The Buffalo Bills selected Florida G O’Cyrus Torrence with the 59th overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday night. The second-round pick comes to the Bills following a collegiate career at Louisiana before transferring to Florida where he garnered consensus All-American honors.
Being 6’5” and 347 lbs. playing such a demanding position at offensive guard, there are inherently some injury risks. However, Torrence managed to stay relatively healthy throughout his collegiate career but didn’t escape injury altogether.
Below is O’Cyrus Torrence’s publicly reported injury history and any concerns moving forward.
Concussion, missed 2 games.
While driving to practice in November of that season, a car pulled out in front of Torrence. He was unable to avoid the collision and suffered a concussion as a result. Due to the head injury, he missed two games (Liberty, ULM) before returning three weeks later to play in the Sun Belt Championship game against Appalachian State.
MCL sprain, side not specified, missed 1 game.
Following his head coach Billy Napier going to Florida, Torrence suited up in 11 games for the Gators, missing only two total games, one being a bowl opt-out. He suffered an MCL sprain against possibly Missouri and even attempted to play against LSU, participating in warm-ups before deciding to shut it down. He had the benefit of the bye week to further recover before fully returning against Georgia.
Reports do not indicate which side was injured, however, video may provide a clue. In the clip below, Torrence is listed as having a lower-body injury and is practicing various individual blocking drills. It’s hard to decipher which side is injured due to the angle and distance, but I suspect that it’s the left side due to having to test out exploding off the left leg.
Buffalo Bills Injury Outlook
A concussion and knee sprain over 48 collegiate games is quite impressive for such a physical position.
There isn’t a difference in terms of concern when dealing with an MVA concussion and a football concussion. The level of severity may differ with each head injury instance, but the recovery is still the same. It’s fortunate that he didn’t suffer additional injuries and was able to return to play relatively quickly.
As for his knee sprain, these are quite common in athletics in general. Research shows that across all high school sports, 36.1 percent of individuals suffered an MCL sprain. Looking at NFL Combine participants, 40.8 percent of players had a history of an MCL sprain. They are the most common injury during training camp and this injury in isolation does not generally affect performance once healed.
Selecting O’Cyrus Torrence in the second round allowed the Buffalo Bills to acquire increased value from a perceived first-round talent. This also continues the trend of selecting players with minimal injury history in the first two rounds.
The Bills appear to have a game plan moving forward with Torrence which is far better than what they did when they selected Cody Ford in 2019. Things could change, but Ryan Bates can move over to center when Mitch Morse is no longer on the team and Torrence can move into the starting lineup with experience.
There may be other options in the event of injury or scheme, but there are minimal injury concerns for O’Cyrus Torrence as he begins his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills.
Top Photo Credit: Alex Shepherd