CB Greg Stroman Injury Profile

#32 Greg Stroman
Position: CB
Height/Weight: 6’0″/182 lbs.
College: Virginia Tech
Year joined Bills: 2021
Acquired: Free Agency via Washington

College Injuries:

Junior Year: Missed 3 games, unknown if due to injury or inactive.

Pro Injuries:

2018 Washington:

No publicly reported injuries.

2019 Washington:

Appeared in 1 game, Spent the remainder season on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.

2020 Washington:

Suffered foot injury, side not specified, on a punt return in Week 4, placed on injured reserve shortly after.

2021 Washington/Bills:

Started season on PUP with an undisclosed injury, released with an injury settlement midway through camp.

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 12 Postgame Injury Review- New Orleans Saints

Thursday night came with turkey, mashed potatoes, and a Buffalo Bills win over the New Orleans Saints 31-6. The Bills appeared to be the better team throughout the entire game and it didn’t hurt that the Saints were missing an array of starters including most of the players on the injury report ruled out prior to the game. 

While it was excellent to get a win on national TV and move to 7-4, regaining the AFC East lead, it came at the expense of injury. There were several issues in the game, but none bigger than the loss of CB Tre’Davious White to a left ACL and meniscus tear. The news broke Friday afternoon, crushing the fan base as White has been a mainstay since the Sean McDermott regime started in 2017. 

Below are details on White’s injury along with every other known injury sustained in Thursday’s win over the Saints.

In-game injuries

G Cody Ford (Right elbow)

Ford exited the game with 8:42 left in the 2nd quarter due to what the team described as an arm injury. By video, there wasn’t anything specific that happened, including on the last play which was a field goal that put the Bills up 10-0. 

He has been wearing a hinged brace on his right elbow all season for an unknown reason. Ford later returned to the game with the brace no longer visible, but what appeared to be a wrap or compression sleeve over the area. While there was not anything on film that suggests what he did, he may have needed some time to fix the bracing to the area if it became dislodged or he hit the area, requiring further examination. 

He played in 91 percent of the offensive snaps indicating this was not much of an issue during the game. I don’t have records of when he suffered a right elbow injury and the brace may be more for protection. I do not expect that he is on the injury report this week.

CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL & Meniscus Tear)

As mentioned above, White suffered a left ACL tear with 6:21 left in the 2nd quarter while guarding Saints WR Marquez Callaway. He went down on the field before trainers got out to him to assess the left knee. He was able to walk off under his own power but in obvious distress. He was initially ruled doubtful to return before later ruled out.

Once an MRI confirmed the injury, it was announced that he tore the ACL, ending his season. White’s absence leaves a gaping hole at cornerback that the team will manage, but his quality of play cannot be replaced.

A more detailed piece on his injury was published Saturday that is worth reading if you want to learn more about the injury and his career outlook.

OL Ryan Bates (Undisclosed)

Bates briefly left the game with 4:32 left in the 2nd quarter with trainers under his own power. The TV broadcast did not show what he injured and he was quickly replaced by Jamil Douglas. On the All-22 footage sideline view, the ball is snapped and Bates picks up his block and side shuffles to the left before losing him and then looking down at his feet. 

It isn’t clear what he injured looking at the video. He did not get his feet stepped on, he didn’t really get tied up, the only time he really made contact was with his head briefly. Unless the team did a concussion screen while he was out, it was never announced that he had a head injury. 

Unless he shows up on the injury report, I don’t expect we will get any more information regarding this injury.

TE/FB Reggie Gilliam (Left Ankle)

Gilliam was announced as out with an ankle injury late in the game in the 4th quarter with the game well in hand. The play that he appeared to be injured on was with 12:12 left in the 4th quarter on a Bills punt. He maintained his block as the ball was snapped and as the pocket closed around Matt Haack, bodies began piling in. 

Gilliam had his feet staggered attempting to hold his block off to the left of him with his right shoulder, leaving his left leg exposed. Several bodies came crashing over and landing on his left ankle. Based on how his toe was pointing out and the lateral aspect of his ankle was exposed upward, I do fear a high-ankle sprain based on the possible mechanism.

Video does not show him requiring assistance to get off the field nor the camera panning to him on the turf. There is a possibility that the ankle was simply rolled up on and that the team kept him out knowing that he was not needed. This is an injury that we need more information about and it wouldn’t shock me to see him show up on the injury report Wednesday.

Other observations

DT Brandin Bryant (Right Shoulder)

Bryant was elevated as a COVID replacement player for this week and for the second time this season. DT Eli Ankou was also elevated as a COVID replacement for this game.

Bryant was elevated but did not play when Star Lotulelei tested positive prior to the Jets game in Week 10. He was observed wearing a shoulder harness on his right shoulder, signifying some type of instability.

There are not any publicly known injuries regarding his shoulder that I could find and since this is his first game action of the year, it’s highly likely that this was suffered in practice. This is worth mentioning if he sticks around longer or begins to have problems with the shoulder. Other than the harness, there is no additional information.

G Jon Feliciano (Calf)

Feliciano missed his 4th game with a calf injury that was likely due to the timing of the game on a Thursday rather than the injury itself. I expect him to be activated to the active roster when they announce the various roster moves including placing Tre’Davious White on injured reserve. 

DT Star Lotulelei/OT Spencer Brown (COVID)

Both are still on the COVID list and there is still no timetable for their return. Lotulelei has now missed three games while Brown has missed two.

The Bills have a mini-bye as they rest and prepare to play the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Buffalo on December 6th. This game is vitally important as the winner of this game will likely win the AFC East, securing a playoff spot and at least one home playoff game. Buffalo has the horses to beat New England despite the loss of White, but that task just got slightly harder. 

There will be plenty of information in the coming days regarding surgeries and roster moves. Stay tuned here for all the latest Bills’ injury information.

Top Photo Credit: James P McCoy/Buffalo News

Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White’s ACL Injury & Outlook

The Buffalo Bills‘ worst fears on Thanksgiving were confirmed on Black Friday when it was announced that All-Pro CB Tre’Davious White suffered a left ACL and meniscus tear and was ruled out for the season. 

There was heavy speculation that this was the injury from myself and others within the medical football community as soon as TV replays showed the left knee buckle. White’s reaction on the sideline along with his game status as doubtful later ruled out further cemented the fear.

While he is out for the season, there is concern regarding the rehab process along with his availability and performance heading into the 2022 season.

The Anatomy 

The ACL is a ligament that connects the tibia to the femur and runs medial to lateral — or inside to outside — acting as a stabilizer in the knee to prevent the femur from shifting too far forward over the tibia during movement. It also assists in preventing hyperextension in the knee. When the knee is loaded during activity such as cutting and sudden stops, the ACL is designed to keep the knee stable, but in the presence of injury, the ligament is overloaded which either stretches and partially tears or fully tears based on the activity. It is possible to live a normal lifestyle with an ACL-deficient knee, but nearly impossible to resume a high level of play post ACL tear without reconstruction as an adult.

ACL Anatomy. Credit: Orthoinfo.aaos.org

Activities that cause the ACL to tear are direct blows such as a low block or a blow to the knee while the foot is planted. Non-contact typically occurs when a player doesn’t land properly after jumping in the air, when they perform a sudden change in direction at a high speed, or when they attempt to quickly decelerate. Roughly 70-to-75 percent of ACL tears are non-contact in nature in the general population.

Tears also occur with hyperflexion or hyperextension of the knee. In the event of ACL rupture, the knee buckles and there is usually immediate swelling, tenderness, loss of ROM, and pain. Risk factors include but are not limited to: gender, age, playing surface, level of play, biomechanical variances, previous injuries to the knee, equipment, and environmental conditions. 

The Injury 

The injury occurred with 6:21 left in the 2nd quarter while White was covering New Orleans Saints WR Marquez Callaway. When Callaway turned to his right looking to show he was open, White stayed with him step-for-step, planting his left foot into the turf to change direction quickly. 

Due to suddenly changing direction, this put the foot planted into the ground, hip into internal rotation, and abduction to pivot, placing a valgus stress on the knee. This position is unfortunately a common mechanism for the ACL to rupture. 

Example of the mechanism of injury for an ACL tear. Credit: Physio-pedia.com

The alignment of the joint placed stress so great through the knee that it tore the ACL and meniscus, with the familiar pop heard when a ligament ruptures. Had his foot not stuck in the turf and continued sliding left while he went right, he may have escaped the tear. 

