Week 14 Post Game Thoughts- Colts

Initial thoughts regarding injuries following yesterdays cold and exciting win!

What a game, what a game, what a game!! The Bills pulled off a spectacular win at New Era Field with a 13-7 score over the Indianapolis Colts!! Man what a game! Besides the snow and the cold, the Bills came out on the winning end of things without major injury. Today’s post will break down why the Bills are in good shape health wise for a playoff push if they still have something left in the tank.

Thankfully, injures were at a minimum during yesterday’s game due to the poor footing and snow to soften some of the blows. This doesn’t mean there wasn’t any injuries, just far fewer than usual. Starting off, QB Nathan Peterman had to leave the game late in the 3rd quarter due to a head injury sustained when he dove/fell head first and was hit helmet to helmet. He had to leave the game and was able to walk off on his own power. QB Joe Webb was able to take over and while he looked shaky, he was able to maintain the lead and give Peterman his first NFL win.

It is far too early to tell how serious Peterman’s head injury is but he is in the concussion protocol. We have seen a variety of timelines from other players this season with regards to returning after a suspected concussion. CB Tre’Davious White and RB Travaris Cadet were both able to return rather quickly while DT Jerel Worthy was out several weeks. There is no real way to determine severity based on hit alone as evident by Gronkowski’s hit on White last week. Regardless of the outcome of Peterman’s injury, QB Tyrod Taylor will be ready to play against the Dolphins.

Also injured on the same play of Peterman’s head injury, OT Jordan Mills sustained a left knee injury that took him out for several plays, but was able to return later. However, with the lack of depth at the position, Mills may have been forced to play though the injury. Video shows that he merely fell after getting twisted up during line play but did not appear to suffer any injury to the joint.

Finally, WR Kelvin Benjamin re-injured his right knee twice; first on a hard hit to the knee during landing early during the 4th quarter. He was able to return later in the game and unfortunately re-injured his knee. I do not believe that he tore his meniscus further or sustained any additional structural damage, but rather landed hard similar to what Taylor sustained last week. Analyzing video of the game supports that there were no mechanisms for injury; rather just hard hits to the knee along with adding in previous pain due to the already healing meniscus. As Benjamin is being further evaluated, I do not believe anything more will come of the injury.

After that brutal game with all the slipping and sliding, I expect the injury report to be rather long with several veterans requiring rest days and most guys being banged up with minor muscle strains and contusions due to the brutal nature of the game. I expect that the Bills will be able to be able to rest up and be ready to play an always tough Dolphins team that look to end the Bills playoff chances.

Look for the next article to dive deeper into the injury report and explain any new injuries presented to the media. Until then, continue to check back for new articles and updates as more information becomes available. For the latest injury information, follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Injury Update- Colts

Providing the latest updates following the latest Bills injury report including thoughts on players likely to play.

As the injury report changes so frequently as the injuries grow, it is fitting that an update is warranted. The Bills-Colts game tomorrow should ideally end up as a Bills win but should also feature minimal to no injuries as the field will be slippery, leading to decreased footing which in turn reduces major injury. Today’s post will offer any insight regarding updates on the injury report and thoughts on the effectiveness of each player.

Starting off, those listed as out are: G John Miller (ankle). He has not appeared in a game since the beginning of October when he played every snap against the Falcons. Since then, he has been a scratch with the emergence of G Vlad Ducasse. I suspect he suffered a high ankle sprain in practice which has limited his participation.

Those questionable are: OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), OT Seantrel Henderson (back), CB Leonard Johnson (knee), QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), and DT Kyle Williams (groin). Between Glenn and Henderson, one of these men will play. As Henderson did not practice the past 2 days due to a back injury and Glenn has been out for the past month with his chronic foot/ankle issue, my money is on Glenn. It is not known what Henderson is dealing with; my initial thoughts are pulled muscles in his back that he aggravated in practice. It would be in poor judgment to scratch both Henderson and Glenn and with five weeks off to rehab, Glenn should be ready to go.

On the defensive side of the ball, Johnson and Williams are dealing with knee and groin injuries respectively, though could possibly play. I believe Johnson has a great shot to play due to taking a helmet to the knee during the Patriots game. Outside of pain, there should not be any major limitations to play. Williams is dealing with a groin injury that he appeared to play through. I can’t see Williams sitting this one out unless he really doesn’t feel right. He is the epitome of the blue collar attitude that is Buffalo.

Taylor on the other hand will depend on totally how he feels warming up. He suffered a patellar tendon contusion which is a bruise to the ligament/tendon connecting the kneecap to the lower leg. The biggest limitations will be pain. He has been able to participate in a limited fashion the past two days and is truly a game time decision. I could see McDermott giving him the start knowing that QB Nathan Peterman will be ready to go. My concern is that he takes another hard hit to the knee which may end his day prematurely.

Others to be mindful of is WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), RB Travaris Cadet (concussion) and CB Tre’Davious White (concussion). Benjamin has not played since suffered a partially torn meniscus in the Chargers game on November 19th. This is a tight but realistic timeline for him to come back. As I mentioned before, he may be limited on a snap count or in certain packages, but should be able to perform especially after seeing him move in practice. If he is able to perform his routes with minimal to no pain, then he may as well play. Worst case scenario is that he re-injures the knee and they shut him down for the season.

Both Cadet and White suffered concussions in Sunday’s game but have since cleared the concussion protocol which indicates they had no recurrence of symptoms and cleared all 5 stages of the protocol. While there is always the risk to sustain another concussion after sustaining the first one, having these two play will certainly make the Bills overall better.

The Bills should win this one, moving their record to 7-6. December is make or break for these Bills; I pray they shock and surprise with the end of season results, but we will continue to take it week-to-week.

Continue to check back for the latest articles and injury updates. For game day reactions and updates, follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 14 Injury Breakdown- Colts

Breaking down the latest injury report prior to the Colts game including updates on Kelvin Benjamin, Tyrod Taylor, and Tre’Davious White.

Not surprising, more news coming out of One Bills Drive after today’s press conference and practice. The Bills aren’t quite shutting it down for the season, but after that loss to the Patriots to leave them at 6-6 and 8th in the AFC, the playoffs are becoming less and less of a possibility. It is quite disappointing after that great 5-2 start, but this team had shades of 2011 all over it and at this point, the team is playing for pride and to hopefully build a stronger foundation for next year.

Breaking down the injury report, WR Jordan Matthews and DE Shaq Lawson have been placed on IR, ending their respective seasons. Not much is known at the moment regarding what is hampering Matthews besides a knee issue. I had suspected a recurrence of tendonitis that he was dealing with during training camp, but more may be released as time passes. Lawson injured his ankle during a goal line stand against the Patriots on Sunday and based on what I was able to see, it appeared to be a high ankle sprain. This is supported by the mechanism of injury and the fact that he is on IR.

Those not practicing today are: RB Travaris Cadet (concussion), TE Charles Clay (knee), G John Miller (ankle), QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest), DT Kyle Williams (groin). There is no surprise with Cadet not practicing as he is still in concussion protocol. Miller is still not practicing due to an ankle injury that has sidelined him for the past several weeks and nothing is really known; he has been dealing with this since November 16th. He may also have suffered a high ankle sprain considering his timeline and add in the fact that he has not been able to participate in practice.

Yarbrough is not practicing secondary to what appears to be the same chest injury that he was dealing with last week. Looking back at film, he did not appear to be limited and was able to play through the entire game. This may be a pulled chest muscle that he continues to play through knowing that depth is thin at his position. Taylor is dealing with his patellar tendon contusion which was detailed in my previous article. Time will tell whether he will be ready for Sunday, otherwise QB Nathan Peterman may get the start. Finally, DT Kyle Williams is dealing with a groin injury. He was able to play the entire game and while there were some instances where he could have pulled his groin, he did not have to leave the game. The only time he was off the field was when certain defensive packages allowed him rest. I do not anticipate that he will miss next game.

Those limited in practice are: WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), CB Tre’Davious White (concussion), CB Leonard Johnson (knee), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring), and OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle). It is very promising to see that Benjamin is out and running on the field during practice today. Typically, in the general population these types of injuries do require a lengthier rehabilitation to return to full function. Benjamin is may be still dealing with some minor pain and swelling, but can at this point be expected to play through some discomfort. It helps that Benjamin has access to rehabilitation daily and expert medical advice. I expect him to be able to play Sunday but be on a possible snap count so as not to create further damage. It does help that the field conditions will be poor which in turn will reduce the likelihood of injury with inability for the feet to stick in the ground.

White returning to practice after the hit he took is quite amazing but every concussion is different in how they respond. As long as he does not have any recurrence of symptoms, he should be able to play Sunday. Johnson’s knee was of little concern as he took a helmet to the knee but he should be able return to play. Tolbert and Glenn continue dealing with their respective injuries which may allow them to return to play Sunday. However, I believe Tolbert is nearly out of the woods with his hamstring injury but Glenn will continue to be hampered with his issue as I still maintain he has chronic instability.

Those able to fully participate are OT Seantrel Henderson (back) and RB LeSean McCoy (knee). Henderson only participated in one offensive play and one special team play so its interesting that he has a back injury despite such little playing time. McCoy continues to be the engine that drives the offense and with the amount of abuse that his body goes through weekly, it is expected that he would have some type of week-to-week ailment. As he is a full participant, there should be no limitation.

Interesting to note, after FB Patrick DiMarco and TE Nick O’Leary were listed on the injury report last week with their respective ankle and back injuries. Despite O’Leary missing the Patriots game, they are not present which indicates that their issues must have been minor and should not limit them going into next week’s game against the Colts.

As the injury list gets longer along with the schedule getting shorter, this is expected at this time of the year. It is impressive that the Bills have not lost anyone significant to injury reserve which could have derailed their season. Unfortunately, poor play derailed this season and a chance to end the long suffering playoff drought. Ideally, depending on how these last 4 games play out, this should allow the season to end and everyone to get healthy to come back next year.

Hopefully the Bills get another win against the lowly Colts and continue have something to play for despite the disappointment that ends nearly every season in Buffalo. This is a very winnable game at New Era Field; they should be able to move to 5-2 and at least be respectable at home. These weather conditions are suitable to Buffalo football, the Bills should take advantage of the inclement weather and use the run game that’s worked for them so well in the past.

Continue to check back for the latest updates and articles regarding Bills injuries. Follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88 for the latest updates and breaking news. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!

Week 13 Recap- Patriots

Assessing the latest reported injuries following the loss to the Patriots including concussion’s and Tyrod’s knee.

The Buffalo Bills lost another game to the Patriots, 23-3. The only consistencies in a Bills fan’s life are the sun rising, the mail being delivered, and the Bills losing to the Patriots. To add to it, the Bills lost several key players to injury today which if the team somehow has a playoff run in them, it will make things even tougher. Today’s post will, as always, identify injuries and impact they have on the rest of this season.

First up is QB Tyrod Taylor who left the game with a left knee injury early in the 4th quarter. Taylor injured his knee on the first play from scrimmage during a tackle going out of bounds. He initially appeared to be in pain, limping around, but was able to stay in the game up until he took another hard hit onto the same knee early in the 4th quarter. Upon viewing video, it was confirmed that Taylor sustained a patellar tendon contusion on the first play and then re-aggravated it, ending his day.

patellar_tendonitis2.jpg
Credit: robertsonfamilychiro.com

A patellar tendon contusion is basically a bruise to the tendon that connects the kneecap (patella) to the tibia as seen in the reddened area in the picture above. By definition, this is actually a ligament, but as the patella acts as a fulcrum to assist in knee movement, it is commonly referred to as a tendon. Falling directly onto the knee can cause injury to the area as seen in Taylor’s case. Limitations include running, cutting, stopping suddenly, and direct impact to the area. As evident by Taylor’s play, he was able to play through it but clearly limited him as it was shown with Taylor’s ability to scramble out of the pocket. With how Taylor played today, the injury may be irrelevant because he may not be worth playing next week.

