Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills WR Mack Hollins

Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills WR Mack Hollins
Atlanta Falcons' Mack Hollins during the NFL International match at Wembley Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday October 1, 2023. (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)

Looking for veteran depth in the hours before the new league year kicked off, the Buffalo Bills signed WR Mack Hollins to a one-year deal on Wednesday. 

While Hollins does not come with the high-end upside of a young wide receiver, he does provide steady play and reliable blocking. Both are skills that are at times in short supply in a high-powered offense such as the Bills. 

The veteran wideout has had several stops including Philadelphia, Miami, Las Vegas, and Atlanta over his seven-year NFL career. He has also had several notable injuries in the league even dating back to college. 

Read below for the publicly reported injury history for Mack Hollins and any concerns moving forward.

Injury History

College: North Carolina 

2012 Freshman Year

Ankle fracture, side not specified, redshirted.

Two days before fall training camp, Hollins fractured his ankle and missed two months of practice. He redshirted that year and did not see any game action. He was able to return in 2013 in a special teams role and was named captain 

2016 Senior Year

Right collarbone fracture, missed 6 games. 

Hollins suffered a right collarbone fracture in the 20-13 win over the Miami Hurricanes in the seventh week of the season. He underwent surgery to repair the fracture, ending his season. 


2017 Philadelphia Eagles

No publicly reported injuries.

2018 Eagles

Core muscle repair, placed on injured reserve, and missed the entire season. 

Hollins suffered a groin injury sometime during his rookie year in 2017 but did not appear on the injury report. Following the Super Bowl, he underwent a core muscle repair to correct the issue. He rehabbed all off-season but never got the burst and explosion back. He was able to play in the first preseason game but had difficulty warming up for the second game and was shut down. 

At the time, Doug Pederson had said that his prior surgery and current injury were unrelated. He was placed on injured reserve having many ups and downs along with setbacks during rehab. It’s unclear whether he required a second procedure to the area, but he likely had access to Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute. He is the foremost expert on core muscle repair and plenty of NFL athletes go to him in Philadelphia. 

2019 Eagles/Miami Dolphins 

No publicly reported injuries. 

Hollins appeared in 12 games with the Eagles before being waived. He was later picked up by the Dolphins and appeared in four games to finish the season. 

2020 Miami Dolphins

No publicly reported injuries. 

2021 Miami Dolphins

No publicly reported injuries. 

2022 Las Vegas Raiders 

Heel, Week 5, missed 0 games,

Hollins suffered a heel injury sometime in Week 5 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was limited in practice the following two weeks and questionable heading into the games but did not see a reduction in his snap counts. It’s not clear the exact injury but considering the heel connects to the Achilles, he may have had pain from running and jumping. 

2023 Atlanta Falcons

Right ankle injury, Week 9, missed 3 games. 

Hollins suffered a right ankle sprain on a route up the middle of the field with 9:44 left in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings. There were no details regarding the specifics of the injury, but by video, he got hit low and outside which suggests a high-ankle sprain. The missed timeline also fits this injury, and he had the bye week in Week 11, giving him four full weeks to recover. 

He did miss Week 15 but was deemed a healthy scratch as he was not on the injury report that week. 

Undisclosed injury. Week 18, missed the second half of the final game.

Hollins suffered an undisclosed injury during the first half of the loss to the New Orleans Saints and did not return. 

Injury Analysis

Ankle and collarbone fractures, core muscle, heel, and right ankle injuries comprise Mack Hollins’s publicly reported injury history.

There is no concern with the fractures as while they did cause him to miss extended time, the bone heals up quite reliably and the fractures were simply unfortunate. 

His heel injury is worth noting but not much to be concerned about. I have personally never got a good grasp on any further specifics on heel injuries in football, but it was potentially a contusion that became painful to play through.

The two remaining injuries are the most severe but have varying levels of concern. The suspected high-ankle sprain cost him some time in the second half of the season. He also had one reception on one target for four yards over that five-game span. While high-ankle sprains are problematic during the season, they typically do not cause issues from season to season. He may have some residual laxity in the joint due to the recency but nothing that should affect his performance next season.

Finally, his core muscle injury is the most concerning, but it has also been six years since the injury and procedure. Most core muscle repairs do well and 90 percent of players who undergo the procedure return to their prior level of play. Hollins may have been in that 10 percent that don’t or he may have had a different core injury from the one that required surgery. Since missing the 2018 season, he has played in 79 games and only missed the three previously mentioned games.

Mack Hollins isn’t the biggest name to walk into One Bills Drive, but he is a proven veteran on a likely cheap contract. 

I have no immediate injury concerns and unless he suffers an unfortunate injury, he has a chance to make the roster as a depth option/special teams or veteran practice squad addition.

Top Photo Credit: NBC Sports