Buffalo Bills Phase 3 OTA Injury Updates- Week 3

Buffalo Bills Phase 3 OTA Injury Updates- Week 3
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 12: Tommy Doyle #72 of the Buffalo Bills on the field before a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at Highmark Stadium on August 12, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Voluntary OTA’s for the Buffalo Bills wrapped up this week with the media once again observing Tuesday’s practice. Despite the routine drills and practices, there is some injury info to glean from the participation. Several guys missed practices while others returned indicating issues they sat out with in prior practices are not concerning now.

Below are the injury notes from OTAs from this past week and analysis.

Players not present:

OT Dion Dawkins

WR Justin Shorter

WR KJ Hamler

TE Dawson Knox

DT Dawuane Smoot

DT DeShawn Williams

CB Rasul Douglas

LB Nicholas Morrow

Of those names that were not present, only Knox had been working through a left leg issue that saw him wearing a compression sleeve on the leg in prior weeks. No one else appeared to have any current issues but Shorter and Hamler, both with prior injury issues don’t help their cause in getting every extra rep necessary.

Undisclosed injuries:

LB Dorian Williams

LB Edefuan Ulofoshio

FB Reggie Gilliam

Both Williams and Ulofoshio were dealing with minor injuries according to The Buffalo News whereas Reggie Gilliam was also dealing with an injury according to Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN on Overreaction Buffalo with Joe Miller.

Not participating:

CB Taron Johnson

RB Ray Davis

No information has been out as to why they were off to the side but no injuries have been noted for them at this time as they were without helmets.

S Mike Edwards (Right Shoulder)

Edwards continues to work off to the side after he suffered an undisclosed right shoulder injury several weeks ago first reported on May 21. It’s not noted whether he is still wearing the shoulder harness he was seen in last week, but he has begun to participate off to the side in some light individual drills. It remains to be seen if he will participate next week in minicamp. Past experience has me believing he sits out to make sure his shoulder is fully healed. 

LB Matt Milano (Right Knee)

Milano continues to work off to the side without any new video this week of him running like we saw last week. He is still being brought along slowly and I’d be really surprised if he participated at all in minicamp next week.

OT Spencer Brown (Shoulder Surgery)

It has been known for several weeks now that Brown required off-season surgery, specifically to his shoulder due to a torn labrum. Based off the film, it appeared as though he injured his right shoulder but the way that he discusses how he dislocated his shoulder implies it was his left shoulder. Either way, Brown continues to slowly ramp up his participation with individual drills. He appears to be on track to participate in training camp, barring setbacks.

DE Von Miller (Right ACL)

Miller continues to work back to his pre-injury form, showing some of the speed, bend, and burst he was known for prior to his ACL injury in 2022. NYUpstate.com’s Matt Parrino indicated that Miller continues to practice without the hinged knee brace he wore all of last season. Granted, this was against La’el Collins who is still working back from his own significant multiligament knee injury, but still, promising to see that Miller’s moves are looking more fluid and natural. 

LB Shayne Simon

The Buffalo Bills signed Shayne Simon, formerly of Notre Dame and Pittsburgh following rookie minicamp several weeks ago. For more injury information, make sure to check out the link below.

OT Tommy Doyle (Left Knee)

Doyle was officially designated as waived/injured on Tuesday and then later reverted to PUP, ending his season due to a failed physical. Doyle suffered a multiligament tear due to a knee dislocation and peroneal nerve damage resulting in drop foot against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the preseason last year. Considering the damage and the fact that he is still wearing the AFO implies that the nerve damage may be permanent. 

He was waived/injured and reverted to PUP due to Article 45 of the CBA addressing financial protection for players in case of injury. This allows players to retain some income in the event they are released. In Doyle’s case, he was released but reverts back to the club to continue his rehab and does not count against the 90-man roster.

There are four stipulations that Doyle must meet to qualify for the injury protection benefits:

1. The player missed either part of or the entire, final game of his previous season due to “a severe football injury” OR underwent team-authorized surgery in the offseason.

2. The player went through “reasonable and customary” rehabilitation treatment as required by the team.

3. The player fails a physical on or before August 1 following the season of injury. Note that there is strong language in this Article that requires the team to administer a physical exam to determine benefit eligibility if it is called for. It is not optional.

4. The player does not sign a new contract with a new club in the year following the injury.

Doyle has met all the criteria for this injury protection benefit due to the severe knee injury requiring surgery, going through the necessary rehab, failing his physical, and is still in the midst of his rookie contract. This guarantees Doyle’s salary for 2024 currently set at $1.05 million. This does count against the cap but this would have been factored in anyway for the season to begin with.

With Doyle finishing up his rookie contract this season, this leaves his future open-ended as he would be an unrestricted free agent next season. If he can recover enough nerve function in his leg to allow him to move his foot effectively or learn to play well enough with an AFO, he could return to football. There is a distinct possibility that he may never regain that function and that his days of NFL football may be over. He at least gets his money for this season and can continue to be around the team and rehab to improve his overall health for when he does transition out of football.

Final Thoughts

With the mandatory minicamp starting next week, everyone who can practice should be able to practice. The only ones I do not expect to participate are Matt Milano and Spencer Brown. I would be very surprised if Mike Edwards participates and if anyone else misses, it is because the team does not wish to ramp players up for full contact for two or three days before letting them go for six weeks.

We will likely get much more information next week and a clearer picture of several players before training camp starts in late July.

Top Photo Credit: Timothy T Ludwig | Credit: Getty Images