As to how long Taylor is out, it is truly a day-to-day injury. It may resolve and he may be able to play next week. He may also miss the next game due to continued pain and swelling. It is really up to how he responds. I expect to see him with some type of compression sleeve to manage swelling but not limit mobility.

Next is DE Shaq Lawson who left the game with 9 minutes left in the 3rd quarter after getting tied up in a pile of players during a goal line stop. Video review shows that Lawson tried to stop RB Rex Burkhead coming up the middle and got caught with OT Nate Solder falling on his right ankle. Lawson is listed week-to-week with an ankle sprain but my fear is a high ankle sprain which is far more severe and could cause him to miss some time. I suspect this as the lower portion of Lawson’s ankle had Solder fall on it while Lawson was still in the air, causing the stress to be placed up higher through the fibula. Either way, it would not shock me if he was ruled out for at least next week.

CB Leonard Johnson left the game early in the 3rd quarter and did not return with a left knee injury but was able to lightly run on it to go into the locker room. He appears to have suffered a knee contusion due to a direct helmet to knee hit. His body was up in the air during the hit which reduced serious injury if the foot was planted in the ground. It did not appear severe in nature and I like his outlook for next week’s game.

RB Travaris Cadet is currently in the concussion protocol as reported today. Reviewing video, Cadet did take some hard hits to the helmet but none knocked him out of the game. He was able to play all the way to the end and did not appear to be disoriented. One of the hits earlier may have gave him a delayed presentation in symptoms after the game. Either way, losing the backup running back is never great. The only silver lining is that FB Mike Tolbert may be slated to return after missing the past few games with a hamstring injury.

Finally is CB Tre’Davious White who suffered a concussion during a very late, very dirty hit from TE Rob Gronkowski late in the 4th quarter after an interception. As most everyone has seen the GIF by now, Gronkowski charges down towards White and lays an elbow/forearm into the back of White’s head as he is lifting it, causing the head to bounce off the field. Gronkowski has since been suspended one game, which he is currently appealing. White is possibly the biggest loss to the defense even with the lowly Colts coming to Buffalo next week. White is currently in the concussion protocol and it is far too early to tell whether he will be ready to play next week. For a quick review of the concussion protocol, please review my article here.

Yesterday was a rough day, it sucks being a Bills fan sometimes, and it sucks seeing success elude this team year after year. It hurts even more when injuries add to the misery of it all. I hope that Johnson, Cadet, and White are able to suit up for next Sunday. I expect Taylor to be benched due to injury and if not injury, then he should be benched for performance. I also expect that Lawson misses next week as he appeared to be in rather significant pain and does not appear to be ready to go next week.

Continue to check back for the latest updates and articles regarding Bills injuries. Follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88 for the latest updates and breaking news. As always, thank you for reading and despite my disappointment in this team, GO BILLS!

Buffalo Bills Injury Updates- Patriots

Updating the Bills injury report following many changes & clearing up the confusion.

The Buffalo Bills are making their injury report confusing with their upcoming match up against the Patriots Sunday. Is Sean McDermott and brass take a page from Bill Belichick’s book, making the injury report vague and convoluted to attempt to gain and edge over game planning for certain players? I believe this to be the case. It is also possible that the Bills are dinged up and this week’s injury report reflects that? Quite possibly too. Last game against the Chiefs saw no major injuries occur which bodes well for starting personnel to play.

Today’s post will update my last article as there has been so many changes since Sunday. Starting off with those ruled out are WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), G John Miller, RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring). No change here; Benjamin is able to perform some light drills as mentioned in the video last article, but he still has a ways before he’s realistically going to be able to return. Earliest is next week against the Colts, but I expect possibly against the Dolphins or 2nd Patriots game.

Glenn continues to deal with his issues and should only be brought back if the team is still in playoff contention. Tolbert’s injury appears to be more severe than I originally thought as this will be his 3rd game he misses. He may be able to return next week, but time will tell. I still believe it is a Grade 1 hamstring that just requires a longer rehab than most.

Questionable’s include: TE Charles Clay (knee), FB Patrick DiMarco (ankle), OT Seantrel Henderson (illness), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), OT Connor McDermott (chest), TE Nick O’Leary (back), and DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest). The interesting ones of this group are DiMarco and McDermott. After reviewing All 22 footage, there did not appear to be any instance where DiMarco had to leave due to injury. He was listed as a full participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday, and was limited Friday. He could be an ankle sprain that is minor that the team does not want to aggravate. While I am not privy to when the Bills have padded practices, he may have been sat out to avoid full contact practices. As for McDermott, he has not appeared in a game this season so his injury remains irrelevant besides losing a depth player.

Henderson is questionable with illness; to note OT Dion Dawkins had an illness earlier, it is flu season, and that group is together a lot more than the full team practices. Others to note are Clay and Matthews with knee injuries. I believe these two will continue to be mainstays on the injury report for the rest of the season but should not affect their level of play. They have high impact positions and need continued maintenance rehab to ensure they do not suffer a decline in health or production.

O’Leary and Yarbrough remain questionable with their respective injuries, but video review showed that while they did have to leave late in the game, there wasn’t any specific play or instance where there was an observable injury. Out of the questionable players, I expect everyone to play with the exception of McDermott and possibly Henderson. There are always surprises on game day, but my goal in my articles is to better educate my fellow Bills fans.

Finally, RB LeSean McCoy made an appearance on the injury report briefly this week. He was not on the report Wednesday, was a full participant Thursday, did not practice Friday, yet is not listed on the injury report as a game time decision. Going back through the All 22 footage, McCoy was able to play the entire game and showed no limitations with his ability to move. He may have general knee soreness, but it is unknown. It is hard to diagnose an injury or limitations without seeing what happened. As mentioned above, I expect McCoy to play and not miss a step, only making the Patriots defense miss theirs.

I expect New Era to be rocking allowing the Buffalo D to step up and provide pressure all day. The Bills are 4-1 at home, hopefully they will go 5-1 under the right circumstances. I expect a close game and ideally a Bills win!

Continue to check back for the latest articles and updates. Follow me at @kyletrimble88 on Twitter for the latest updates on injuries and game day reactions. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!

Week 13 Injury Breakdown- Patriots

Detailing the latest Buffalo injury report including why video showing Kelvin Benjamin practicing is not what it appears to be and what it means.

The Buffalo Bills won a vitally important game towards remaining in playoff contention against the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10. However, most of the focus was spent on Monday’s report that WR Kelvin Benjamin is out with a torn meniscus and according to HC Sean McDermott, he is “day-to-day.” If you read my previous article, and you should, you will learn that meniscus injuries are not day-to-day, but at best week-to-week. Personally, I believe the Bills are downplaying the injury by trying to keep the fan base engaged and hopeful. Benjamin has not been a factor in the offense during the games he has been active. Yes, the Bills do lose a potential play maker, but his loss is less worrisome than when TE Charles Clay or CB E.J. Gaines went down with their respective injuries. The Bills sure do know how to sell hope; it’s their best asset after 17 years of subpar football.

Thankfully, the Bills did not lose anyone additional following the win. Those listed on the injury report not practicing today are as follows: OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), G John Miller (ankle), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring), TE Nick O’Leary (back) and DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest). Those limited in practice are: TE Charles Clay (knee), WR Jordan Matthews (knee). Those full participants are: FB Patrick Dimarco (ankle).

For those not in the Buffalo area, the NBC news affiliate WGRZ had an article on tonight’s news with video of WR Kelvin Benjamin performing ladder drills on the sideline. This tells us two things. First, this indicates that he has not had surgery to the right knee. Second, this states that the meniscus tear is smaller in nature and improves the outlook for return to play. Depending on the location of the meniscus tear which I can safely assume is in the red-red or at worst, red-white area. This is areas with the greatest blood supply, allowing for a better chance at recovery for return to play.

