The Buffalo Bills have wrapped up their first week of training camp for the 2023 season and reports out of camp are positive so far. Rehab for players on PUP looks promising and only one injury has occurred resulting in their release. The offense appears to be clicking as the rookies and new signings are rounding into form while the defense has several players stepping up, showing their worth.
Below are all the Bills’ injury news updates following the first week of training camp practices.
LB Tyler Matakevich (Right calf strain)
The biggest surprise of training camp was Matakevich’s appearance on the PUP list. It was unknown at the time why he was on the list, but the picture from move-in day shows Matakevich with a compression sleeve on the right leg.
Sean McDermott clarified that Matakevich suffered a calf strain, likely last week training at the facility. He did not have a sleeve on for his football camp in early July and he was able to play golf during Jordan Poyer’s golf tournament on July 11th.
On average, it takes 17.4 days to return to practice from a calf injury which puts him in line to return during the first or second week of August. This could also take longer as we saw with Tim Settle taking nearly six weeks to recover from his injury suffered during training camp last year.
Re-injury rates for calf strains vary between 19 to 31 percent based on the literature which is something to be mindful of if he has a setback once he returns.
DE Von Miller (Right ACL Tear)
Miller starting on PUP was expected despite his positive outlook stating that he thought he could avoid it to start the season. The team appears to be playing the long game which is a smart move, taking it day by day. I would be surprised if he gets activated during training camp. To read more, click here.
DT Jordan Phillips (Right Rotator Cuff Repair)
Phillips was discussed as a possible PUP candidate in early June by Brandon Beane so to see him start here is not a surprise. These rehab timelines can take 4-to-6 months or even longer with a lot of damage. On average, NFL players return in 6.6 months and return to their prior level of play. To read more, click here.
RB Nyhiem Hines (Left ACL Tear)
Hines suffered a left ACL tear as the result of a jet ski hitting him just prior to training camp starting. He was slated to have surgery this week and will miss the 2023 season.
CB Cameron Dantzler (Hamstring)
Dantzler was able to participate during the first day of practice before showing up late on the second day and not participating. On Friday, he was waived with an injury designation due to a hamstring strain. There were no reports that he went down or required an assessment by training staff which makes this situation surprising.
Cut CB Cameron Dantzler, and signed CB Kyron Brown.
Agreed to terms with WR Andy Isabella, released WR Jalen Wayne.
To only lose Cam Dantzler to a hamstring injury on the first day of camp is overall pretty good when you look around the league at Miami (Jalen Ramsey meniscus), Cincinnati (Joe Burrow calf), and New Orleans (Trai Turner quad) with their respective injuries. There is also a strong chance that Dantzler could make his way back to the Bills after his injury settlement terms have been satisfied.
I expect Matakevich to return shortly and possibly Phillips if the team is waiting on him to meet certain benchmarks. However, everyone’s eyes are on Von Miller as he rehabs off to the side. He is looking good and progressing well, but he still needs to increase the quality at which he can decelerate or slow down along with cutting as there is not a lot of power off the right side at this point.
He is where he should be in his rehab timeline, but it remains to be seen if he pushes things to get cleared prior to training camp cutdowns and avoid Reserve/PUP to begin the season. From a roster-building perspective, it would be the best move to free up a roster spot, but Miller is needed for the playoffs, not Week 1.
We’ll see how things go over the coming weeks, injuries will continue to happen, but let’s continue to hope for the garden-variety strains and sprains versus season-altering injuries.
Top Photo Credit: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus