Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills S Mike Edwards

Injury Analysis: Buffalo Bills S Mike Edwards

Looking to fortify the secondary, the Buffalo Bills signed S Mike Edwards to a one-year deal on Wednesday. 

The two-time Super Bowl champion comes to the Bills after stops in Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Edwards has the potential to win a third Super Bowl with a third team, something Von Miller is also looking to achieve. The veteran safety comes in not only with winning pedigree but the ability to contribute to a secondary that is seeing major turnover. 

Edwards comes from several excellent defensive units from his time in Tampa Bay and last year in Kansas City. The hope is that he can contribute to another stellar defense looking for a deep postseason run. 

Below is Mike Edwards publicly reported injury history and concerns. 

Injury History

2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Broken thumb, Reese’s Senior Bowl.

Edwards suffered a broken thumb while playing in the Reese’s Senior Bowl following his final year at Kentucky. This fracture required three screws to repair and forced him to limit his participation during the NFL draft process.

Hamstring injury, preseason, missed 3 preseason games.

Edwards played in the first preseason game against the Steelers before suffering a hamstring strain that cost him the remaining three contests. However, he was able to recover enough to play Week 1 without a designation.

Hamstring injury, Week 6, missed 1 game.

Edwards suffered another hamstring injury the Thursday or Friday prior to Week 6 in London, leaving him a limited participant. He ultimately did not play, his first game missed in the college or pros.

2020 Buccaneers

No publicly reported injuries. 

2021 Buccaneers

No publicly reported injuries. 

2022 Buccaneers

Elbow injury, Week 5, missed 1 game.

Edwards suffered an elbow injury in Week 5 while playing in every defensive snap against the Atlanta Falcons. He missed Week 6 and when he returned to practice, he sported elbow braces on both elbows. The exact details of the injury are unknown, but he was questionable the following game and played in every defensive snap in Week 7.

Hamstring injury, Week 12, missed 2 games.

Edwards suffered a hamstring injury late in the Week 12 contest against the loss to the Cleveland Browns. He was designated as doubtful but missed the following two games and was questionable the next three games.

Hip injury, Week 18, missed 1 game.

While still working through a hamstring injury, Edwards picked up a hip injury which designated him as questionable and forced him out of the regular season finale. He returned to the lineup in the Wild Card round in the loss to the Dallas Cowboys. 

2023 Kansas City Chiefs

Concussion, Divisional Round, missed 0 games.

Edwards suffered a concussion on the first drive of the game against the Buffalo Bills. This occurred when he was defending a pass from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs. He struck his head when he tackled Diggs and was slow to get up. He later went to the medical tent for further evaluation before being ruled out with a concussion.  

Injury Analysis

Mike Edwards has missed five games in five NFL seasons. Several hamstring strains, a hip injury, elbow injury, broken thumb, and concussion comprise of the issues he’s dealt with so far. Prior to the NFL, Edwards had never missed a game in college. 

Delving deeper into the medical concerns, the biggest ones are the hamstrings. Considering the demands of the safety position, it’s not surprising that this is part of his history, but he has shown a propensity to avoid the recurrence normally seen with the injury. 

His rookie year he dealt with the hamstring injury all through preseason and it leaked out into the regular season. Keep in mind, a rookie really has no down time from the end of the season to go into preparing for the Combine and pro days.

Once they get past that, they get drafted and immediately get into rookie minicamp. While there is a short break between mandatory minicamp, it is not enough to rest fully before resuming full football drills. The fact he suffered a hamstring strain after that circuit is no surprise. 

While his hamstring issue did pop up again, this was three years later and it appears he worked through the issue until he couldn’t. Whether this was to help be ready for Tom Brady’s final season or other depth issues, that isn’t clear. He did have the hip injury also limit him but it’s not clear whether this was related to the hamstring as he played through the injuries.

The broken thumb, elbow injury, and concussion are isolated injuries and pose no real long-term issues.

Considering it’s a one-year deal on what is expected to be a cheap signing, there isn’t much to dislike about Edwards. He has shown the ability to be durable more often than not and he has been in winning locker rooms. Edwards has a strong shot to make the active roster and contribute on both the defense and special teams. 

Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

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