When interviewed by WGRZ, Benjamin states that he is feeling better and will definitely play later this season. I believe this still to be the case if he heals up and if the Bills are still in contention for a wild card spot. Benjamin can walk and run right now with a meniscus tear including performing ladder drills. If he attempts to pivot, sprint, jump, or try to extend his knee to land, his knee may lock up or catch, causing immediate pain and could worsen the meniscus tear, leading to a more complex rehab process. This is not a pain issue, but a functional issue that can worsen if not managed correctly. He could come back at the earliest for the Colts or Dolphins game if things progress really well.

Cordy Glenn may be able to come back soon as he has missed the past three games indicating that this may be a re-aggravation of whatever he has going on. However, reports state that he may also be shut down for the season. This clearly shows that he is not healthy. As the team is tight lipped on what is occurring it is hard to speculate what a viable return to play protocol can be for him. I will continue to monitor and determine if there is any change in his status or information regarding his injury.

Miller continues to be a non-factor and it appears he injured his ankle in a practice which has limited his availability. Tolbert continues to nurse a hamstring pull sustained in the Saints game, but with the change of pace play of RB Tarvaris Cadet, he has become more expendable and does not appear to rushing back to play. The Bills also have FB Patrick Dimarco which allows Tolbert to return to full health, but could potentially leave him jobless in the off-season.

O’Leary is a new addition to the injury report with a back injury. Upon video review, O’Leary was able to catch a pass halfway through the 4th quarter and then did not appear to be any other chance at injury. He may be dealing with general back soreness or recovering from a hit that precluded him from practice as a precaution. I do not expect him to miss any time for next week.

Yarbrough is also added to the injury report with a chest injury. He left at the end of the 3rd quarter and did not return. Upon video review, there was no instances where he was down on the ground or saw that he suffered any injury to his chest. Speculating on why he did not practice, he may have pulled his pectoral muscle which assists with pushing and horizontal adduction or pulling his arm in towards midline. He may have also suffered a contusion to the area; he did pressure QB Alex Smith several times and laid a solid hit on him late in the 3rd. I do not anticipate that he will miss any time.

Clay does not appear to be 100% recovered from his knee injury sustained in the Cincinnati game, but his game has not been affected as a result. He may be dealing with the chronic knee issue that he dealt with all last season, but considering that Clay’s type of injury usually takes longer to be 100%, it is most likely the most recent one. His play suggests that limited participation in practice is related to getting him the reps he needs but limit the chance of re-injury.

Matthews appears to be on the med after injuring his knee a few weeks ago but does not appear limited in running his routes or coming up lame in any of his plays. He was able to play in 62% of the offensive snaps and appears on the better side of the injury he is currently dealing with.

Finally, FB Patrick DiMarco is listed with an ankle injury but was a full participant. Looking at video and snap counts, he played in 25% of the snaps plus saw time on special teams. There wasn’t anything on video that suggested any injury and may just be dealing with a tweaked ankle which requires observation without limitation in practice.

Going into Sunday’s game against the Patriots at home allows for the Bills to have a shot at winning, but everyone must be healthy, the team must play above it’s abilities, and some luck will be required. The Patriots are beatable, this is the NFL, its any given Sunday! Despite all that is wrong with this season, the Bills are still relatively healthy compared to other teams in the league. The difference is when the Bills starters go down, the backups are not high quality as you would find on other teams such as the Patriots, Steelers, or Packers. Hopefully this will change in the coming years, but the Bills are not there yet.

Continue to check back for regular updates and future articles. Follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for real time updates and my thoughts as news breaks. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Kelvin Benjamin’s Meniscus Tear

Detailing Kelvin Benjamin’s knee injury, causes and types of meniscus tears, and expectations for the rest of the season.

Big news coming out of One Bills Drive today! It has been reported that WR Kelvin Benjamin suffered a meniscus tear during the 1st quarter of the disastrous Chargers game last week and will be out multiple weeks per reports. Benjamin was unable to return following the hit and had already had ligament damage ruled out via MRI. This is another blow to the WR corps that has been inconsistent this season due to the inability of Tyrod Taylor to move the ball effectively, opting for check-down passes to his RB’s. Today’s post will analyze Benjamin why suffered a meniscus tear, types of meniscus tears, and expectations for the rest of the season.

The meniscus lies over the tibia and acts as a shock absorber between the tibia and femur. It is made up two wedge shaped areas to assist in deepening the area that the femur articulates with the tibia. During meniscus tears, a rotational force is applied to the area while the knee is bent and causes a shearing motion, causing a portion of the meniscus to tear.

Types_of_meniscal_tears.jpg
Credit: physio-pedia.com

There are various types of tears which include but are not limited to: complete or partial, horizontal or vertical, longitudinal or transverse. Acute tears are more likely to present as longitudinal/bucket handle and radial tears. It is very hard to determine the type of meniscal tear that occurred, but may be a longitudinal/bucket handle tear upon video review. The knee was hit from the front and partially to the outside, causing hyperextension to his knee. As mentioned above, a rotational force or bent knee is far more likely to cause the tear. In Kelvin Benjamin’s case, a hyperextended knee caused the tear, but is usually less likely.

Symptoms of a meniscal tear typically consist of pain, tenderness, and swelling, locking or clicking during knee movement, and initially difficulty in placing weight through the knee. Meniscal tears are typically seen in conjunction with MCL sprains/tears and ACL tears due to the rotational forces through the knee during impact. Thankfully, Benjamin’s injury was isolated to only the meniscus and did not affect other structures.

Meniscus-blood-supply-zones.jpg
Credit: physio-pedia.com

The type of tear can affect healing rates: longitudinal tears heal better than radial; simple tears heal better than complex; traumatic and acute tears heal better than degenerative. Based on location and length of tear will determine management. The meniscus has several “zones of vascularity” which include: red-red zone, red-white zone, and white-white zone. The red-red zone has the highest blood supply and lie on the outermost portion of the meniscus. The red-white zone is the area that connects the red-red and white-white zone and contains some blood supply. The white-white zone has a poor blood supply and demonstrate the poorest area for healing. If the tear is small, conservative management or a meniscectomy may be performed to remove to remove the offending piece. If the tear is larger, then a suture repair of the meniscus is warranted and an extended rehab is required. As Benjamin is slated to miss weeks, this appears to be a minor tear and could come back this season.

I’m sure most people’s thoughts are why WR Zay Jones did not sustain the same injury that Benjamin did? Why Benjamin tore a portion of his meniscus and not WR Zay Jones against the Jets game is certainly confusing. My thought is that Jones got tripped , attempted to regain his footing, and merely fell; Benjamin got hit while his foot was planted causing more of a shearing motion, causing the tear. Whether Benjamin has surgery or not, he will be out several weeks. How long Benjamin is out is unknown at this time, but I foresee him missing most likely a month. Could he come back sooner such as 2-3 weeks? Possibly but highly unlikely pending the location of the tear. He could attempt to rehab without surgery which does show good results compared to surgical intervention but this is the NFL and time is a premium. If he were to be out a month, he could return by the 1st Dolphins or 2nd Patriots game if there is still playoff hope if his recovery went incredibly well.

Finally, Benjamin did suffer a knee injury earlier this season with the Panthers but I do not believe that he was traded to the Bills with a torn meniscus. His play would have been greatly affected and team doctor’s would have caught that. Add in the fact that the knee he hurt this season was on the other side and that was his surgically repaired ACL. There is also delays in reporting of the injury due to the fact that additional imaging is sometimes required along with a clinical evaluation and testing once swelling has reduced. Most likely, the team was waiting to see if the knee would resolve on its own or whether anything would present itself after several day.

The approach should be to rehab him with the hopes that the Bills are still in the hunt. If they fall out of contention, shut him down for the year. Even with the best rehab and doctors, his body still needs to heal and return to playing form. While QB Tyrod Taylor has not built up the rapport that he has with other receivers, it is still a starting caliber receiver that is not able to contribute.

Continue to check back regarding further updates and injuries following the Bills game. Follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88 for the latest updates and news. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!