2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills UDFA Injury Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills UDFA Injury Analysis

Immediately after the Buffalo Bills concluded the 2024 NFL Draft process, they went to work scouring the ranks to find the best remaining UDFAs. Many of the players signed will stay with the Bills through the offseason and training camp as they look to make one of the best rosters in the NFL. 

As with every player, they each have injuries and various stops throughout their football careers. The article below will briefly summarize the injury concerns and highlight any issues moving forward. Below is the 2024 UDFA publicly reported injury history and analysis.

Note: look for this to be updated as signings occur following rookie minicamp. 

Injury History

CB Te’Cory Couch, Miami

2021 

Neck injury, missed half of spring football.  

2022 

Right shoulder injury, vs Middle Tennessee, left midway through game, able to return in fourth quarter. 

EDGE Rondell Bothroyd, Oklahoma

2020 Wake Forest

ACL tear, side not specified.

2021 Wake Forest

Offseason shoulder labrum repair.

2022 Wake Forest

Ankle injury, missed 2 games.

EDGE David Ugwoegbu, Houston

No publicly reported injuries.

DT Branson Deen, Miami 

2018 Purdue

Torn meniscus, medical redshirt.

2021 Purdue

Undisclosed injury vs Illinois, missed 0 games.

2023 Miami

Undisclosed lower body injury, missed 2 games.

CB Keni-H Lovely, Western Michigan

2018 

Shoulder surgery, freshman year.

RB Frank Gore Jr, Southern Miss

2023

Foot injury, vs Tulane, missed 0 games.

WR Xavier Johnson, Ohio State

2018

Foot injury, redshirted.

2023

Foot injury, spring practices.

G Keaton Bills, Utah

2019 

Knee injury, only appeared in three games, redshirted. 

2021

Undisclosed injury, missed 2 games per Dane Brugler The Beast draft guide.

OL Gunner Britton, Auburn

2019 Western Kentucky

Undisclosed injuries, missed 1 game. 

P Jack Browning, SDSU

2022 

Left leg injury, vs Fresno State, finished the game but had to wear a brace on leg. 

2023 

Knee contusion, side not specified, vs Colorado State, missed second half. 

WR Lawrence Keys, Tulane

2020 Notre Dame

Concussion, other undisclosed injuries.

2023 

Ankle/foot injury, vs Tulsa, missed 4 games including bowl game.

OT Mike Edwards, Campbell

2019 Wake Forest

Concussion x 2, one during spring football, one during fall camp, lost feeling in left leg, was forced to be medically disqualified and missed following season.

2022 Campbell

Undisclosed injury, missed final 2 games, per Dane Brugler The Beast draft guide.

2023 Campbell

Undisclosed injury, missed first 2 games, per Dane Brugler The Beast draft guide.

Injury Analysis

As with any football player, there are injuries to account for. Many of the players had little to no information available due to the size of the school or had vague reporting at best. 

The most concerning injuries are Rondell Bothroyd’s ACL and shoulder labrum repairs, Branson Deen’s meniscus, and Mike Edwards concussion history. 

Bothroyd’s injuries were at least several years ago and besides his ankle injury, he has been more durable as of late. Deen’s meniscus was during his freshman year and having the repair vs the meniscectomy leads to better outcomes and a lesser chance for arthritis. 

As for Edwards, the multiple concussions including one where he lost feeling in his leg is rather concerning. This is caused by damage to the somatosensory cortex in the brain and seen more commonly following a TBI or stroke, but can happen in concussions, though far less common. The article linked explains how and why this happens. The fact that he was medically cleared to return to football is promising but that past experience can’t be ignored. 

The one notable thing is that Frank Gore Jr signed with the team just several years removed from his father, Frank Gore suited up for them. Gore Jr. certainly comes in with far less injury concerns out of college but could carve out a roster spot with a strong camp.

Overall, each of these players will have their opportunity to make their dreams come true and make an NFL roster. They have uphill battles, but none of them got here by luck alone. I wish them all the best in their journey and that they remain healthy

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