The energy felt during Bills training camp this year is incredibly palpable, culminating with nearly 36K fans for Friday’s practice at Highmark Stadium.
Almost 36,000 people came out to a two-hour practice.
This is less than every NFL game last season with the exception of Week 1 New Orleans Saints vs Green Bay Packers, which was moved to Jacksonville due to Hurricane Ida. There were several games with 45,000 fans which isn’t much more than the crowd Friday.
Fortunately, nearly every player was fully healthy heading into Friday’s practice with the exception of several below. Here are the Week 2 injuries for the Bills’ training camp.
S Jordan Poyer (Left Hyperextended Elbow) Nearly all of the fan base held their collective breath as the All-Pro struggled to walk off the field, holding his left arm. The training staff quickly escorted him to the tunnel and later to the locker room for further assessment for what was diagnosed as a left hyperextended elbow following an MRI.
This injury was the result of Poyer attempting to engage with James Cook in the red zone when bodies began piling up around them. He likely reached out to grab Cook and had his forearm trapped while his body was pushed forward, hyperextending the elbow.
Fortunately, this was the best-case scenario for Poyer and the team has stated that he will be out a week or two. I would not expect him to suit up during the preseason considering his experience in the defense, but there should be no lingering issues for Week 1 and it’s unlikely he wears a brace during the regular season.
WR Marquez Stevenson (Right Foot Injury) Stevenson left practice just prior to Jordan Poyer’s injury with a right foot injury while coming down with the ball in the end zone. Trainers came out to assess his right foot and were able to get off the field for further evaluation.
Later reports indicated that Stevenson would be out “weeks” with no further updates at this time. He did suffer a right foot sprain in the preseason last year against the Bears that sidelined him for several practices before returning to play the Packers. He later made the roster and was placed on injured reserve for a majority of the season to keep him around when they needed him.
It’s unknown whether this is the same exact injury or if this is a different portion of the foot injury. There is no video available to even speculate on the specifics. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic noted that Stevenson is in a walking boot and using a scooter, watching practice from the tunnel area. However, he did not go so far as to say he was putting weight on the leg. The scooter can be used for longer distances to move around faster, but the presence of the scooter alone doesn’t tell us about the weight-bearing status.
Further information must be made known including team reports, rehab videos, and pictures to give more of an accurate timeline or idea of what is the exact injury.
If he goes onto IR now, then he will miss the entire season. If he makes the roster and then goes onto IR, he can return after a minimum of four games. The team also has eight IR-to-return designations which mean they have to be aware of who they want to activate in the event injuries happen later in the season.
OL Greg Mancz (Soreness/Right Arm) Mancz has missed practice every day last week starting on August 2, spending time on the stationary bike. Reports indicated that he was dealing with soreness.
However, at Friday’s practice, Mancz was observed with a brace on his right arm, though it didn’t clarify where on the arm. Prior pictures and reports did not indicate that he had this on there before. It’s not clear whether the soreness and the brace are two separate issues, or if the brace is to protect something unannounced.
On Sunday, pictures further confirmed the brace and sleeve, though it doesn’t indicate what injury he is dealing with. This suggests the elbow is separate from the soreness originally announced.
This will be something to continue monitoring for updates as training camp progresses.
DT Tim Settle (Groin) Settle missed several days of practice with a groin strain beginning on Monday, August 1, and did not return to practice until August 4. Considering the short duration of time missed, this may have been more precautionary. Factoring how often defensive tackles have to get into their stance, the groin musculature is taxed every play just getting into position. Getting hit from behind or overstepping when attempting to stay with the play could cause discomfort as well.
Hopefully, this does not linger, but worth noting if there are problems later.
WR Isaiah McKenzie, WR Khalil Shakir, CB Taron Johnson (Soreness) All missed Sunday’s practice with generalized soreness from Friday’s practice. Unless things linger, this is smart management of their key contributors.
OTHER INJURY NOTES
OT Spencer Brown (Back Surgery) Brown continues to participate in practice with the exception of 11-on-11 drills as he returns from back surgery originally reported in late May. It was noted that he was performing 1-on-1 drills Sunday.
If the team is indeed waiting the full 12 weeks for him to return to unrestricted activities, then look for him to return the week of August 14. This will be 12 weeks from the reported date of the surgery. However, I would hope he continues to ramp up his contact throughout this week, potentially returning to full activity several days sooner.
OT Tommy Doyle– He was down briefly at practice before being helped up after drills on August 1, going to the sideline. He did not miss any additional time and did not appear to be held out of any drills the following days.
DT Brandin Bryant– He suffered an undisclosed injury on August 1, sitting out several days before returning to practice on August 4.
WR Tavon Austin– He missed the scrimmage on Friday night at the stadium, there have not been any updates as to what he is dealing with as of publication.
On Sunday, he returned to practice, suggesting that whatever he was dealing with was minor.
RETURNED TO PRACTICE
WR Jamison Crowder (Soreness) Crowder missed the entire first week of practice other than the first day as he worked through reported soreness. He was able to return to practice on August 1 and began ramping up his activities. He cannot afford to miss any further time if he wants to have a shot at making the roster.
WR Jake Kumerow (Soreness) Kumerow also returned to practice after missing most of the first week with reported soreness. He was able to return to practice on August 2, ramping up his activities.
S Micah Hyde (Right Hip/Glute) Hyde returned to practice on August 1 after sustaining a hard fall onto his right side while trying to intercept a pass on July 29. He slowly ramped up his activity throughout the week before returning to full participation during Friday’s scrimmage at the stadium.
G Ryan Bates (Soreness) Bates missed several practices while he dealt with soreness according to the team. He was able to return to practice, participating in individual drills on August 4 and full practice on August 5.
G Rodger Saffold (Broken Ribs) Saffold finally returned to practice after suffering broken ribs in a car accident prior to camp.
The team never placed a timeline on him but ribs can take 2-to-6 weeks to heal. He will take some time to get up to full speed, but it was noted that he was participating in first-team reps according to the tweet below.
PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM
CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL Tear) White continues to work back from the much-publicized ACL tear on Thanksgiving. While we continue to get video updates, the team still has not placed a definitive timeline on his return. I published an article over at Buffalo Rumblings detailing his progress and possible target date. You can read it by clicking here.
G Ike Boettger (Left Achilles) Little continues to be said about Boettger, I expect him to remain on PUP to start the regular season to avoid cutting additional players, activating him when there is a true need for him.
DT Eli Ankou (Calf Strain) Other than the occasional report that Ankou is on the practice field, there not have been any updates regarding his timeline to return. The average time for calf strains is 17.4 days according to the research. He has been out for two weeks as the original injury was sustained during conditioning drills on July 23. Hopefully, he can return this week but until they announce that he has been removed, we are left guessing.
Continue to look for updates as the team gets ready for their first preseason game Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts.
Top Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports