor’s protocols. If he did sustain a concussion, flashing lights, loud noises, lots of activity would exasperate his symptoms and he wouldn’t be there. Either way, it is irrelevant as the season is over and he can take time to recover on his own schedule.
I believe there were other injuries that the players played through, giving their all in order to win the game. RB LeSean McCoy played through a sprained ankle and did not appear to miss a step. He allegedly declined a cortisone shot prior to the game to prevent him from not feeling whether he injured the ankle worse. The entire team played incredibly tough and gave everything they had until the very end. Thankfully, none of the observable injuries appear to be foreshadowing problems going into the off-season.
As disappointed as I am in the final score, I am overall incredibly happy with how this season ended. The Bills ended the playoff drought, they began to build a culture that players want to be a part of, and they brought hope and excitement to a city starved for a winner. I am thrilled to note that the front office realizes that while they took a step in the right direction, they still have a lot of work to do and will not rest on the successes of this season. I cannot wait to see the changes the Bills make in the off-season and how they continue to mold this franchise back into a winner.
With the season ending, this does not mean that my blog will take a hiatus. While there may not be Bills football to watch, there are still many topics to discuss. Some topics I will look to cover in no particular order, but not limited to: my thoughts on the Bills finally making the playoffs, surgeries Bills players are scheduled for and impact for next season, reviewing position specific injuries from this season, and evaluating players injury histories that the Bills may draft.
Thank you for reading this season, this has been an incredibly special season that I was glad to provide my thoughts and assist in giving a new perspective that has been found in limited spaces. As I continue to grow as a Physical Therapist, I intend to broaden my knowledge base to evaluate injuries via video, provide a greater in depth understanding of the injury to the reader, and improve my writing skills to share my knowledge with everyone.
Please continue to follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for the latest Bills news, playoff thoughts, and feel free to ask any injury related questions. While I cannot diagnose and offer treatment interventions without evaluating someone, I can still answer general questions, discuss injuries and assist in providing resources for further education. Thank you for your support and GO BILLS!!