Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills LB Leonard Floyd

Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills LB Leonard Floyd

Adding more veteran defensive talent, the Buffalo Bills signed LB Leonard Floyd to a one-year contract Tuesday. Floyd comes to Buffalo after stops with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams, the latter resulting in a Super Bowl championship. 

Floyd is added to the linebacker corps to help fill the void left by Tremaine Edmunds after he left for Chicago. He has shown to be fairly durable, not missing a game since the 2017 season, but he’s still had his fair share of injuries that have limited his true effectiveness.

Below are Leonard Floyd’s publicly reported injury history and concerns.


2016 Chicago Bears

Calf injury, side not specified, Week 4, missed 2 games. 

Floyd suffered a calf injury against the Lions that forced him out of the following two games. 

Concussion, Week 11, missed 1 game.

Concussion, Week 16, missed 1 game. 

Floyd suffered two concussions at the end of his rookie year in quick succession. The first was in Week 11 as the result of going head-first on a tackle before getting hit by fellow teammate Akeim Hicks.

He was initially diagnosed with a neck injury and carted off on a backboard as a precaution for further testing. Floyd was later diagnosed with a concussion and missed the following game. 

The rookie suffered yet another concussion in Week 16 that forced him to miss the final game of the season. During the off-season, he noted that it took him nearly two months to get fully right.  

2017 Bears 

Back injury, Week 2, missed 0 games.

Right Knee MCL and PCL tear, Week 11, missed 6 games. 

Floyd suffered a right MCL and PCL tear as the result of fellow teammate Kyle Fuller crashing into his knee, causing colliding with Kyle Fuller, forcing the knee to bend inward. The damage was significant enough that he underwent surgery to repair both ligaments, forcing him out of the remaining six games of the season.

2018 Bears

Right-hand fracture, preseason, missed 0 games.

Floyd suffered a right-hand fracture in the preseason game against the Denver Broncos that year. This forced him to have to undergo surgery yet again to repair the damage. He was able to return in time for Week 1 and played with a club on his hand. Based on the timeline and wording, it appears he suffered a metacarpal fracture.

2019 Bears

No publicly reported injuries.

2020 Los Angeles Rams

Knee injury, side not specified, Week 8, missed 0 games.

Abdomen, Week 17, missed 0 games.

Floyd went to the hospital as a precaution for abdominal pain the Friday before Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals. He complained of the pain to a trainer and the concerns were great enough that it warranted further evaluation. Details are not available regarding what the issue was, but he played in the following game, though appearing in a season-low 75 percent of snaps.

2021 Rams

Right ankle, Week 16, missed 0 games.

Floyd appeared on the injury report as questionable heading into the Week 17 contest with an ankle injury, eventually playing. According to reports, he was on the injury report intermittently throughout the season though did not have any other game-day designations.

2022 Rams

Right ankle surgery, June, missed mandatory minicamp.

The above-mentioned ankle injury in 2021 was due to an ankle injury originally sustained during training camp. He played through the entire season, just questionable once late in the season before getting the ankle cleaned up in the off-season. His willingness to play through the injury led to the Rams securing a Super Bowl championship.

Knee injury, side not specified, practice prior to Week 2, missed 0 games.

Floyd suffered a knee injury in Wednesday’s practice in which his knee buckled, requiring further assessment. He was limited in practice that day and did not practice on Thursday. He was questionable heading into Week 2 before ultimately playing.

Rest, Week 17, missed 0 games.

Floyd was marked as questionable heading into the Week 17 contest against the Los Angeles Chargers. There isn’t any information as to why he was designated as questionable, but in the midst of a 5-12 season, I can understand why someone may not want to get up to play after a long, losing season.

Buffalo Bills Injury Outlook

Despite not missing any games since the 2017 season, Leonard Floyd still has battled through numerous injuries. Looking at his game logs, Floyd regularly played in 80-90 percent of snaps throughout his time in Chicago and Los Angeles. Though that appears to be a lot, former Bills LB Tremaine Edmunds regularly played in 100 percent of snaps over the last few years at the same position. 

Looking at the injuries, there isn’t really anything that stands out as a lingering concern. His right knee and ankle were both surgically corrected, he has not had a documented concussion since 2016, and the hand fracture was a one-off event. Even soft tissue injuries are not an issue, not had a calf injury since 2016. 

He has had intermittent issues with his knee since 2017, but whether that has been the same knee that he tore his MCL and PCL in or other issues isn’t clear. The two ligaments he tore are relatively minor concerns when looking at long-term issues as MCL and PCL sprains heal up well with and without surgical correction. 

He’s an older player as he will be turning 31 by the time Week 1 starts. He has been a very productive player over his career but has not had any individual accolades to show for it such as All-Pro or even Pro Bowl nods. However, he doesn’t necessarily need to play at those levels for the Bills to win.

It remains to be seen whether Floyd will step into the Tremaine Edmunds role or act more as a reserve linebacker, going in against certain packages or downs. His contract suggests that he will be vying for a starting role, but young linebackers in Terrel Bernard, Tyrel Dodson, and even Dorian Williams may be in his way.

Even if he does sustain an injury, there is a fairly decent chance he will at least attempt to play through the issue. After two rough injury years to begin his career, he has managed to take care of his body to get through the season. Even if Floyd goes down with an injury and misses extended time, it may hurt the depth of the team but won’t derail the season. 

It’s a great feeling when veterans are willing to go somewhere to win and take less money. This is a solid signing that only helps the Bills as they look to secure the long-elusive Lombardi trophy.

Top Photo Credit: ESPN