2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills WR Keon Coleman Injury Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills WR Keon Coleman Injury Analysis

After trading back twice out of the first round on Thursday night much to the ire of fans, the Buffalo Bills selected Florida State WR Keon Coleman with the 33rd overall pick. 

The 6’4”, 216 lb wideout comes to the Bills after spending time at Michigan State and Florida State over his collegiate career. Appearing in 34 games over his career, Coleman brings a lot of physical traits that can allow him to be successful at the next level. 

As with many football players, Coleman comes in with several injuries that could affect his availability at the next level. Read below for Keon Coleman’s publicly reported injury history and analysis.

Injury History

2021 Michigan State

No publicly reported injuries.

2022 Michigan State

Hip flexor muscle tear, missed 0 games. 

Coleman battled through a hip flexor muscle tear near his groin for most of the season and aggravated it in the season finale against Penn State. 

2023 Florida State

Undisclosed injury, vs Wake Forest, missed 1 game. 

Coleman suffered a minor injury in the win over Wake Forest and was seen in street clothes during the game against Pittsburgh. According to Dane Brugler in The Athletic’s The Beast, he missed parts of other games throughout the season and it wasn’t clear if they were before or after the Pittsburgh game. His stat line for 2023 varied which potentially shows a lingering issue all season. Coleman returned the following week and later finished the season before opting out of the bowl game.  

Injury Analysis

There isn’t much information on Coleman’s injury history and he hasn’t missed much time. The undisclosed injury doesn’t have any further information other than he finished the game and wasn’t on any injury report until he was seen in street clothes on the sidelines. 

As for his hip flexor partial muscle tear, the fact that it was located near his groin. These muscles help stabilize the hip and allow the torso and thigh together when running, sitting, or standing, also all necessary for football. Considering this was a partial muscle tear, this may have been more of a moderate muscle strain or Grade 2 that never healed as he played through the season. There is a minor concern he could deal with another injury in this area, but this might be more due to positional demands rather than a re-injury.

Credit: advantagesportmed.ca

What was promising was that after he took some time off from the season, he was able to begin basketball practice, suggesting it didn’t need surgery. 

The Bills brought Coleman in for a Top-30 visit and gave him the full medical checkover. Normally, the Bills have avoided players with soft tissue concerns which made this pick somewhat questionable. Historically, they have stayed away from strains and other nagging issues. Considering he is only 20 and the injury history didn’t lead to extensive missed time, they appear to be alright with the injuries that didn’t appear to linger.

Former Alabama HC Nick Saban was on the ABC broadcast Thursday night when he began speaking about injuries. Paraphrasing here, he stated how he had players who said they weren’t 100 percent and didn’t want to play. He went on to state that no one in the NFL isn’t 100 percent every week and they have to prove they can play through it. 

This is how I envision Keon Coleman playing through injury the last two seasons. While it is not great that he had to play through injuries, it’s also promising that he can still produce when called upon. I had listed Coleman as a concern due to the soft tissue and nagging issues which typically is avoided early in the draft by the Bills. The Bills appeared to not be concerned about the injuries but it does stay in line with a player not missing extensive time.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t necessarily a player that I thought the Bills would target, but they were able to trade back and accumulate extra picks while still getting a guy on their board. There isn’t much concern for long-term issues as he transitions to the NFL. There is some slight concern that he deals with some soft tissue acclimation issues due to the hectic nature of the draft process, but his history suggests it should not linger. 

I wish Keon Coleman the best of luck as he enters the NFL and hope that he stays healthy.

Top Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images