Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills G David Edwards

Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills G David Edwards

Brandon Beane loves stockpiling offensive lineman so much that he signed former Los Angeles Rams G David Edwards to a one-year contract Thursday. 

This news came a day after the Bills hosted him for a workout according to reports. Edwards comes to Buffalo after four years and started 50 total games including playoffs. As with any player with several years in the league, Edwards has several injuries back to college of varying concern.

Below is all of David Edwards publicly reported injuries and concerns moving forward. 



2017 Sophomore year

Foot injury, Orange Bowl, had to miss the final six series.

2018 Junior year

Abdomen injury, missed spring practices.

Left arm nerve damage, suffered in preseason, missed 3 games.

Edwards suffered an abdomen injury during spring football and missed the remainder of the season. It’s unclear whether this was a strained oblique or even a core muscle injury. 

During the preseason, Edwards suffered a left arm injury, reducing his ability to play with essentially one arm at right tackle. He ultimately missed the final three games of the season due to the arm injury as a result.

Looking at the specifics of the arm injury, he either had a neck injury that caused persistent cervical radiculopathy down the arm or a brachial plexus contusion. He did mention in the article over at The Athletic that the nerves in his shoulder and neck were inflamed and that he would get stingers, wiping out his progress. 


2019 Los Angeles Rams

Appeared in 16 games, did not appear to suffer any publicly reported injuries.

2020 Rams

Ankle injury, side not specified, Week 16, missed 1 game.

Edwards appeared on the injury report intially after the Week 16 contest against the Seattle Seahawks, playing Week 17 without a designation against the Arizona Cardinals. He went into the Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks with a questionable designation before appearing to reinjure the ankle, forcing him out of the contest. Due to the reinjury, he was forced to miss the divisional game against the Green Bay Packers.

2021 Rams

Foot injury, side not specified, Week 13, missed 0 games.

Edwards suffered a foot injury early in the Week 13 contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars, missing several snaps. He was able to return after a short break. Looking at snap counts, this foot injury was the only time he did not play in 100 percent of snaps that season. 

He did appear on the injury report the following week, but did not have a designation heading into Week 14. 

2022 Rams

Concussion, missed 13 games.

Edwards first suffered a concussion in Thursday’s practice prior to Week 4 and self-reported symptoms, ruling him out against the San Fransisco 49ers. He was then able to get cleared from the concussion protocol for the following week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Regrettably, he suffered yet another concussion in that game, forcing him out of the contest. As a result, he was placed on injured reserve for a minimum four games as he recovered. He was out on the practice field with a baseball cap in early November, but was not performing any sideline drills at the time. 

After missing four games, he was designated to return on November 16 but suffered a setback two days later in practice. During the designated to return window, he had 21 days to practice with the team before being activated back to the active roster. Once the deadline came to activate him on December 7, the Rams determined he was not ready and shut him down for the season.

Buffalo Bills Injury Outlook

The concussions are the big elephant in the room. There’s no denying that. If it weren’t for that, the foot/ankle injuries are minor and the left arm and abdomen issues from college are old news. 

Looking briefly at the stingers, this appears to be the same issue that former Bills G Rodger Saffold worked through in 2021 in Tennessee. This became an issue where the nerve in the neck or shoulder became entrapped. This can cause the stinger sensation when hit, aggravating the already injured nerve. It then sends pain and weakness through the shoulder, reducing the use of that arm. In Saffold’s and Edwards’ case, both required rest to fully heal and did not have a recurrence the following seasons. 

Addressing the concussions and researching the timeline, he appeared to suffer two concussions and then a setback. It’s not defined and shouldn’t be assumed that he suffered a third concussion because of the setback. The increase in activity and general contact in practice could have brought on symptoms, shutting him down. 

The risk for sustaining a second concussion following an initial concussion is 5.3-8.3 percent, similar to the rates to suffer a concussion at all at 6.2-8.0 percent. The average time missed following a repeat concussion is 12 days, longer compared to the timeline for an initial concussion of 9.0 days. 

However, those who miss >8 days for a concussion are thought to have a more severe concussion and are at risk to suffer another concussion in the future.

There doesn’t appear to be a lot of research into how those that have multiple concussions in one season affect the player season to season. There is research to support those with three or more concussions are three times more likely to suffer another one.

There is concern for further concussions in the future, but it appears his risk is no greater than anyone else’s at this time. He may just have been unlucky in getting another concussion so soon after the first one last year. I’m glad from a human standpoint the Rams took his concerns seriously and put his health first. 

Looking at the signing as a whole, it’s low risk, high reward. The contract is for one year which means minimal commitment if he continues to suffer concussions or other injuries. 

But he does have a lot of starting experience and is well-versed in the Aaron Kromer offensive line scheme. None of the injuries are worrisome other than the concussions and those in itself may be isolated incidents. 

Considering how the Bills have handled Mitch Morse with his concussion history along with others including Derek Anderson gives me confidence they know what they are doing. Hopefully the concussion issues are behind him, but kudos to him for self reporting and focusing on getting healthy last season rather than trying to gut it out. 

He could be a quality depth piece in the event injuries happen or even a surprise starter on the offensive line in 2023.

Top Photo Credit Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire; Los Angeles Rams