Trainers and doctors quickly rushed out to White to assess, performing an orthopedic special test on the knee known as the Lachman test. The femur is stabilized with the knee in slight flexion with the tibia then moved anteriorly or forward to determine the laxity of the joint. Depending on the give of the tibia in relation to the femur determines whether there is an ACL injury. 

After leaving the field, the team performed x-rays to rule out any additional damage and then had an MRI done upon returning home to Buffalo Friday to confirm the diagnosis. 

White will have surgery to repair the damaged ligament and meniscus shortly to begin his rehab afterward as he prepares for the 2022 season. It’s worth noting the meniscus damage will not have any effect on the recovery timeline.

It’s worth noting that he did not have any prior ACL tears or have any other injuries that would have predisposed him to this injury. He was playing on turf which has been shown to increase ACL tears, but the mechanism of injury was the same and still could have happened on natural grass. 

Rehab

Rehabilitation and recovery for an ACL tear can take anywhere from 9-to-12 months with more complex tears taking even longer. Restoring full range of motion followed by strength slowly will be the main focus to regain function of the knee. Biking, walking, running, jumping, cutting, and pivoting will all be slowly introduced as healing occurs through various stages. 

Here is an example of an ACL reconstruction rehab protocol detailing the steps during each phase. 

Based on this timeline, White could return as soon as training camp, though there is a distinct possibility he starts on the PUP list until he is cleared. Depending on how his recovery goes, there’s a fairly decent chance he could be ready for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season. By that point, he would be roughly 10 months out which isn’t uncommon to return to play. I don’t believe the Bills need to rush him back, but White may feel ready and want to be aggressive in returning that quickly.

Considering what they have invested in him, there would not be a need to rush him back any sooner in training camp. Athletes returning prior to 9 months increase their risk to suffer another ACL injury by 7-fold rather than those who delay their return to sport.

Re-injury risks

As with any other ACL injury, he is at increased risk to re-tear the surgically repaired side but he is also at an even higher risk to tear the contralateral side, upwards of 20-to-30 percent within the next two years, based on the various sources within the literature within the general population. He is over the age threshold of 25 that we see an increased risk for ACL tears which does help him in avoiding, but not fully eliminating future tears. 

Looking at the NFL, 72 percent of ACL tears are non-contact and 12.3 percent are more likely to re-injure the same knee versus 7.3 percent of the opposite knee. The mean time for a player to return from an ACL reconstruction is 12.6 months across all positions. This study is worth noting as the Bills’ orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Leslie Bisson, contributed to this article.

Performance upon returning

There is concern that Tre’Davious White may not be the same player upon returning to the field. Despite all the structures healing by the time the season starts, the knee will initially be lacking the awareness necessary to perform the fluid movements that made him an All-Pro. 

The natural ACL contains mechanoreceptors that provide the body the ability to detect tension, acceleration, the direction of movement, and position of the knee joint, generally known as proprioception. These mechanoreceptors are found in all ligaments and provide the body feedback with all movements in our lives.

With decreased feedback from the knee during movement, can lead to a player being a step slower and not being able to adjust to what’s in front of him as easily. Add in the defensive demands of the position where he has to react, his lockdown play may be exposed at times. However, the mechanoreceptors can reinnervate over time, indicating the body can restore this function through healing.

Based on the research available, ACL injuries can affect defensive players adversely. Addressing this paper from 2017, there were several metrics that suffered a decline upon returning successfully from an ACL tear. This study looked at all defensive positions but broke down metrics for each defensive group specifically. There were statically significant declines in production for defensive backs for games started, solo tackles, and interceptions over the 3 years following injury. 

What isn’t clear is whether the production goes down because of the decreased availability or whether the performance is affected solely by the ACL injury. I’m going to lean towards the lack of availability over true talent level. 

The final sentence of the article goes on to state that those who were above-average players before the injury returns relatively average following the injury. Take that how you will. 

What White does have working in his favor is that he was a former high draft pick that has already signed his lucrative contract extension. This means that the team has invested considerable resources into him, he has consistently shown the ability to perform at an extremely high level, and stay healthy otherwise. The team will continue to commit to ensuring that he will return to the level of play they are accustomed to prior to the injury. 

For further confidence in White’s return to form, there are comparable players who have suffered an ACL tear in the NFL and came back to make a 1st or 2nd All-Pro team in at least either the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers of America, or Sporting News. This is not a fully comprehensive list, but players I found over the last 25 years that have received All-Pro honors. They are below:

CB Rod Woodson: tore ACL in 1995, returned the same season. Was 2nd Team All-Pro in 1996 (Steelers), 1st Team All-Pro at safety 2002 (Ravens).

CB Bobby Taylor: tore ACL in 1997. Was 1st Team All-Pro in 2002 (Eagles).

CB Carlos Rogers: tore ACL, MCL in 2007. Was 2nd Team All-Pro in 2011 (49ers).

CB Darrelle Revis: tore ACL in 2012. Was 1st Team All-Pro in 2014 (Patriots).

CB Chris Harris Jr.: tore ACL in 2013. Was 2nd Team All-Pro 2014, 2015. 1st Team All-Pro in 2016 (Broncos).

Collegiate ACL tears, later All-Pro

CB Antonio Cromartie: tore ACL in 2005. Was 1st Team All-Pro in 2007 (Jets).

CB AJ Bouye: tore ACL in 2012. Was 2nd Team All-Pro in 2017 (Jaguars).

CB Eddie Jackson: tore ACL in 2014. Was 1st Team All-Pro 2018 (Bears).

Safeties who tore their ACL, later All-Pro

S Eric Berry: tore ACL in 2011. Was 1st Team All-Pro in 2013, 2015, 2016 (Chiefs).

S Tyrann Mathieu: tore ACL in 2013, 2015. Was 1st Team All-Pro in 2015, 2019, 2020 (Chiefs).

This is an example of players who were mostly elite talents before their injury and were able to regain the form necessary to return to the very top of their profession. Some had never even made All-Pro prior to their injury.

So while the article regarding defensive players does imply that this ACL tear will negatively impact White’s career trajectory, these players are exceptions and fairly decent sample size to combat that fear.

Outlook

What this boils down to is that White may be delayed in starting training camp on the active roster. He may be ready to play Week 1, but he will likely not be at 100 percent. His production may be close to the level of an average player at his position for 2022. 

This was an unfortunate injury that significantly harms the cornerback depth for the Bills for the remainder of the 2021 season. I believe he will have a slow start to the season in 2022 and may not really regain his elite form until 2023. Once he is able to fully recover, I fully believe he could return to a Pro Bowl and even All-Pro level eventually as he gets farther away from his ACL tear. 

The Denver Broncos Chris Harris Jr. and Pittsburgh Steelers Rod Woodson may be the best examples above of outliers to return to form immediately.

Injuries are a part of football, they are what helps create parity in each and every game. These players work incredibly hard to get to the NFL; all have the ability to rehab and continue playing at a high level. I wish Tre’Davious White the best of luck in his rehab as he prepares for the 2022 NFL season.

Top Photo Credit: Rich Barnes-AP

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 12 Injury Preview- New Orleans Saints

The last few days have been made to feel like an eternity due to the fire and brimstone discussions seen on social media thanks to Sunday’s loss to the Colts. 

Fortunately, the Buffalo Bills return to the field Thursday against the New Orleans Saints for Thanksgiving. Both teams are entering the game reeling in their own respects with the Bills losing 3 of their last 5 including all of those losses to the AFC South. The Saints have lost the last 3 games after a hot start and both teams are looking to save their season. 

While the Bills deal with COVID issues amongst two key contributors, the Saints deal with a litany of injuries on both the active roster and injured reserve, severely testing their depth and talent at a variety of positions. 

Injuries and availability will be key components of who will ultimately win Thursday’s game to stay in the playoff hunt. Below are the Bills and Saints injuries along with projected inactives.

BUFFALO BILLS INJURIES

ACTIVE

WR Cole Beasley (Left Ribs)

Beasley continues to be on the injury report with rib injuries sustained in Week 8 against the Dolphins. Nothing new changes regarding the details of the injury other than he continues to be limited in practice without a game designation. It is important to note that his snap count has increased steadily over the past few games, indicating his health may be improving. 

LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)

Edmunds has been able to practice in full following a hamstring strain in Week 9 that cost him the previous two games. Based on his practice status this week, he likely was very close to playing Sunday if not for the weather. 

There is always a concern he could re-injure the area, but the team has a mini-bye playing on Thursday which will allow him to rehab if he has any sort of setback. 

INJURED RESERVE 

G Jon Feliciano (Calf)

Feliciano is eligible to return off injured reserve following his calf injury originally suffered in Week 8. 

I had thought he would play Thursday, but Feliciano came out and stated that if it wasn’t a short week, he would have had a good chance to play. 

I’d expect him to come off IR following the Saints game.

WR Marquez Stevenson (Right Foot)

Stevenson returned to practice for the first time this regular season since injuring his foot in the preseason game against the Chicago Bears. By video, he appeared to suffer a midfoot sprain, though it’s important to note he played through the injury against the Green Bay Packers the following week. You can read more about the injury after it originally happened here.

By this point, he is likely fully healthy and probably has been for some time now, biding his time on injured reserve, waiting for an injury to someone else to be activated. It’s important to note that the Bills activated Isaiah Hodgins last year around this time before shutting him down to have shoulder surgery due to a re-injury in practice.

Sean McDermott has said it’s possible Stevenson could play as soon as Thursday, but a roster move will have to be made. They currently have 52 players on the active roster which means he could be signed immediately, but other roster moves would have to be made to accommodate the return of Star Lotulelei, Spencer Brown, and Feliciano.

It’s also important to note that this is a 21-day window which means his last day is December 13th, one day after the Week 14 contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

COVID/RESERVE

DT Star Lotulelei/OT Spencer Brown

Both are still on the COVID/Reserve list and have no timetable for return. Lotulelei is eligible to come off Thursday following his 10-day quarantine whereas Brown was eligible Wednesday if he were vaccinated and has negative tests, it’s likely he has to wait the full 10 days. We will have to wait and see when the team announces their return.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS INJURIES

OUT

RB Alvin Kamara (Left MCL Sprain)

Alvin Kamara has missed the last two games with a left MCL sprain originally suffered in the game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 9. It initially appeared to be mild by video but his absence has proven otherwise. 

It’s highly probable that Kamara had a setback in his rehab that forced him out of Week 11 as he was practicing in limited availability on Wednesday of last week before getting downgraded to DNP for Thursday and Friday.

Kamara was unable to practice all this week either indicating this injury is far more severe than reports have let on or they are looking to save him for a playoff run in December. Not having Kamara will only help the Bills’ chances at stopping the run.

OT Ryan Ramczyk (Knee)

Ramczyk missed his first game last week of the season due to this knee injury suffered in Week 9. This comes after missing only one game in his entire career until this season. 

It isn’t clear what type of knee injury he is dealing with but it’s worth noting that he required a knee scope last year during training camp to clean up the cartilage. It’s possible the knee has become arthritic and needs some maintenance to get through the season. Either way, he’s out for this game.

DE Tanoh Kpassagnon (Ankle)

Kpassagnon is working through an ankle injury that forced him out of Week 11. There isn’t any information regarding the details of the injury from available reports.

He did suffer a calf injury that forced him to miss Week 2, but he has overall been a healthy player, appearing in all 16 games 3 out of the 4 prior seasons. He unfortunately will miss this game.

DE Marcus Davenport (Shoulder)

Davenport appears on the injury report with a shoulder injury following the loss to the Eagles. While it isn’t clear what the specifics of this shoulder injury are; he did miss 4 games earlier this season due to a pectoral strain suffered in Week 1 against the Packers. 

It’s possible he could have re-injured the shoulder and if he went to IR, that would mean the end of his season. Right now, their defensive end depth is limited with the only healthy players including Cameron Jordan, Carl Granderson, and Jalyn Holmes.

Not having Davenport for this game will only help the Bills’ offensive line regain some confidence following their dismal performance from Sunday. 

QUESTIONABLE 

RB Mark Ingram (Knee)

On the heels of Kamara’s knee injury, Ingram is also dealing with an injury of his own that has forced him out of practice Tuesday. He was not on the practice report Monday though that was considered a walkthrough practice following Sunday’s game. Ingram will still get significant snaps despite being less than 100 percent.

OT Terron Armstead (Foot/Shoulder)

Armstead has now missed two games due to these injuries and had missed two games prior due to an elbow injury. 

The injuries are not detailed regarding what he is dealing with, but an offensive tackle that may be a step slow and can’t keep their block in front of them may be a prime opportunity to put pressure on the quarterback and close rushing lanes. 

I expect Armstead to play and it’s highly likely that the Bills see former OT Jordan Mills play at some point which could make getting to the quarterback all that much easier.

ACTIVE

WR Ty Montgomery (5th Digit Fracture)

Montgomery missed Sunday’s game following a 5th digit fracture suffered in the first half of the Week 9 game against the Falcons. According to head coach Sean Peyton, he broke the finger attempting to catch a pass from Trevor Siemen which resulted in the fracture. The fracture actually broke the skin which prevented his ability to buddy tape it back up and continue playing. To read more about the injury, click the link here.

Graphic picture below:

Credit: SaintsWire.USAToday.com

It’s important to note that suffering the fracture to the 5th digit makes catching the football even more difficult as 40 percent of a person’s grip strength is derived from the hypothenar musculature in the area. 

He will play Thursday, but he is an opportunity ripe for fumbles and poor control following receptions that could result in key turnovers. This injury comes on the heels of his return from a hamstring strain that cost him 1 game followed by the finger injury that forced him out of Week 11. 

QB Taysom Hill (Foot)

Hill is dealing with a foot injury after missing two games due to a concussion back in Week 5. It’s not detailed the exact nature of the foot injury. He has been able to practice in full this week after being questionable the week prior. Like many others on this list, there is little information regarding the specifics. 

QB Trevor Siemian (Right Hand)

Siemian has practiced in full the past two days despite being on the injury report with a right-hand injury. This is detailed as such due to this is the hand he throws with. When there is an injury to a specific portion of the body that could affect productivity, the league has teams detail this.

We see this most notably with kickers regarding hip and groin injuries along with quarterbacks with hand, elbow, and shoulder injuries.

Siemian likely hit the hand on something and is dealing with soreness, but as long as he can grip the football, he can play through the injury. 

INJURED RESERVE

TE Adam Trautman (Left MCL Sprain)

Trautman exited Sunday’s loss to the Eagles, suffering a left MCL sprain that is expected to keep him out 4-to-6 weeks, sending him to injured reserve in the interim.

Losing Trautman for potentially the remainder of the season is a tough pill to swallow as he accounted for over 80 percent of offensive snaps in 7 out of the 10 games he’s played this season. 

OT Landon Young (Foot)

Young suffered a foot injury Sunday that ultimately requires surgery following his first start in the NFL. Despite suffering the injury, he played in another half of the game before exiting which is impressive considering the amount of effort that goes into each play when a player is fully healthy.

The exact injury isn’t known, but it’s likely that he suffered a Lisfranc or some sort of fracture in the area that they decided surgery was the best option moving forward. 

BUFFALO BILLS PROJECTED INACTIVES

WR Jake Kumerow

OT Bobby Hart

CB Cam Lewis

DT Vernon Butler

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS PROJECTED INACTIVES

RB Alvin Kamara

OT Ryan Ramczyk

DE Tanoh Kpassagnon

DE Marcus Davenport

QB Ian Book

The Saints are dealing with injuries along with depth issues at key positions at offensive tackle, defensive end, and running back. To note, they currently have 11 guys on injured reserve including losing 3 more players within the past several days in Troutman, Young, and Malcolm Roach (knee). They previously lost G Andrus Peat to a torn pectoral and Jameis Winston to an ACL tear earlier this year. 

The only healthy groups for the Saints are their wide receivers, linebackers, and secondary. I don’t get scared of their wide receiver room and if the Bills can somehow win in the trenches, then this may limit the effectiveness of their secondary. 

This is an entirely winnable game for the Bills. I believe they are the healthier and more talented team. The Bills have had injury advantages over the Titans, Dolphins (2nd game), and Jets, going 2-1 in those contests. This is another example where availability is a key metric in predicting who can come out on top. 

Even with Lotulelei and Brown on the COVID/Reserve list and Feliciano not active yet, the Bills are still the team that can take advantage of the situation. 

With the ups and downs of the season, all we can hope for is a win and to move to 7-4 before a long break until Monday Night Football against the New England Patriots in Week 13. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving and Go Bills!

Top Photo Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 11 Postgame Injury Review- Indianapolis Colts

What is there even to say? The Buffalo Bills played from behind all game and were never really in contention to make it a contest, losing to the Indianapolis Colts 41-15. 

I know this is a week-to-week league, but my goodness! The only upside is that the New Orleans Saints also got shellacked Sunday by the Philadelphia Eagles 40-29. 

A silver lining in all of this is that no Bills player appeared to require any attention from the training staff. Below are several observations from an injury perspective. 

Observations

LB Matt Milano (Shoulder)

Despite being limited all week with a shoulder injury, Milano did not play though he was limited. He appeared in every defensive snap and didn’t have any bracing or tape on either shoulder signifying which side was affected. 

LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)

Edmunds missed his second game with a hamstring strain originally suffered in the loss to the Jaguars in Week 9. 

He ultimately did not play as he only practiced on Friday in a limited fashion. Considering how cold and rainy it was Sunday, this was the right move. Based on his practice participation last week, he appears on track to possibly play Thursday against the Saints.

G Jon Feliciano (Calf)

Feliciano is eligible to come off injured reserve following his mandatory three-game stint due to a calf injury sustained in Week 8 against the Miami Dolphins. Based on how the offensive line is performing, I expect that this happens. Sean McDermott had noted that he was progressing well in his rehab during Friday’s press conference.

As long as he gets one full practice in this week, I fully expect him to play and hopefully shore up this offensive line. 

DT Star Lotulelei/OT Spencer Brown (COVID)

Both are still in COVID protocol and have no firm timetable to return. Considering the reports that Lotulelei was having symptoms, his 10-day window will end Wednesday. If he has no symptoms and has two negative tests separated by a 24 hour period, he can return. 

Brown could return as soon as Tuesday if he was vaccinated along with having two negative tests separated by a 24 hour period and is symptom-free. If he’s unvaccinated, then he will miss the Saints game. The waiting game continues. 

The Bills will likely hold a walkthrough Monday which means the practice participation should be an estimation. The true indicators of who will play Thursday will be identified Tuesday and Wednesday. 

This team needs to self-correct and find what makes them so dominant in several of their wins this season. They had a rough stretch in 2017 and figured things out to make the playoffs.

The Bills have performed well on national television and I don’t expect that they let this kind of embarrassment occur again on Thanksgiving. 

Top Photo Credit: Thomas J Russo-USA Today Sports

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 11 Injury Preview- Indianapolis Colts

After a rousing win over the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills seemed primed to take that next step towards establishing their dominance against a tough slate of opponents heading into December. 

However, this week has been turned sideways with COVID designations, several injuries, and signings to the team and practice squad to keep the pieces of the puzzle together. The Bills will attempt to put together a game plan that involves shuffling their offensive line and stopping an Indianapolis Colts team that is looking to challenge for not only the AFC South but supplant themselves as a serious AFC contender after a slow start. 

Below are the injuries for both the Bills and Colts along with projected inactives and predictions. 

BUFFALO BILLS INJURIES 

OUT-COVID

DT Star Lotulelei

Lotulelei went on the COVID Reserve list hours before Sunday’s game against the Jets and has yet to come off as of publication. He was on the reserve list in August due to close contact from a member of the staff which meant he was not fully vaccinated at the time. 

Based on Harrison Phillips’s statements above on Friday, he alludes to the fact that Star is dealing with symptoms which means he will be out for the Colts game. 

OT Spencer Brown

Brown was placed on the COVID Reserve list Thursday, ruling him out for Sunday’s game against the Colts. Based on his vaccination status which is not clear at this time, there is a distinct possibility that he misses the Week 13 contest against the Saints as well. This will have to play out and when he returns will shed light on his status and availability. 

QUESTIONABLE

LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)

Edmunds is a true questionable status. There are very few tells as to whether he will play Sunday. Based on his practice participation availability, he looks to need another week. His practice desigations this week are exactly the same as Matt Milano’s prior to the Kansas City Chiefs game in which he ultimately did not play. However, because that happened then does not mean that Edmunds will follow the same path. But it still isn’t clear how severe the injury originally was because it’s not identifiable on film from the Jaguars game.

If this was a regular week, I believe Edmunds would attempt to suit up. But since there is a quick turnaround against the New Orleans Saints on Thanksgiving, that complicates things. 

Do you play Edmunds against an AFC opponent knowing that if he re-injures the hamstring, you have 15 days to get him right for Week 14 against the New England Patriots? 

Or do you sit him and play him against the Saints and still have the benefit of the extra rest?

The team clearly knows what they intend to do, we’re just not in the room for that decision. 

The weather will be rainy closer to kickoff. A warm-up session and seeing how the weather is may determine his availability. 

Based on all the info, especially the weather, I’m not certain he plays. Glad to be wrong if he does.

RB Taiwan Jones (Illness)

Jones missed Thursday’s practice with an illness and did not have a game designation indicating that he will be ready to play Sunday.

LB Matt Milano (Shoulder)

Milano spent all week as a limited designation wearing a red non-contact jersey due to a shoulder injury sustained at some point in the win over the Jets. It’s not clear when he injured the shoulder, but he did receive a hard hit to his left shoulder courtesy of TE Ryan Griffin with 12:20 left in the 4th quarter. 

There were also several instances where he tackled the offensive player, landing on the left shoulder, but bouncing right back up. He does not have a game designation, but I expect to see some sort of kinesio tape on the affected shoulder and maybe a slight reluctance to lead with that side. Until we get more information Sunday, it’s hard to speculate the exact injury. 

WR Cole Beasley (Left Ribs)

Beasley continues to be limited in practice as he works through the rib injuries originally suffered in Week 8. The team continues to try to get him through games and realizes that despite the injury, he is still more talented than other options on the roster.

At this point, he either have some fractures in the area or cartilage damage that he is working through. They could still be bruised, but it isn’t known what he has to go through just to get ready for Sunday’s.

I expect his usage to be limited once again, though I’d expect that his snap count is higher than 9 from last week. The team did well utilizing Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie last week and we could possibly see this again. 

Other notable items

The Bills signed OT Bobby Hart to the 53-man roster Friday. 

WR Jake Kumerow has been activated back to the 53-man roster from the COVID Reserve list Thursday.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS INJURIES

QUESTIONABLE

LB Darius Leonard (Left Ankle/Hand)

Leonard appears to be the Energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going despite this ankle injury. To clarify, this is his left ankle that he is dealing with and it has been a chronic issue since he had surgery on it back in early June. At the time, it was reported that it was a minor procedure, “nothing serious”, but it’s clear that this continues to bother him.

This article indicates how much trouble the ankle has given Leonard including his struggle running flat-out or planting and cutting, forcing him to adapt his game to compensate. He is still playing at a high level despite all the issues, but this is something that the Bills could take advantage of if they can get him out of position. 

He is dealing with some type of instability as evident by the ankle heavily taped up and having the difficulty in cutting and sprinting. He has noted that it’s not as bad as he thought, but this is due to the chronic nature of the injury at this point. If he exits due to the ankle at any point in the game, I would expect him to come back. 

Despite his All-Pro status, Leonard is a ripe opportunity to take advantage in the second half or on an extended drive if they can force him out of position. He will still make a play, but he’s a step slower. There isn’t much on the hand injury he’s dealing with, but if he has trouble getting to the tackle and can’t wrap them up as effectively, then this can only help the Bills.

ACTIVE

CB TJ Carrie (Knee)

Carrie has been battling with a knee injury all year originally sustained in the Week 2 preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. He played the first several weeks of the season before going onto injured reserve with the injury following the Week 3 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. He was activated on November 13th and returned to play against the Jacksonville Jaguars playing in 53 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. 

He did not practice Wednesday but was full the rest of the week indicating the knee still isn’t totally healed, but that it is an injury the team continues to manage. It’s not clear which side the knee injury is on, but something that bears watching if he continues to struggle with it or if he has another setback. 

T Eric Fisher (Back)

There isn’t a lot reported regarding the back injury for Fisher. This is a new injury from Week 10 for which he did not practice Wednesday but was able to practice in full for the remainder of the week indicating this is manageable. 

This back injury certainly pales in comparison to what Fisher has had to go through to return to play this season. If you recall, Fisher tore his left Achilles in the AFC Championship game against the Bills in late January when he played with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was not re-signed by the Chiefs and hit free agency, landing with the Colts. Fisher worked his tail off to return in 8 months from a procedure that typically takes 9-to-12 months to recover from for normal people, much less play NFL football.

He has performed well, playing in every offensive snap since Week 3, and has been a consistent force along the Colts line. He may be a step slower than he once was, but it appears he is still performing at a high level which will make targeting him as an offensive liability more difficult.

DE Dayo Odeyingbo (Ankle)

Odeyingbo, a rookie, is still working his way back from an Achilles injury suffered while training for the Senior Bowl in January. He was activated from the NFI list for Week 8 and has appeared in 3 games since then, not playing more than 25 percent of the snaps. It’s not clear that the ankle designation is the same side or issue as the Achilles, but there is a distinct possibility. 

He is in a similar position as fellow teammate Eric Fisher as they both tore their Achilles around the same time but came back at different points in the season. The Bills likely won’t see too much of Odeyingbo this game due to the snap counts, but he may be in on certain defensive packages.

T Braden Smith (Right Elbow) 

Smith continues to work through an elbow injury sustained in Week 9 that was originally designated a triceps injury. It was later clarified as an elbow injury, but the triceps connects at the elbow which makes the designation fairly similar. It’s important to note that he also suffered a foot injury earlier this year that kept him out until Week 8.

I’m not an expert at pass rush moves, but whoever lines up opposite him should really focus on trying to get him moving his feet outside and then rush inside, forcing him to reach across his body with his right arm, weakening the leverage he has with the already injured elbow. He still has his left arm to block, but his feet might still be slower to respond, making this an opportunity to apply pressure to the backfield and disrupt the offensive gameplan. 

CB Xavier Rhodes (Calf)

Rhodes originally suffered a calf injury in Week 7 against the San Francisco 49ers and has been battling the injury since then, missing last week. He was limited all week but on track to play, but still clearly not fully healthy. 

I expect that he will also lack explosiveness as the game progresses which could be an opportunity to pick and choose when to take advantage if the team can get him into open space or out of position as he may have trouble sticking with his assignment. 

Rhodes may have to adjust his positioning and compensate as a result of the injury. If a receiver can get past him, dial-up a pass because he is an chance to get burned as he will have a tough time catching up. This isn’t absolute, but there could be timely opportunities.

G Quenton Nelson (Right Ankle)

Nelson continues to work through the high-ankle sprain that forced him to injured reserve earlier this season. He was also dealing with a toe injury last week but this designation doesn’t appear on the injury report this week. High-ankle sprains typically don’t heal fully in season, it’s a matter of rehabbing and trying to prevent re-injury as much as possible. 

I would say he could be a weak link, but he’s a 3-time All-Pro guard which makes an injured Nelson a still far better option than anything the Colts could replace him with. 

LB EJ Speed (Knee)

Speed suffered a hyperextended knee back in training camp that he was expected to miss minimal time. He was able to practice in full this week and hasn’t missed any regular-season games. He was also named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week last week indicating this isn’t an issue. 

DT DeForest Buckner (Abdomen/Throat/Back)

Buckner has been working through a back injury since last week when it locked up on him during the Thursday practice prior to Week 10. He did not practice this Wednesday but participated in full the remainder of the week indicating that this is on the mend. He is also dealing with throat and abdomen areas which I typically see are the results of direct blows to the area. 

He is a force up the middle and is a constant presence, playing in at least 70 percent of snaps in every game this season. Despite all the injuries, I don’t expect that to change. 

CB Anthony Chesley (Illness)

Chesley missed Thursday’s practice with an illness and does not have a game designation heading into Sunday’s game.

TE Jack Doyle (Knee)

Doyle is working through what appears to be a minor knee injury, practicing in full Wednesday, but limited Thursday. There’s not much available to suggest this is a concern moving forward.

BUFFALO BILLS PROJECTED INACTIVES 

OT Bobby Hart

WR Jake Kumerow

CB Cam Lewis

LB Tremaine Edmunds 

DT Brandin Bryant

Practice Squad COVID Call-up: DT Brandin Bryant

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS PROJECTED INACTIVES 

WR Mike Strachan

RB Marlon Mack

DE Ben Banogu

T Julién Davenport

G/T Will Fries

The Bills are still favored (-7) according to the oddsmakers but this could be a closer game due to the loss of Brown on the offensive side and Lotulelei on the defensive side. 

It was a close game last time these two teams met and I expect it to be a similar outcome. The Colts have the advantage from a health perspective but it will still come down to who is on that field Sunday playing the actual game. 

I expect a very competitive game and ideally, both teams come out with minimal injuries. The Bills can’t afford any more losses on a short week and the Colts appear to finally be getting healthier. 

Top Photo Credit: Gary McCollough/AP

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 10 Postgame Injury Review- New York Jets

After what felt like a bad dream last week, the Buffalo Bills woke up and absolutely throttled the New York Jets 45-17 in front of their home crowd. Buffalo left no doubt as to what type of team they are as they piled on the points and extended their points differential to a whopping +145 which is 47 points over second-place team Arizona Cardinals

Everything about the game was a get-right opportunity. The running backs all scored a TD, the passing game spread around 8 different targets, keeping the Jets defense guessing. In addition, the Bills’ defensive backs all hauled in an interception of their own totaling 4 on the day plus a forced fumble. Great teams impose their will on the opponent, leaving no doubt who is the better competitor. 

To top it off, the Bills exited with minimal injuries as they look to gear up to play the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints next week. Below are the known injuries coming out of Sunday.

DT Star Lotulelei (COVID)

About an hour before inactives were announced, it was reported that Star Lotulelei tested positive for COVID and would miss the game. In his place, the Bills elevated Brandin Bryant but did not activate him for the game.

It is not clear whether Lotulelei is vaccinated, but since he tested positive, he is required to be out for 10 days. The hope is that he is vaccinated and that he has mild symptoms and recovers fully. However, this means he will miss next week’s game against the Colts and is in serious danger of missing the matchup against the Saints in Week 13 if he is not cleared or ready to perform.

Clarification 11/17/21: I had stated that he would be out 10 days. This is true if he had tested positive and was symptomatic. If he tested positive and was asymptomatic and vaccinated, he could return in as soon as 5 days as long as testing is negative and cleared to return.

If he is unvaccinated, he would have to wait 10 days, have negative tests, and be cleared to return. Based on the wording from Sean McDermott, it appears as though he tested positive.

This is highly unfortunate and the realities of living and operating within a pandemic. I wish him the best of luck in his recovery.

In-game injuries 

OT Dion Dawkins (Wind knocked out)

Dawkins had to exit briefly late in the 1st quarter with 2:05 left after getting the wind knocked out of him after he tackled a Jets defensive lineman that resulted in a flag.

He walked off briefly to compose himself and returned the next offensive series. He did not exit the game again until the very end when the victory formation was initiated. 

WR Emmanuel Sanders (Left Wrist/Hand)

Sanders exited the game holding his left hand/wrist area after getting tackled on an end-around run towards the right side of the field with 12:34 left in the 3rd quarter. 

By video, it’s not clear what exactly he injured. He attempted to block with his left hand as he went out of bounds and fell onto his back near the end zone. The fingers all appeared to be in anatomical position ruling out any possible dislocations or even fractures. He may have gotten the hand caught up in a jersey going down or hit the wrist not seen on film. 

He continued to play after this injury and did not appear to be limited in any way afterward, signifying this may be a minor issue. I’d be surprised if he shows up on the injury report.

CB Levi Wallace (Right Hand/Wrist)

Wallace went to the sidelines for a moment early in the 2nd quarter with 14:56 left after assisting with a tackle near the line of scrimmage. Nothing initially appeared to be wrong during the play, but reports came out that he was being tended to on the sidelines by trainers.

Upon review, it appeared as though he got his right hand stuck between several bodies as they all fell down. This may be more of a pain issue, but he also quickly returned and played in the majority of the game. He is also another player that I don’t expect to show up on the injury report.

S Micah Hyde (Right Thigh)

Hyde required the assistance of the medical staff briefly following a tackle going out of bounds late in the 3rd quarter with 32 seconds left. 

Reviewing the film, his outside right thigh hits the leg of a Jets offensive player as they fell. This too also appears to be more of a pain issue than actual injury. He required some time to work out the leg but was quickly after to return, continuing his stellar play. At worst, this could be a thigh contusion but I’m not certain it would limit him or even appear on the injury report Wednesday.

WR Isaiah McKenzie (Right Leg/Ankle)

McKenzie suffered a right lower leg injury midway through the 4th quarter with 6:44 left as he attempted to get into the end zone on a jet sweep. He was twisted down by his left leg and fortunately narrowly missed having Spencer Brown fall on top of him. 

However, McKenzie’s right ankle/shin area was caught under the Jets defender, leaving him withering in pain for several moments, limping off. 

He was able to get back to the sidelines and walk off the injury, later returning for one final kickoff return indicating the injury was minor. 

During the press conference Monday, Sean McDermott confirmed that McKenzie was fine. While that is a statement that could be hiding the severity of the injury, I have learned to take the team at face value on certain things, including this quote. 

Other observations

WR Cole Beasley (Left Ribs)

Beasley only played in 9 snaps and it appeared to be more scheme-dependent based on the usage. McDermott noted that they were just trying to get him through the game. 

We knew there was an injury and when it occurred. We also knew that he struggled to get through practice last week. We don’t have the details regarding the severity of the injury, but we will likely find out much later how severe this really was. 

I’m not certain that he misses any future time unless the team announces they are shutting him down or if he doesn’t practice all week. This is another injury to watch how he progresses through his participation and game snaps.

LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)

Edmunds missed Week 10 with the hamstring strain suffered against the Jaguars after not practicing all week. He has since been termed “day-to-day” which typically means that he’s getting better but not quite there yet. Based on that wording, he is in danger of missing the next game against the Colts, but that is far from certain at this moment. 

The severity isn’t known and his practice participation will be the determining factor whether he suits up next Sunday. Edmunds doesn’t have a long history of hamstring strains, but rushing him back will do him and the team no favors. The Bills have shown the ability to get by with certain players for a game at a time, but extended absences really expose shortcomings of the particular player’s position at times.

DT Eli Ankou 

The team is reportedly going to sign Eli Ankou, a career journeyman that spent some time with Buffalo during training camp. This signing is due to the recent ACL tear of Justin Zimmer and especially while Star Lotulelei is out with COVID. His injury profile is linked here.

Overall, the team is back on track at 6-3 and still very much in control of their own destiny. I expect the Colts game to be much more aggressive and formidable than the Jets, but the Bills are still favored by -7 by the sportsbooks. While betting lines don’t hold weight if the teams don’t perform, they’re usually a nice barometer in determining what the public perception of the team is at the moment. 

These next two games will be very important in determining the course of the season. The potential to be 8-3 vs 7-4 vs 6-5 is razor thin and the Bills cannot have any slip-ups. It would be excellent to be 8-3 heading into a Monday night showdown at home against the New England Patriots. The team knows what it has to do, they have to simply execute every week. 

Top Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 10 Injury Preview- New York Jets

After an ugly, ugly loss in Week 9, the Buffalo Bills go back on the road to face the New York Jets looking to right the ship. The Bills go to face a Jets team that has lost starters at multiple positions and at times lack an identity under first year head coach Robert Saleh

Both teams are dealing with multiple injuries, though the Jets have been hit hardest by the season-ending variety. Availability will be a key contributor in winning this game even though there is a clear difference in the talent levels of each team. 

For the Bills, this is a must-win game as the matchup will help determine the AFC East crown and assist with seeding when playoffs come as there is a major logjam of 11 teams at 5-4 or better right now according to Joe Marino of Locked on Bills

Below are the injuries for both the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets

BUFFALO BILLS INJURIES

OUT 

LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)

Edmunds will miss his first game of the season following a hamstring strain suffered in Week 9. He played in 100 percent of the defensive snaps and did not appear limited into the 4th quarter. 

It’s not clear when he injured the hamstring which makes identifying a timeline to return more difficult. Ideally, this was hamstring tightness/soreness and he is being rested as a precaution. AJ Klein will step up in his place and Tyrel Dodson will also see time as needed.

Edmunds suffered a hamstring strain in the playoffs during the Wild Card round and played through it last year, though any type of injury is played through if possible in that instance. Hopefully he will be able to return to practice next week as they prepare for the Indianapolis Colts

QUESTIONABLE

RB Zack Moss (Concussion)

Moss is still in the concussion protocol as of Saturday morning and is questionable heading into the game. This is Moss’ first known concussion and each concussion is unique in how each player recovers. 

As he was limited Thursday and Friday, it didn’t appear as though he would be cleared. However, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic reported that Moss was not in a non-contact jersey Friday which is a good sign for to indicate that he is in stage 5 of the protocol. He can still be tested and cleared on Saturday and based on that information, he appears on track. 

Update: Moss has cleared concussion protocol.

ACTIVE

WR Cole Beasley (Left-Side Ribs)

Beasley did not receive a gameday designation after being questionable last week with left-sided rib injuries suffered in Week 8. He was clearly limited last week leading the team in receptions but lacking in yards after the catch. 

While I believe that Beasley can play and he wants to, I wouldn’t mind if he reduces his snaps and allows Isaiah McKenzie to get some playing time. Beasley needs to get healthy for later this season and especially with 3 games within the next 12 days, this should be the move. 

OT Spencer Brown (Back)

Brown finally returned to practice after missing the last two games with a back injury while training following the bye.

We won’t get any details regarding the specifics of the injury until after the season at the earliest, if at all. But his back injury is likely still not 100 percent, but well enough to suit up. 

Ideally we don’t hear about the back injury again this season, but it will certainly be something to watch moving forward. 

S Jaquan Johnson (Hamstring)

Johnson was limited Wednesday and Thursday before practicing in full Friday and not given a gameday designation. There is some concern re-injuring the hamstring on special teams again, but hopefully this is a minor issue that doesn’t persist. 

CB Taron Johnson (Concussion)

Johnson cleared concussion protocol Friday which is promising considering he suffered the injury Sunday. The team did sign Cam Lewis as depth but Lewis has shown the ability to play and perform to earn the roster position. 

TE Dawson Knox (Right-Hand Fracture)

Knox finally makes his return to the field following his metacarpal fracture suffered in Week 6 against the Titans. I had thought that he would have returned sooner, but the team elected to give him extra time to ensure he was not going to have issues catching the ball. 

I also expect that he will have some padding under his glove to help protect the area from further hits and when he catches the ball.

I don’t believe he will get a ton of targets, but I expect the targets he does receive he is able to haul catches in for first downs and touchdowns. 

INJURED RESERVE

DT Justin Zimmer (Torn ACL)

Zimmer suffered an ACL tear during Wednesday’s practice with the news that he would require season-ending surgery Thursday. On Friday, the details were announced that he had torn his ACL. Cam Lewis was signed to the active roster in his place.

It is not known if he has any associated damage which could affect his recovery, but based on traditional rehab timelines, he may be ready for training camp in 2022. The big issue will be whether the team wants to bring him back, especially coming off injury. There is concern that he will be a step slower like we saw with his teammate Harrison Phillips following his 2019 ACL tear. 

If Zimmer works as hard as he does at rehab as he plays on the field, I expect him to come back and at least find a home in the NFL in 2022. I wouldn’t mind seeing him come back to the Bills in his current role.

NEW YORK JETS INJURIES

DOUBTFUL 

QB Zack Wilson (Right PCL Sprain)

Wilson continues to work back from his PCL sprain suffered in Week 7 and it is expected that the team will slow play his return until he is 100 percent. He is best being inactive before he returns to starting under center. Mike White is expected to start again for the Jets. While this does put the Jets at what I believe is a competitive disadvantage, this is the right move from a health standpoint to ensure that their investment in Wilson will pay off. 

I don’t believe anyone wants to see a repeat of former number two overall pick Robert Griffin III and how the Washington Football Team handled his injuries in 2012. To recap, Griffin suffered the same injury as Wilson in Week 14 and then came back for the Wild Card round against the Seahawks. He was initially not cleared by the team doctor but played anyway, later injuring the knee further including tearing his ACL. 

This led to a host of other injuries the next several seasons, bouncing around the league, never able to recapture what he did his rookie year. While this is an extreme case, the similarities between Wilson and RG3 are striking and the Jets can’t afford any further setbacks to what they hope to be is their franchise quarterback.

OT Chuma Edoga (Knee)

The details of Edoga’s knee injury are not apparent, but it is worth noting he had a knee scope in training camp. It’s not clear that this is the same knee, but I have a feeling that this is the same knee. He has not missed any time since the start of the season since the scope from what I have found, but the original injury was a lingering one. It appears that it may still be an issue right now.

As he is listed doubtful, I don’t see how he plays especially if he is having setbacks from the knee scope or if this is a new injury. 

QUESTIONABLE

RB Tevin Coleman (Hamstring)

Coleman continues to work back from a hamstring strain suffered in practice prior to Week 7 and has missed the last 3 games as a result.

He was practicing this week in full on Friday which indicates that he is moving in the right direction towards playing Sunday. Saleh also expects that he will suit up on Sunday. 

WR Corey Davis (Hip)

Davis has been working through a hip flexor injury suffered in practice prior to Week 8. Having this type of injury would make running very difficult initially as he would be unable to bend at the hip to move the leg forward during sprinting, limiting his ability to run crisp routes and accelerate. 

He also practiced in full Friday which would be a good sign that he will play Sunday. 

DE Shaq Lawson (Hamstring)

Lawson, the former Buffalo Bill, is working through a hamstring injury suffered during the game in Week 9. He has had prior hamstring injuries including a hamstring injury in 2018 that cost him two games early in the season and one in 2019 just prior to the playoffs. He had actually injured the hamstring in 2019 against the Patriots celebrating a tackle for loss in the 4th quarter. 

I don’t believe these injuries are related, but worth noting history and patterns if it is available. This is a fresher injury which makes the chance to re-injure it higher, but he did practice in full on Friday which indicates that he will likely play Sunday. Robert Saleh also expects that he will play, but Lawson will be one to watch if he exits early or struggles coming off the edge

OT Alijah Vera-Tucker (Toe)

Tucker has been working through a toe injury that first showed up on the injury report this week. Typically when I see a toe injury, I think turf toe. However, he was able to practice every day in some fashion and was a full participant Friday, indicating this may not be the case. 

There isn’t a lot of information out there regarding the injury, but even if it is a mild sprain, they can tape the area and put a support in the shoe. Considering how beat up the offensive line is, Vera-Tucker has no choice but to suit up and play.

BUFFALO BILLS PROJECTED INACTIVES

LB Tremaine Edmunds

OT Tommy Doyle

DE Boogie Basham

DE Efe Obada

RB Matt Breida

COVID practice squad call-ups: QB Davis Webb and LB Joe Giles-Harris.

NEW YORK JETS PROJECTED INACTIVES 

QB Zack Wilson

OT Chuma Edoga

DL Jonathan Marshall

According to reports, the Jets have two COVID call ups after CB Jason Pinnock and WR Denzel Mims tested positive. OL Conor McDermott has been designated to return to practice after being on injured reserve since Week 1 with a knee injury. P Braden Mann is expected to be activated off injured reserve following a knee injury. DL Kyle Phillips is also eligible to come off the PUP list with an ankle injury. This leaves a lot of possibilities for roster management that can be difficult to predict.

The team also has 14 guys on injured reserve or PUP which further stress the current depth of the team.

The Bills are the more talented team and appear to be healthier coming into this game. Buffalo has to go in and take care of business against a backup quarterback in Mike White and depth players starting all over the roster. The Bills are favored -12.5 despite last week’s abomination of a football game and have the opportunity to lay the hammer on a familiar foe. 

With the tight schedule over the next few weeks heading into Thanksgiving, the hope is that the Bills continue to avoid major injury and get key contributors healthy for the final stretch heading into December. Go in, secure the win, and exit without major issues.

Top Photo Credit: Ron Schwane/AP

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 9 Postgame Injury Review- Jacksonville Jaguars

I looked past the Jaguars. 

You looked past the Jaguars. 

The Bills looked past the Jaguars. 

Pretty much everyone looked past the Jaguars Sunday. 

A 9-6 loss smacked everyone in the face and reminded everyone that no win is a guarantee. In addition to the painful loss, several Bills are dealing with injuries that will keep some out for various durations. Below is the post-game injury breakdown. 

In-game injuries:

S Jaquan Johnson (Hamstring)

Johnson exited Sunday’s game briefly with a hamstring injury that was likely sustained on the opening kickoff. He did not play in any of the defensive snaps during the first quarter as Jacksonville ate up the clock.

A graphic showed up later in the first quarter as he was questionable with the injury but later returned. He played in 4 special teams snaps, limiting his time to kickoff coverage. 

Considering he was able to come back in, this may be minor. I would expect that he still shows up on the injury report this week. 

CB Taron Johnson (Concussion)

Johnson left the game late in the first quarter, only appearing in the first defensive series of the game. As it was an extended drive, he played in 11 plays total. After the Bills’ offense got on the field, the team announced that he would be evaluated for a head injury. 

It’s not clear when he suffered the injury but a likely candidate would be when he tackled Carlos Hyde as he came up the middle with 10:21 left in the first quarter. Johnson may have been feeling alright following the hit and had a delayed onset of symptoms once he stepped off the field. The hit to the head did not appear to alert the athletic trainer spotters as he would have been immediately removed from the game.

As with every other concussion, Johnson must pass through the 5-stage concussion protocol before being cleared to return as seen below.

Concussion Protocol. Credit: NFL

This is his second publicly documented concussion in the NFL as seen in his injury profile. There’s a chance that he can return to play in Week 10, but impossible to predict. He did not miss any games when he suffered his concussion last year, but each concussion is different. 

RB Zack Moss (Concussion)

A lot that was said for Taron Johnson can also be said for Moss regarding the concussion including working through the 5-stage process to return. 

This is Moss’ first publicly documented concussion that I have been able to find dating back to college. Like Johnson, it wasn’t clear when Moss suffered his concussion, his last play he was directly involved in was with 10:58 on the clock in the 3rd quarter. During the run to the left, his helmet did get knocked off as he was taken to the ground. He then was in for one more play before Josh Allen threw his first interception of the day. 

Time will tell whether he passes through the protocol this week to play next Sunday. 

DT Ed Oliver (Hard hit to trunk)

Oliver briefly required attention from the trainers with 5:49 left in the 3rd quarter and was able to walk off the field under his own power. On replay, Oliver took down Trevor Lawrence with the rookie QB landing directly on Oliver’s chest/abdomen area. 

He exited briefly and was able to return to the next defensive series. McDermott noted in Monday’s press conference that he was fine.

CB Tre’Davious White (Right shoulder)

White attempted to pick off a low pass that he ultimately missed, hitting his right shoulder hard into the ground near the sideline. He was down for several moments while trainers tended to him. It initially appeared as though he suffered a garden variety AC joint sprain, but trainers were assessing more towards his chest which could suggest an SC joint sprain. 

I did not notice this until looking at the replay and this was first acknowledged by @ProFootballDoc Dr. David Chao at his website. White was able to return to finish the game and it would not be concerning if he showed up on the injury report this week. This is something he could play through if needed. Sean McDermott also noted that he was alright today.

Other observations:

S Jordan Poyer (Right shoulder)

Poyer suffered a shoulder injury in practice Wednesday and was questionable heading into the game. He was observed with tape on the right shoulder indicating that this was the side he injured. He was able to hit with that side but didn’t appear as physical as in previous games. 

He may be dealing with an AC joint sprain as well but did not wear bracing as it either may have been minor or he did not want the bracing to restrict his ability to play the ball. 

G Jon Feliciano (Left Calf)

Feliciano will spend the next 3 games on injured reserve with the calf injury he sustained against the Dolphins. 

He will be eligible to return in Week 12 against the New Orleans Saints. How he rehabs will indicate when he returns and how the offensive line performs may dictate if he returns on Thanksgiving or later. 

WR Cole Beasley (Left Ribs)

While Beasley did play Sunday, he was unable to move the ball, going down shortly after catching the pass to avoid any further hits to his ribs. Sean McDermott noted that he expected Beasley to practice and play Sunday. 

TE Dawson Knox (Right Hand) and OT Spencer Brown (Back)

McDermott noted that both are hopeful to return to practice this week after missing the past two games. 

The Bills are still 5-3 and in first place in the AFC East. They are playing a division opponent in the New York Jets that could serve as a get-right game. Based on how this week goes, the Bills could be seeing backup Mike White again while Zack Wilson continues to rehabilitate his PCL strain. 

