2021 Buffalo Bills Training Camp Injury Preview- Cornerback

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

Returning:

Tre’Davious White

Appeared in 14 games, 3 postseason games.

One of the franchise cornerstones, White continues to be durable and playing at a high level year over year. He is not without injury which includes: 

  • Shoulder injury, Week 2, missed 0 games.
  • Back injury, Week 4 practice, missed 1 game.
  • Right side stinger/neck, Week 15, missed 0 games. 

White does have a history of neck ailments and stingers dating back to last season. His back injury was also intriguing as this occurred around the same time that the Titans were dealing with their COVID outbreak. I don’t believe White sat out of the game as a precaution, I fully believe his injury was legitimate. 

However, the pattern of the stingers and neck/back injuries are something worth noting. I cannot say with certainty that these are connected or a sign of a larger problem, but worth filing away for reference if there continues to be issues. Other than highlighting that observation, White has been available and produced when called upon and I don’t expect that to change. 

Levi Wallace

Appeared in 12 games, 3 postseason games.

Wallace continues to defy his critics, maintaining a hold on CB2 when not injured and playing well despite getting more run being opposite of Tre’Davious White. He dealt with several injuries this season including: 

  • Sore back, preseason.
  • Hamstring strain, side not specified, preseason.
  • Left ankle sprain, Week 4, sent to IR, missed 3 games. 
  • COVID, Week 10, missed 1 game. 
  • Right ankle injury, Week 15, missed 0 games. 

The veteran corner did have several nagging injuries throughout the year, the only notable one was the ankle injury in Week 4 against the Raiders. It’s not clear whether he suffered a significant low ankle sprain or if it was a high ankle sprain, but either way, having the time off on IR helped him recover more fully. 

I have little concern for him heading into this season from an injury perspective, he has more issues competing for a starting spot in training camp.

Dane Jackson

Appeared in 5 games.

Jackson bounced back and forth from the active roster to the practice squad all season, mostly used as a COVID roster exemption call up to avoid burning through his practice squad eligibility call ups. Injury wise, he suffered a right knee injury against the Cardinals in Week 10 for which he did not miss any time. 

He is expected to strongly contend for CB2 and should make the roster out of camp. His lack of injuries coming out of college should help his availability in competing for the starting spot.

Taron Johnson

Appeared in 16 games, 3 postseason games.

Finally demonstrating the ability to get through a full season, Johnson came up with two huge interceptions in Week 15 against Pittsburgh and Baltimore in the playoffs. One reason he was able to be so clutch was because he sustained few injuries. Those suffered below include:

  • Groin strain, Week 2, missed 0 games.
  • Concussion, Week 14, missed 0 games.

Despite the injuries, he was still able to perform rather well and seemed to find a new gear after losing his starting role halfway through the season. While he will have challenges coming into the season, I expect Johnson to hold onto his starting role if he can avoid the injuries that plagued him his first two years. He is at risk to suffer future injuries, but a healthy year of production helped demonstrate his worth to the team.

Cam Lewis

Appeared in 5 games.

Bouncing between the practice squad and active roster for the first several games of the season, Lewis began to get significant playing time at slot cornerback, including two starts. He saw 98 percent of the snaps in Week 5 against the Titans and was in position to continue playing until a left wrist injury put him on injured reserve following Week 7.

Details of the wrist injury have not been disclosed, but it appeared as though he suffered a wrist fracture. It was possible that he could have returned later that season, but either he wasn’t needed or the injury was more serious than it appeared. 

Lewis appears fully healthy heading into training camp and could be a serious challenger at slot cornerback, if not effective depth. 

Siran Neal

Appeared in 16 games, 3 postseason games.

Seeing most of his playing time on special teams, Neal managed to avoid any publicly reported injuries last season. He continues to be a valuable piece to the roster and should make the team out of training camp. There is little injury concern as he has been relatively healthy since entering the league. 

New to the roster:

Rachad Wildgoose

Wildgoose comes to the Bills with one of the more creative surnames recently, but he does have an outside chance to make the roster, at least the practice squad. Besides a scapular injury in college, Wildgoose comes in healthy and will have a lot of competition.

Olaijah Griffin

More famously known as Warren G’s son, Griffin comes to the team as a UDFA with several injuries including labral repairs to both shoulders and a bulging disc. He was able to stay healthy last year but may find himself on the outside looking in without a strong camp.

Nick McCloud

Another UDFA that was making some noise during OTA’s, McCloud comes in with a relatively clean injury history other than a significant MCL sprain in 2019. He spent time at NC State and Notre Dame, so playing at big schools hopefully helps him adjust to the next level potentially as a developmental piece.

Not returning:

Josh Norman

Appeared in 9 games, 3 postseason games.

Norman was unable to recapture the magic that he had with Sean McDermott during the 2015 season where he was named All-Pro and was a cornerstone of the defense. Dealing with a left hamstring strain suffered in preseason that forced him to IR for 3 games wasn’t a good start for him. He later re-injured the same hamstring during Week 7 in practice, further missing 3 games along with a brief stay on the COVID list to make it 4 games total.

He might still have something left in the league, but it doesn’t appear to be with the Bills. Norman was yet another plug and play player at CB2 to get the Bills through the season.

Daryl Worley

Appeared in 1 game.

Playing in the Week 10 contest against Arizona, Worley saw a total of 20 snaps, recording no stats before reverting back to the practice squad. He was later signed by Las Vegas to finish out the season after starting the season in Dallas and is currently a free agent.

2021 Injury Expectations:

If Tre’Davious White or Levi Wallace go down for any extended time, that could affect the top end production in the secondary, but the team has done well developing depth to hold down the fort. Watching White’s injury history regarding his neck and back is worth noting, but more information will have to be known before making any further correlations. I’m more interested in seeing who makes the team out of camp based on all the options currently on the roster.

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: