After not addressing defensive tackle in the draft, the Buffalo Bills hit the free agency market, signing Poona Ford to a one-year contract Tuesday.
This move helps shore up the defensive line, especially at the one-tech position to eat up blocks. Ford comes to Buffalo after five productive seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. While the Bills still have to address the position long-term with the possibility of extending Ed Oliver, they go into 2023 with a concrete plan.
Below are Poona Ford’s publicly reported injury history and concerns.
No publicly reported injuries.
Calf, side not specified, Week 1, missed 1 game.
Poona Ford suffered a calf injury in Week 1 that at the time had stated he would miss weeks. He was doubtful heading into Week 2 and unsurprisingly, did not play. Fortunately, he did not miss extended time and returned to play in Week 3.
Illness, Week 13, missed 0 games.
Ford, like many of his other teammates, came down with an illness in early December of that year.
Calf injury, preseason.
Groin, side not specified, Week 3, missed 0 games.
Regrettably, Ford suffered a groin injury in late September/early October. It limited him during the week but he was able to play through the issue with it not appearing to linger
Calf injury, side not specified, Wild Card game.
Ford was forced to leave the game with a calf injury against the Los Angeles Rams during the playoffs.
Shoulder/ankle injuries, side not specified, Week 3, missed 0 games.
Ford was on the injury report with shoulder and ankle injuries prior to Week 4 against the San Francisco 49ers.
Knee injury, side not specified, Week 15, missed 0 games.
He appeared on the injury report following the Week 15 game against the Los Angeles Rams. No additional information is available.
Concussion, Week 16, missed 0 games.
Ford suffered a concussion against the Chicago Bears but was able to clear concussion protocol in time to avoid missing any time.
Ankle injury, side not specified, Week 6, missed 0 games.
Ford sustained an ankle injury in Week 6 that saw him only get in a limited practice the following week, but ultimately played against the New York Giants.
Illness, Week 10, missed 0 games.
Once again, Ford dealt with illness in the back half of the season, fortunately not missing the game.
Hamstring strain, side not specified, Week 14, missed 0 games.
Ford popped up on the injury report prior to Week 14 with a hamstring issue, limited on Thursday before returning in full on Friday.
Buffalo Bills Injury Outlook
It’s very impressive that Poona Ford has missed only one game since 2018. However, there is a multitude of smaller soft tissue injuries that appear on the injury report but allow for them to have no designation at the end of the week.
He had his calf injuries at the beginning of his career that has seemed to fall off since then, not giving him any issues. All the other injuries are notable, but he doesn’t miss time and they don’t appear to linger. Even his concussion in 2021 he was able to recover from in a week. He does wear a shoulder harness on his left shoulder, but a Getty image search reveals that he has been wearing the shoulder harness since his rookie year.
Keep in mind, if a player is on the injury report, they are receiving treatment in the area. Ford may be proactive in treating the issues which has possibly allowed him to avoid missing more time.
There isn’t anything injury-wise that stands out other than the muscle strains and concussion. He doesn’t bring with him any known major injuries from college and he’s been productive even when working through injury. I’m not going to be concerned if he shows up with minor designations such as this here and there. Obviously, other more serious injuries can occur and can’t be predicted. But his past history strongly suggests that he should be available more often than not.
This is a great signing by the Bills and if he does miss extended time or doesn’t work out, they are not on the hook for him long-term. These types of signings where the player signs for less to win a ring allow the team to maximize talent and minimize costs. There is a ton of upside here with this with virtually no downside.
Top Photo Credit: Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images