The Bills just do not stop! They continue to attempt to find players to add depth to their roster by signing WR Jeremy Kerley and DT Tenny Palepoi. Both will add desperately needed personnel to positions that are generating significant turnover in the off season. As always on Banged Up Bills, I will review their injury histories and make observations whether they are a good fit for the 2018 Buffalo Bills.
First up is WR Jeremy Kerley. The former Jets and 49ers wide receiver has seen considerable playing time in the league since entering in 2011 as a 5th round draft pick of the Jets. While he has never eclipsed more than 850 yards and 3 TD’s in a season, he has shown he is able to produce in an offense despite subpar QB play as evident with the teams he has played with. The 7th year pro has sustained his share of injuries beginning in 2011 with a knee injury which appeared to be a sprain that cost him 2 games late in the season. 2012 allowed him to be active for every game but deal with back, finger, hand, and hamstring injuries.
2013 saw Kerley deal with a head injury along with a dislocated elbow which cost him 4 games total and also dealt with finger, back, and hamstring injuries once again. 2014 was his first healthy year where he did not suffer any injuries and only dealt with illness which did not appear to affect his play. 2015 saw him continue to stay healthy despite a concussion in the preseason and a minor calf injury late into the year which he was ruled probable at that time. The veteran wideout left New York to play on the west coast for a year with San Francisco in which he continued to stay healthy, only suffering what appeared to be a mild ankle injury for which he avoided any missed games. Finally, 2017 was favorable to Kerley despite the Jets sustaining a myriad of injuries which forced many to injured reserve. Despite his healthy season, Kerley was suspended for 4 games for violating the PED policy which led to his release.
The 7th year pro has managed to avoid serious injury and shaken off some of the early career threatening injuries that derail most young players. He appears to understand how to take care of his body and avoid injuries that may cause long term issues. While not guaranteed to make the roster, he has developed the ability to make the most of his targets when given the chance.
Next up is DT Tenny Palepoi formerly of the Los Angeles Chargers. Palepoi entered the league in 2014 after going undrafted. During his time in the league, the big DT has been primarily in a backup role, never starting a game during his 4 years with the team. His career stat line is 1 sack and 35 tackles along with 18 assists. While he is only 27, he does have the ability to continue to grow as a player. Injury wise, Palepoi did not miss time in 2014 but suffered a fractured foot in 2015 that cost him his entire season. While there is not specifics as to what he suffered, a man of his size suffering a fractured foot that cost him the season leads me to believe that he suffered a Lisfranc fracture.
The 4th year pro was able to come back in 2016 fully healthy but suffered a shoulder injury which cost him one game and a hamstring injury which forced him out of 2 games later in the season. To add insult to injury, he was suspended 4 games for violating the PED policy causing him to miss 6 games in total during 2016. During the 2017 season, Palepoi saw his best season statistically with 1 sack and 20 solo tackles while avoiding further maladies.
Overall, these signings continue to demonstrate the Bills ability to find talent at a cheap price and build depth at key positions. One interesting note, both of these players have been suspended for PED violations which appear to deviate away from “The Process”. However, both players have demonstrated their ability to stay healthy, produce when asked, and it appears that these minor transgressions are able to be looked past in order to still bring them into Buffalo. These aren’t sexy signings, but they do allow the Bills to see what veteran presence they have at these positions rather than draft rookies and sign undrafted free agents which have proved nothing in the NFL.
I believe these are the last signings until the draft on Thursday. There has been never ending talk about what the Bills will do with the draft pick bounty and how it will parlay into 2018. Personally, the Bills should draft Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield if they are available. If not, go get Lamar Jackson and build off the offense that Tyrod Taylor was based out of last year. Use whatever picks are left and fills holes with the best player available. These are just my opinions; I have no say just like everyone else. All I want is the Bills to take that next step towards the promised land, but I have faith that Beane and McDermott will pick the right players. Until then, continue to follow Banged Up Bills on Facebook and on Twitter @BangedUpBills for the latest Bills injury news. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!