2021 Buffalo Bills Training Camp Injury Preview- Defensive End

This is the 2021 Training Camp Preview for the Buffalo Bills Defensive End room. This will outline every known injury from 2020 and outlook heading into 2021.

Returning:

Mario Addison

Appeared in 15 games, 3 postseason games.

Addison, an aged veteran amongst a youth movement at the defensive end position, dealt with very few injuries last year. This is possibly why he was able to return despite a drop off in production from his time in Carolina, but also to help guide the development of others around him. 

Besides a knee injury that appeared prior to Week 4 and Week 12, Addison was able to stay very healthy. The details or which side were not available, but considering he did not miss any time indicates that they were not serious in nature. He does have a lengthy injury history, but not one that has forced him to miss many games over the years. I have little concern for him from an injury standpoint as he attempts to keep his starting job.

AJ Epenesa

Appeared in 14 games, 3 postseason games.

Coming off an offseason in which there was no time to prepare with OTA’s, Epenesa got off to a slow start in his defensive snaps before picking things up in the second half of the year. The only injury he suffered was a concussion in Week 10 in the 2nd quarter that forced him out of the remainder of the game.

He was able to avoid missing any further time due to the well-timed bye, but that was the only publicly reported injury. It is important to note that he was evaluated for a head injury against the Broncos, but found to not have a concussion.

The concussion was the first known injury dating back to his freshman year of high school when he suffered a broken leg. I have no concerns regarding Epenesa injury wise, though I would expect his risk of injury to increase with his snap count.

Jerry Hughes

Appeared in 15 games, 3 postseason games.

Hughes, the proverbial iron man, saw his consecutive games streak end when he was declared inactive for the regular season finale against Miami. While it was a smart move to rest the veteran end, he has also played through a multitude of injuries that would stop other men. Injuries this season included:

  • Calf strain, Week 2, missed 0 games.
  • Foot injury, Week 7, missed 0 games.
  • Back injury, Week 8, missed 0 games. 

Looking back at each injury, there wasn’t detailed information on each injury, but further shows how durable Hughes is despite his age. He has played through countless injuries and has yet to miss a game due to injury. I am concerned about all the mileage on his body, whether he suffers an injury and things snowball from there, but he has not shown he is near the cliff just yet. I expect him to be healthy and productive until he simply isn’t anymore.

Darryl Johnson

Appeared in 15 games, 2 postseason games.

Johnson, a special teams centric contributor, has significant competition and will have to fight to justify staying around on the roster in 2021. Fortunately, he does not have a lengthy injury history which will only stand to help him fend off competition. The only injuries he suffered were:

  • Knee injury, Week 8, missed 0 games.
  • Knee injury, Wild Card round, missed 1 game.

Details are also scarce for each injury as to what side it was on or if this was the same injury, causing an inconvenience for those tracking and determining the severity of each injury. He doesn’t have a concerning list of injuries dating back to college, but he will have to flash on special teams to find a job on the active roster in 2021.

Mike Love

Appeared in 1 game.

Love spent the entirety of the 2021 season on the practice squad other than an appearance in the regular season finale against Miami to let Jerry Hughes rest. 

He suffered no publicly reported injuries but coming off a preseason pectoral tear in 2019 cost him a lot of reps to show why he should be considered for at least a practice squad spot. He will have to make the roster before I have concerns for him, but considering his lengthy injury history, I worry an opportunity may slip through his fingers. 

Bryan Cox Jr

Appeared in 1 game.

Cox’s season has already likely ended with a left Achilles tear suffered in OTA’s that required surgery. It is highly unlikely that he is able to return but it is not totally out of the question if the Bills have another deep playoff run. 

New to the roster:

Boogie Basham

A steal in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft, Basham comes to the Bills with few injury concerns and a ton of versatility to play inside and on the edge. Besides acclimation injuries such as a calf or hamstring, his history does not suggest that he will be at risk for any injuries. 

Efe Obada

Another product of the Carolina pipeline, Obada had several injuries last year including a back, shoulder, and knee injuries that did not force him to miss any games, but were the first known injuries of his time in the NFL. 

I have no concern for him from an injury standpoint, more so whether his talent can help him find a job in Buffalo this season. 

Greg Rousseau

The prized pick of the draft, Rousseau comes to Buffalo with only a history of a broken ankle his freshman season. He opted out last year due to the pandemic, but besides the acclimation injuries, especially after a lengthy time off, there are no concerns for Rousseau moving forward’

Not returning:

Trent Murphy

Appeared in 10 games, 1 playoff game. 

Murphy was certainly the whipping boy of the fan base, an example of a high priced veteran not performing up to expectations. Despite suffering no publicly reported injuries, he only flashed at times and never regained his 2016 form when he was with Washington.

He continues to not have a home in the offseason as a free agent, potentially waiting for an opening or injuries to occur before signing somewhere else. 

2021 Injury Expectations:

Looking at this group as a whole, they’re very healthy and deep. The big issue last year was getting pressure on the quarterback and finishing the plays. This group still has to prove it, but they will be more successful with their goals as they have shown they miss little time. 

I’m excited for this group to produce and see if they can push the Bills even further in 2021.

Published by Dr. Trimble

My name is Dr. Kyle Trimble and I am, first and foremost, a Buffalo Bills fan!! When I am not cheering on the Buffalo Bills, I am a Physical Therapist. To give a background on myself; I was born and raised in Erie, PA, moved to Buffalo in 2006 to begin my studies at D'Youville College towards becoming a Physical Therapist at which time I became a devoted Buffalo Bills fan.  I graduated in 2013 with my Doctorate in Physical Therapy and moved home for several years. Moving back to the Buffalo area in 2016, I have gained extensive experience in outpatient orthopedics, skilled nursing, acute care hospital, and home care. Having obtained a significant wealth of knowledge that continues to grow, along with a undying fandom of the Bills, puts me in the unique position to educate my fellow fans about our great team. 
I am currently an injury spotter working with Dr. David Chao, Orthopedic Surgeon @ProFootballDoc based out of San Diego. In this role, I provide real time updates regarding injuries during the game. I hope you enjoy what I publish and I welcome any comments or questions you may have.
Disclaimer: My opinions are my own.  Any thoughts I have on the injuries is based on media reports, my knowledge of the injury, and speculation based on the information currently available.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: