The Buffalo Bills got beat up on the field and on the scoreboard, Saturday, losing 27-15 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Penalties and poor offensive line play among other things led to the Bills getting shut out for most of the game. Things began to improve once Kyle Allen entered the game to lead several scoring drives, but it was a little too late.
Unfortunately, injuries were once again part of the narrative as several injuries took center stage. Below are all the injuries from Saturday and concerns.
QB Matt Barkley (Right elbow)
Barkley exited the game with 9:05 left in the third quarter when he was hit in the pocket and fumbled the ball. He had his arm cocked back and ready to throw as a face mask came slamming into what seemed like the outside of the elbow.
The hope was that this was more of a contusion, but considering his arm was in a vulnerable position, there was a concern for a UCL injury as we saw with Josh Allen last year. While a sprain in any other player isn’t a huge deal, this is significant for a quarterback.
He has since been listed as day-to-day, but I don’t believe that he is quite out of the woods yet. Until he returns to practice and is throwing, this will be one to watch moving forward.
DT DJ Dale (Back)
Dale only appeared in seven defensive snaps on Saturday, exiting with a back injury. He never came up grabbing at his back or was down on the field, but he did have a back/rib contusion last week against the Colts.
It’s not clear if this is the same injury from last week or another issue. These types of injuries do not help Dale get the solid tape out there as he battles for a roster spot with the Bills or elsewhere around the league.
OT Tommy Doyle (Left ACL, LCL, peroneal nerve)
Doyle suffered a left leg injury early in the third quarter when he was taken down by a Steelers DL, hyperextending his knee.
Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL, LCL, and peroneal nerve injury, hence the foot drop listed above. In the name of space, please click here for further information for an article specific to the injury.
EDGE Shane Ray (Right hamstring strain)
Ray suffered a right hamstring strain just before the 14:00 mark in the fourth quarter when he attempted to keep up with the play. As he is running toward the play, he lunges toward the running back, unable to secure the tackle.
He plants on his right leg with his trunk and rotates down, hitting his hip. He comes up and grabs at the right outside portion of his back thigh before jogging off.
Considering where he grabbed, it’s likely that he suffered a biceps femoris strain, the outside muscle of the hamstrings. While he has been listed as day-to-day, he could hypothetically try to play through it to make the team next week, but that may set him back further.
The team could let him rehab, miss the final game, and then cut him once he’s healthy to later bring him back to the practice squad. Or they could place him on IR, get an injury settlement, and come back later when healthy. This was horrible timing during Ray’s comeback attempt, but he was a longer shot to make this roster. A practice squad spot is possible but that will be determined after roster cutdowns.
TE Dawson Knox (Left fifth-digit)
Knox missed the preseason game due to a left pinky injury after practicing all week. It was seen buddy taped in the locker room against his ring finger as he walked around. Considering it was a preseason game, there was no benefit to having him play.
Looking back at the game footage from last week, Knox only appeared in four plays and none of the plays appeared to injure his hands or fingers. It’s highly likely that he suffered the injury in practice, potentially suffering a hyperextension if it got hit in a block or tied up in a jersey.
He has nearly a month to rehab until the regular season and considering when catching a football, you use the thumbs and first few fingers to really secure the football. This may become an issue if he attempts to grip the ball and run with it in one hand, but he is right-handed which makes this possibility even less of an issue. It’s something to monitor but shouldn’t be a huge issue going forward.
OL Garrett McGhin
McGhin was signed Sunday night after being brought in for a workout back on Thursday in the wake of the Brandon Shell retirement.
A suspected high-ankle sprain ended his first stint with the team back in 2019 and then a second stint in 2020 saw him get realized prior to training camp. His presence is welcome following the Tommy Doyle injury. He has since seen time with the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New York Giants, along with time in the XFL and USFL. For some more background info, click here.
There are 90 men on each roster with 32 teams and with that comes more injuries. The hope is always that your team avoids major injuries, but this is unfortunately not the case.
The injury to Tommy Doyle was the most significant with the Matt Barkley injury possibly a bigger issue than the team is letting on. The team is making efforts to bring in players to replace the fallen ones, but the goal remains to get to Week 1 with minimal injury issues.
There is one more preseason game for depth players to make their final case to make the roster or practice squad. Let’s hope the players continue to stay healthy and get to the regular season.
Top Photo Credit: Spectrum News