2021 Buffalo Bills Postgame Week 1 Injury Review- Pittsburgh Steelers

Sunday was simply disappointing. A 23-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers deflated all that pregame buildup, all that anticipation to have the game end like that. It’s like waiting for Christmas as a kid only to get socks and underwear when you were expecting Power Rangers.

But it’s one game, 0-1 does not define a season. Fortunately there were few in-game injuries that are addressed below. 

In-game injuries:

WR Isaiah McKenzie (right shoulder)

McKenzie briefly left the game following a fair catch punt with 10:43 in the first quarter. He caught the ball off to the left before doubling over in clear discomfort, eventually going to the blue medical tent. 

He later left the field with the training staff without his pads on before later returning and finishing the game after missing one offensive series. By video, it looks as though the ball hit his left shoulder where he had the previous AC joint sprain back on August 24th.

However, Sean McDermott noted that it was his right shoulder that he injured Sunday. His right arm did appear to be dangling briefly as though that was the problem area. How he signaled for fair catch, I’m not certain that the motion would have caused him to suffer any sort of injury. 

He was involved with the offense earlier in the game and special teams with his monster kickoff return. He did take a hard hit to the right shoulder getting tackled on kickoff, but he bounced right back up. It’s possible his adrenaline was kicking in and he wasn’t aware of the pain he was in until he lifted his shoulder to signal fair catch.

Looking at what we know, there is something missing that doesn’t tell us right now why or how the right shoulder was injured. From what I’ve found, he doesn’t have any prior history of right shoulder injuries. This will be something to monitor as the week progresses as to whether this will affect him for Week 2 against the Dolphins.

WR Gabriel Davis (right hip)

Davis got up gingerly following a deep shot down the field late in the 3rd quarter. By video, he appears to land hard on his right hip and briefly exited, eventually returning for the next offensive series.

This possibly could be a contusion to the general hip area, though how he landed, he could have suffered a hip pointer injury. This is a contusion to the iliac crest which is more painful than anything but could limit him this week. 

He will be yet another one to watch as to whether he is limited during the week in practice. 

Other observations:

WR Emmanuel Sanders (right foot)

Sanders ended up playing despite his questionable status for his foot entering Sunday. Earlier in the week during practice, he was observed wearing kinesio tape on his right foot/ankle area which based on the placement suggested Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis.

He didn’t appear to be limited at any point during the game which further suggests that this injury will be managed weekly for the time being.

WR Marquez Stevenson (right foot)

Stevenson is observed below running on an Alter-G treadmill as he rehabs back from his foot injury originally suffered in the Bears game. At the time, I suspected that he had a midfoot sprain. In the video, he looks as though he is moving well and does not appear to have any asymmetries in his running pattern.

The Alter-G treadmill allows a person to use air pressure to reduce the weight impact through a leg during walking or running. It isn’t know how close to 100 percent weight bearing Stevenson is, but this video is promising to see. Right now, the only way Stevenson returns in Week 4 is whether there is a corresponding injury or roster move to allow him to return or whether they decide to cut someone. It should not be surprising if Stevenson spends more time on IR until he is needed.

This injury report will be one to watch closely for Davis and McKenzie along with seeing whether Star Lotulelei returns to practice. There will likely be another player or two that are surprise additions. The Bills will need all hands on deck in order to beat a hungry Dolphins team coming off a win over the Patriots in Week 1.

Top Photo Credit: Chat Sports

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.


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