Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills G Connor McGovern

Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills G Connor McGovern -- from the Washington Football Team vs. Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland, October 25, 2020 (All-Pro Reels Photography)

Shortly after the NFL legal tampering period began Monday, the Buffalo Bills signed former Dallas Cowboys guard Connor McGovern. 

The veteran guard signed a three-year, $23 million deal to shore up the Bills offensive line. He replaced likely departing veteran Rodger Saffold and reunited with Penn State teammate Ryan Bates.

McGovern comes in with several injuries following his entry-level deal as a third round pick in 2019. However, reading below should put anyone at ease regarding the risk of the signing.


Penn State

Did not suffer any known injuries during his career at Penn State. Appeared in 39 games.


2019 Dallas Cowboys

Pectoral strain, side not specified.

Missed entire rookie season after suffering a significant pectoral strain during OTA’s in late May/early June. He attempted to rehab throughout the offseason, passing his physical to practice in two practices before feeling discomfort.

He then missed the entire preseason before suffering a setback in his rehab with another separate strain in the same region. Ultimately, the decision was made to shut him down for the season by placing him on injured reserve, forcing him to undergo surgery. 

2020 Cowboys

Appeared in 14 games, did not suffer any publicly reported injuries. Was inactive Week 1 and was active Week 8 but did not record any snaps. 

2021 Cowboys

Appeared in 16 games, did not suffer any publicly reported injuries. Did not record any snaps in Week 9 but was active. 

2022 Cowboys

Right high-ankle sprain, Week 1, missed 2 games.

Illness, Week 18, missed 0 games.

Appeared in 15 games, suffered a right high-ankle sprain in Week 1 when he got rolled up on early in the first quarter. He missed the following two games and was questionable heading into Week 4. Looking back, he stayed on the injury report until Week 6. 

He was questionable in Week 18 with an illness but suited up.

Buffalo Bills Outlook

McGovern is only 25 years old, a significant upgrade in age from Rodger Saffold who underwhelmed last year despite being named to the Pro Bowl.

Despite suffering the high-ankle sprain last year and pectoral tear his rookie year, I have zero concern about his health moving forward.

High-ankle sprains happen in the trenches often, especially when bodies are falling all around you. It’s at times a very unlucky injury.. They also don’t tend to linger season to season, responding well to rest and rehab.

As for the pectoral tear, details how he injured it were not reported. Considering this was during OTA’s, a strong guess was that he was bench pressing and overtaxed the muscle, causing the partial tear. 

It takes an immense amount of force to suffer a pectoral strain and once repaired or healed, they do not appear to have lasting deficits. This is evident as Jon Feliciano, Ed Oliver, Matt Milano, and Mike Love have all suffered the same injury to varying degrees of severity. None have had a recurrence. 

Despite the clean injury history, this won’t absolve McGovern from suffering future injuries, but there is no concern for nagging issues. He has shown to be durable at the next level, potentially providing a new shot of energy into the offensive line for the 2023 season.

Top Photo Credit: All-Pro Reels Photography