2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills LB Edefuan Ulofoshio Injury Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills LB Edefuan Ulofoshio Injury Analysis

Looking for linebacker depth and special teams help, the Buffalo Bills selected Washington LB Edefuan Ulofoshio with the 160th overall pick on Saturday. The first team Pac-12 and second team All-American player comes in with solid career production on top of being named a team captain this last season. 

After helping guide the Huskies to the national title game, Ulofoshio comes to Buffalo to try and find a place on the roster in a linebacker room that is high in talent but lacking depth. Ulofoshio has an excellent shot to make the roster especially being a draft pick but his past injury history could impact his ability to stay on the field to compete. 

Read below for Edefuan Ulofoshio’s publicly reported injury history and analysis. 

Injury History

2021 Washington

Left partial bicep tear, vs UCLA, missed 6 games.

Ulofoshio was forced to leave the UCLA game in 2921 due to a partial distal bicep tear in his left arm. It’s not clear how he injured the elbow, but it’s likely this was the result of attempting to tackle a player and they got away, overloading the contracting tendon and tearing. 

Even though it was a partial tear, tears at the bottom of the muscle near the elbow require surgery, ending his season. 

2022 Washington

ACL tear, during winter drills, missed 8 games.

As Ulofoshio was rehabbing back from his biceps repair, he began off-season training during the winter of 2022. Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL tear and was forced to undergo yet another surgery. He wasn’t able to return to the field until November against Oregon State. 

Knowing that his recovery took at least nine months, he likely tore in January or February of 2022 before he was able to return. It’s not known what side he tore, but several pictures suggest it was the right side as it looks like there was scarring below the kneecap.

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

Injury Analysis

To have two major injuries like that within three to four months of each other would be incredibly trying for anyone regardless of sport or situation. There’s a lot of physical and mental work that goes into getting back to playing after injuries like that, especially the ACL. Players can feel vulnerable and unsure of their abilities which can lead to decrease in performance and confidence. 

However, Ulofoshio appeared to overcome that and turned that into a stellar senior season before entering the draft. Looking at each injury, the bicep tear is of little concern moving forward. Players who suffer a distal bicep tear requiring surgery have no change in performance or career length once they return. 

Credit: Golden State Ortho

Current Bills DT DaQuan Jones suffered a biceps tear back in 2017 and has continued to play at an incredibly high level. 

As for the ACL tear, the outlook for Ulofoshio is more promising than what is normally perceived. The highest risk to re-tear an ACL is within two years of the original injury and he is outside of that window now. 


Once players do return coming off an ACL tear, they start and play in fewer games and see lower snap percentages compared to controls. Considering Ulofoshio enters a room with established starters in Milano and Bernard along with developing players in Williams and Spector, there is not a clear path to extensive playing time on defense. I expect to see him get most of his work on special teams as he acclimates to the NFL. 

Final Thoughts

The Bills were smart to draft a linebacker on Day 3 to add to the linebacker depth and replace the special teams snaps lost with Tyler Matakevich departing. Ulofoshio isn’t without future injury risk as he transitions to the NFL, but his risk to suffer further injury is equal to that of anyone else at this point. 

Had he not had a rough stretch of injury luck, it’s possible he could have been drafted higher, but that’s a big what if. He is now a Buffalo Bill with an opportunity to carve out a nice role on special teams as he grows into the defense.

I wish Edefuan Ulofoshio the best of luck and that he stays healthy. 

Top Photo Credit: Getty Images


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