The Buffalo Bills filled out their 90-man roster right before Phase 3 of OTA’s, signing former Central Michigan TE Joel Wilson. He comes to the Buffalo Bills after a five-year career, appearing in 34 games.
Originally a UDFA following the draft, he initially signed with the New Orleans Saints, but failed his physical, preventing him from making the contract official. In addition to the failed physical, he suffered several other injuries during his time as a Chippewa which didn’t help his chances to be drafted.
Below are Joel Wilson’s publicly reported injury history and concerns.
Foot fracture, vs Albany, missed 11 total games.
Wilson suffered a foot fracture during the first game of the season against Albany, forcing him out of action until he was able to return in December against Miami (OH).
Undisclosed issue, missed 1 game.
He missed the season opener in the COVID-shortened season against Ohio with no additional details other than game logs.
Left ankle sprain, vs Northern Illinois, missed 3 games.
Wilson caught a touchdown pass against Northern Illinois but when the pile cleared, he had suffered a “serious low-ankle sprain“. He returned to the sidelines in a walking boot but was lost for the season. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler noted that Wilson suffered the injury to his left ankle in his yearly draft guide, The Beast.
Wilson consulted with Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay to determine whether he required surgery. He did not require surgery and instead rehabbed the injury, missing testing during his Pro Day.
Buffalo Bills Injury Outlook
It’s possible that his November ankle sprain led to the New Orleans Saints failing his physical when he initially signed in May, six months after the injury. Considering he signed with the Buffalo Bills nine days later indicates that the Bills may have fewer concerns about his ankle. The ankle did not suddenly get better over the following nine days, but possibly are expecting that he can continue to rehab and be ready for the season.
His broken foot from 2019 appears to be a one-off issue and did not appear to affect him the following two seasons. This ankle injury for Wilson will be one to watch to see if he comes into mandatory minicamp or training camp with any restrictions or setbacks.
He has a tough road ahead of him considering how deep the tight end room is now. But a strong showing could lead to a practice squad spot for development or even another team scooping him up after roster cutdowns.
Top Photo Credit: Central Michigan