The Bills will hope to get healthier this week and regroup as they face a beat-up Jets team that will see Buffalo as a vulnerable opponent looking to end their AFC East winning streak. Look for plenty of updates this week for both teams.

Top Photo Credit: Adrian Kraus, The Associated Press

2021 Buffalo Bills Week 9 Injury Preview- Jacksonville Jaguars

After the Buffalo Bills seemed like they were trending towards being one of the healthier teams hitting the midpoint of the season, the injury report grew by several names throughout the week. 

While the Bills are favored by -14.5 and can afford to be without a player or two at times, missing key players at multiple positions only evens the playing field and allow a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars to hang around in a game like this.

Below are all the injuries heading into the game and projected inactives. 

BUFFALO BILLS INJURIES

OUT

G Jon Feliciano (Left Calf)

Feliciano has already been ruled out with a left calf injury suffered late in the win over the Dolphins Sunday. The team has discussed placing him on injured reserve and if they do, they will make this transaction later on Saturday. If he goes on IR, he could return in Week 12 against the Saints on Thanksgiving or possibly even later.

If he doesn’t go on IR, there’s a chance he could return sooner against the Colts in Week 11, but Week 12 is a short week and the few extra rest days would only help Feliciano. In his place will be either Ike Boettger or Cody Ford for the time being.

For more information including the research and timelines for Feliciano, they are outlined in the postgame review from Tuesday.

Update: He was placed on IR and Jamil Douglas has taken his roster spot.

TE Dawson Knox (Right-Hand Fracture)

Knox continues to work back from his right-hand fracture suffered in Week 6 that required surgery. He has been seen with a bigger wrap on his hand the past few days and has padding under his glove which was expected.

I had predicted he would return in Week 9 against the Jaguars, but it appears that the team wants to wait one more week before they get him back out there. I suspect that he is still having pain catching the ball or stiffness within the hand, requiring extra time off.

In the video above, he can be seen catching the ball but not throwing it back suggesting that the strength within the hand is not quite there yet. The padding may also be limiting his ability to grip the ball, but if he has trouble gripping the ball to throw, I would expect he would have trouble catching throws from Josh Allen. 

If this had been a more important game, it’s highly likely he would have played, but the Bills are fortunate to allow guys to get as close to 100 percent health-wise during this lull in the schedule. For more details regarding the injury, check out the article over at Buffalo Rumblings.

OT Spencer Brown (Back)

Brown continues to miss practice dealing with a back injury sustained last Monday as he was training. The specifics of the injury continue to be unknown but the fact that he was out for Sunday followed by no practice this week suggests that Brown is dealing with something bigger than the team may have to manage moving forward.

Without further information, speculating what he could be dealing with is going down a deep, dark rabbit hole. I’m going to step back and wait to see how this plays out. 

I can say that during his conditioning off to the side Wednesday, he did not appear to be thrilled to be out there performing high-stepping drills. As a fan base and myself as a PT, I hope that he is able to successfully conservatively manage whatever he is dealing with and get back out on the field.

QUESTIONABLE

WR Cole Beasley (Left Ribs)

Beasley has missed the last two practices with a rib injury sustained during Sunday’s game. He was able to practice in a limited fashion Friday with a questionable designation. If you want to go back and read more about the specifics of the injury and when it occurred, check out the tweet below.

He was able to run and perform conditioning during Thursday’s practice following not practicing Wednesday. Whether this is a painful contusion that requires rest or cracked floating ribs or false ribs/cartilage is anyone’s guess other than the team’s. 

He did get in a limited practice Friday and Sean McDermott was hopeful that he could play Sunday. With an injection and padding/bracing, he could play through, but depending on the severity will determine if he plays. 

As to whether he should play, that will be up to him, the medical staff, and the team.

S Jordan Poyer (Shoulder)

Poyer missed Thursday’s practice with a shoulder injury after not having a designation on Wednesday. 

Sean McDermott later noted that Poyer bumped his shoulder on Wednesday which led to missing Thursday and being limited Friday. He isn’t one to miss games, having only missed 2 games during his time in Buffalo, but the Jaguars are on the same talent level as the Texans which could mean Poyer could sit this one out.

DT Justin Zimmer (Foot)

Zimmer practiced in full all this week with a foot injury that forced him to miss Sunday’s game after being questionable. There still isn’t any clarity on the exact injury and we’re unlikely to get that information as well. It’s great to see him return to the field and continue his productive play.

Other observations:

S Micah Hyde (Right Thumb)

Hyde was not on the injury report this week but a Twitter user noted in a Buffalo Bills video that he had a bandage on the right hand while he was picking up a box. Based on the location and shape of the bandage, it appeared to be a thumb spica splint.

This was further confirmed when Jon Scott of Spectrum News highlighted a video below showing that Hyde was wearing a splint on the right hand as he had difficulty gripping the ball to throw it through the net. 

As to the specific injury, the hope is that this is a simple thumb sprain that the team is simply protecting. Speaking with Jon, he noted that he asked about this injury and stated that Hyde wears it during practice, though he didn’t clarify how long he has been doing this. 

There is concern that there is something else going on, but we don’t have a mechanism of injury nor do we have an injury report designation. This will be something to monitor if he shows up later on the injury report.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS INJURIES

QUESTIONABLE

RB James Robinson (Bruised Heel)

Robinson suffered a bruised heel as the result of a hit going out of bounds on Sunday, hitting a piece of equipment on the sidelines before exiting the game. He did not practice Wednesday and Thursday before participating in a limited role Friday. 

Urban Meyer came out and said that this was a pain issue and has seemed pretty optimistic that he would play Sunday. Considering that a running back needs to be up on the balls of their feet and sprinting, I would expect that Robinson suits up. 

ACTIVE

CB Tyson Campbell (Toe)

Campbell has been dealing with a toe injury the last month, missing two games and using the bye to recover and playing in Week 8. Details of the injury are not available but considering the timeline and designation, this makes me think turf toe. 

He was able to play in nearly every defensive snap and half of the special teams’ snaps Sunday which means that he is closer to 100 percent, but his coverage abilities appear to be lacking which could be an opportunity for the Bills to take advantage.

DT DaVon Hamilton (Shoulder)

Hamilton missed Week 7 with a shoulder injury and then due to other injuries around the roster, was forced to play through the injury. He only recorded 1 assisted tackle on 42 percent of defensive snaps. If he is that ineffective again, the Buffalo may be able to move the ball up the middle with greater ease.

RB Carlos Hyde (Calf)

Hyde worked through a calf designation this week, though it appeared to be minor as it has not forced him to miss any time. If for some reason James Robinson doesn’t play or exits early, then Hyde would step up in his place. 

Considering he was a full participant Thursday and Friday, the severity of his calf injury appears to be very minor, and is less likely to become re-aggravated during the game.

OL Ben Bartch (Illness)

Bartch was out with an illness Wednesday and then practiced in full on Thursday and Friday indicating that this is a non-issue moving forward.

LB Dakota Allen (Ankle)

There is no information available regarding Allen’s ankle injury other than he did not practice Wednesday, was limited Thursday, and practiced in full on Friday. 

BUFFALO BILLS PROJECTED INACTIVES

OT Spencer Brown

TE Dawson Knox

RB Matt Breida

DE Efe Obada

DE Boogie Basham

G Jon Feliciano*

Projected practice squad call up: TE Quintin Morris

Update: Jon Feliciano has been placed on IR and Jamil Douglas has been signed to the active roster.

COVID: QB Mitchell Trubisky was placed on COVID reserve list, QB Davis Webb was elevated in his place.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS PROJECTED INACTIVES

LB Jordan Smith

CB Chris Claybrooks

RB Devine Ozigbo

DT Taven Bryan

TE Jacob Hollister

I believe most of these inactives for the Bills are due more to scheme needs and the opponent rather than whether the player can actually perform due to injury.

If the Jaguars suffer any injuries to their starters in the game, they have little depth at each position due to injuries and could be exposed badly. 

I had noted last week that the Bills need to get in and out without injury which they almost did last week. I do hope that once the Bills are up by a certain amount, they put the backups in to avoid meaningless injuries. 

Sean McDermott doesn’t want the team to look ahead, but they need to be looking towards at least at Week 11 due to the Colts showing signs of competitiveness and could pose a threat if they are missing any key players over the next two weeks. Here’s to one more Bills win and avoiding injuries. 

Top Photo Credit: Adrian Kraus, AP