The Bills are riding high at 2-0 but injuries are beginning to mount. Missing time due to injury is an unfortunate reality of the NFL and the Bills are no exception. They are set to host the Bengals in the home opener on Sunday down 3 key players in this young season. Today’s thoughts will outline why these individuals will miss the game, their expected return, & outlook in the coming weeks.
CB Taron Johnson (right hamstring)
Johnson has been dealing with a hamstring strain since the season opener early in the 3rd quarter. To recall, he was attempting to cover Jets WR Jamison Crowder over the middle before pulling up lame with what appeared to be a Grade 1 hamstring strain. He missed last week’s game as expected but now he will miss his 2nd straight game. Due to the demands of the cornerback position having to run forward, backward, sideways, the demands of his hamstring is greater than other positions. Unfortunately, these strains are common in the warmer months & early in the season as players work into game shape.
However, while he did not practice this week, he did perform drills on the side indicating that he is healing as evident in the video below. Based on that video and that it’s been two weeks already, it’s likely that he is at worst questionable heading into Week 4 but could possibly play barring any setbacks.
RB Devin Singletary (left hamstring)
Singletary suffered his own hamstring strain late in the 4th quarter with a run to the left before hobbling out of bounds. Like Johnson, he came up lame and hobbled across the field to the bench. Singletary was not able to practice all week and according to reports, he was not seen on the sidelines doing any individual drills.
Fortunately for Singletary, his hamstring injury by video appeared to milder compared to Johnson’s. This indicates that he may be able to practice next week to prepare for the Patriots. There is no guarantee that he will be ready but I believe that he will have shorter recovery time and only miss a week.
TE Tyler Kroft (left ankle)
Kroft was on track to start his first game in a Bills uniform this Sunday before “banging” his ankle in his 2nd practice back. According to reports, he suffered a low ankle sprain. Without any further information, it’s hard to say if he will be ready next week. It’s unlikely that this ankle injury is the result of the broken foot that he has been recovering from. I believe that Kroft is now deemed oft-injured considering the injuries over the past 2 years.
The team has been incredibly diligent in managing Kroft’s injury but it’s very difficult to prevent the injuries that Kroft has sustained so far. The hope is that he recovers well from the sprain and can be ready for Week 4. However, it’s likely that he would want to be at 100% before even attempting to return to play. Either he comes back Week 4 or 5 at the latest.
LB Corey Thompson (ankle)
Thompson suffered an ankle sprain possibly before Friday’s practice. Despite there isn’t video available of the ankle injury, it’s likely he’s also dealing with a low ankle sprain. If he had suffered this earlier in the week, he may have been limited but cleared to play. However, since this happened Friday, he may try to test it out on Sunday to see if he can go. He won’t be 100%, but taping up the ankle along with a good warmup may allow him to get through the game through his limited participation on special teams. It’s truly a 50/50 shot on whether he plays.
Others dealing with injury:
WR Andre Roberts (quadriceps)
Roberts suffered what appears to be a quadriceps strain right before Week 1, causing him to miss 2 games. He was finally able to practice in full Friday which is always a good indication of playing Sunday. This is an injury that can reoccur despite rest & rehab, but video below shows him moving well. The medical staff also continues to be conservative and not rushing players back unless they’re truly able to play.
CB Tre’Davious White (neck)
White was a surprise addition to the injury report with a red, non-contact jersey Wednesday & Thursday. It was later revealed that he is dealing with a neck injury. In my Twitter thread below, I outlined some possibilities when he suffered a neck injury in Sunday’s game. He did suffer several hits but nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. This may be a general neck strain but hard to pinpoint without an exact mechanism of injury. Thankfully, he is cleared and will be one to watch for Sunday if he has to exit the game due to any further injury.
In the video below, White doesn’t appear to be limited at all covering WR Duke Williams on 1-on-1 drills.
Johnson, Singletary, and Kroft are already ruled out but fortunately, the Bills have solid depth at each position to get through the Bengals game with the hopes each can return for the Patriots game. It’s unfortunate that they are missing the home opener, but better to miss now with quality depth rather than playing with limited options late in the season with playoffs at stake.