Bodine & Newhouse FA Signing’s

Analysis of the injury histories of recent Buffalo Bills signings of Bodine & Newhouse.

The Buffalo Bills have demonstrated time and time again that they are not satisfied until they turn over every stone and open every door looking for players that fit their vision. This continues to be evident with the signings of C Russell Bodine and OT Mitchell Newhouse. Both are players with extensive time in the league that should help bring a veteran presence to a rapidly changing offensive line with the departures of C Eric Wood, OT’s Seantrel Henderson and Cordy Glenn. Today’s post will assess the new signing’s injury histories and possible impact this season.

First up is C Russell Bodine. The recent Cincinnati Bengals lineman signed a 2 year, $5 million deal to come to Buffalo and compete for the starting job. The veteran lineman has shown the ability to play at a high level and be effective, starting every game of his 4 year career. He has also not had any major injury, only showing up once on the injury report during the 2015 season with a finger injury which did not cause him to miss time. While he has big shoes to fill with the departure of C Eric Wood, the 4th year pro will be able to battle for the starting position with C/G Ryan Groy and C Adam Redmon in training camp with a strong starter and effective depth established as a result.

Next up is OT Marshall Newhouse formerly of the Oakland Raiders. The 8th year pro has had stops in Green Bay, Cincinnati, New York Giants and now most recently Oakland. Newhouse recently signed a 1 year contract with the Bills to provide depth with a thinning tackle position. The journeyman tackle has dealt with many injuries over his time in the NFL which may explain why he has bounced around so often.

Newhouse was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2010 and missed the entire season as he was inactive and dealt with an on and off back injury which eventually placed him on injured reserve. 2011-2014 saw him much healthier dealing with minor knee, wrist, shoulder, and back injuries that did not cause him to miss any time. His time with the Giants in 2015-2016 saw him once again deal with a back issue followed by a season ending concussion that forced him to miss two total games. 2016 saw him have no issues injury wise but 2017 saw Newhouse miss two games with foot and hip injuries. The veteran guard will be able to provide depth at both RT and LT as he has played both positions throughout his career. He will provide depth at a position that with the exception of T Dion Dawkins is a question mark going into the season.

Overall, I like the Bodine signing as he is able to provide stability at the position with both health and effective play if he wins the starting position. The Newhouse signing is only beneficial for depth as I believe that he will not compete for a starting position and will be only relevant in certain packages or in case of injury. Either way, the front office has continued to show a willingness to find the pieces they need to build a team that is more cap efficient and built for the long term.

Continue to check back at Banged Up Bills for the latest articles on the Buffalo Bills. Follow me on Twitter @BangedUpBills for thoughts and discussions on the newest Bills signings. Follow Grandstand Sports Network @Grandstand_SN for the most comprehensive content for the NFL, NHL, and other information not found anywhere else. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Free Agent Haul

Analyzing the latest Bills free agent signings, their injury histories, and impact for next season.

The Bills continue to make moves which further indicate that the Bills are working towards bigger things for the draft. This new regime is serious and have a clear game plan on how to achieve their goals. Brandon Beane and company have been very busy, finding the right type of players that fit “The Process”. The pressure is on even more now that the NY Jets have traded with the Colts to move up to the 3rd overall pick in order to hopefully obtain their franchise QB. Today’s post will review the free agent signings of DT Star Lotulelei, DE Trent Murphy, S Rafael Bush, LB Julian Stanford, and QB A.J. McCarron.

First up is DT Star Lotulelei, formerly of the Carolina Panthers. The big defensive tackle has been a mainstay in Carolina for the past 5 seasons before signing with the Bills for 5 years, $50 million with $25 million guaranteed which makes him the highest paid Bills player on the roster. While these are rather eye-popping numbers, Lotulelei has shown he is able to earn his keep. The 5th year pro has missed minimal time over his short career, suffering only ankle and foot injuries in the first three years. His ankle injury did not force him to miss any time but a broken bone in his foot at the end of the 2014 season led to eventual surgery. He was able to return to in time for training camp in 2015 but suffered a “stress-reaction” after the 3rd practice. Simply put, he suffered a precursor to a stress fracture. He was able to rest the remaining portion of training camp and missed the first two regular season games but since then has not suffered any further set backs. He should remain healthy as the defense has switched to rotational play, thus ensuring always fresh players in the trenches.

Next up is S Rafael Bush, formerly of the New Orleans Saints. The 7th year pro recently signed a 2-year deal with Buffalo has been all over the league, seeing time with New Orleans over two stints along with stops in Denver and Detroit. During his time in the league, he has suffered several injuries that have caused him to miss significant time. 2013 saw him miss 3 games towards the end of the season due to an ankle injury. In 2014, Bush suffered a broken fibula which prematurely ended his season that year. Finally in 2015, he suffered a torn pectoral in the season opener which sidelined him the entire season as it typically takes 6 months to recover. Since then, Bush has been healthy over the past 2 seasons, not missing any games due to injury. While he is getting older, he still has shown the ability to play at a high level and provides depth at a position the Bills found themselves to be very effective at last season.

The Bills continue to address needs on the defense with their 3rd signing in DE Trent Murphy. The 4th year pro has dealt with many injuries during his time in the league but has shown to be effective when healthy. Looking back at his NFL injury history, his rookie year saw him miss one game with a broken bone in his hand which ended his season one game early. He also dealt with a knee injury that year which did not affect his playing time. 2015 saw a minor hip injury and 2016 saw him deal with elbow/shoulder, foot, and ankle injuries that he was able to play through.

Unfortunately in 2017, Murphy suffered a torn ACL in the preseason which forced him to miss the entire season going into the final year of his contract. It was reported that rehab went very well for the defensive end in that he was squatting 475 lbs 6 months after his surgery. While it is typical to see these kind of exercises being performed, to be squatting that much is an excellent sign. Murphy does have a higher risk to retear his ACL which is at about 20% higher compared to a healthy population, but playing in the NFL is always a risk for injury. Between the torn ACL and a 4 game suspension for PED use which he ultimately served during his time on IR allowed the Bills to sign him and they hope to rekindle the kind of production he had in 2016 before his injury. He should fit in nice with the rotation of Jerry Hughes, Eddie Yarbrough, and Shaq Lawson, among others.

The final piece of the defensive free agents is LB Julian Stanford. The 5th year veteran has made stops in Jacksonville, Detroit, New York Jets, and his latest stop in Buffalo where he signed a 2-year contract. Most of his playing time has been seen on special teams with some occasional play in defensive packages. As a result, his injuries have been minimal, suffering a hip injury in 2012 which he did not miss any games and 2016 saw him miss 4 games which landed him on the IR to end the season. Otherwise, from what I have read, he is an effective and durable player who provides depth at the LB position and makes his mark on special teams.

Finally, the Buffalo Bills let the dust settle and finally signed a veteran QB in AJ McCarron. The former Alabama star has primarily rode the bench behind Buffalo playoff hero Andy Dalton for 4 seasons. McCarron recently won his arbitration case which allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent due to an injury his rookie year to his right shoulder. This injury originally occurred during his senior season at Alabama and had been described as tightness. This caused him to start the season on the PUP list which forced him to miss 14 games. I am not quite certain what he exactly did to his shoulder as he reportedly jammed it and always felt fatigue afterward. My initial thought may be that he was dealing with shoulder impingement in where the rotator cuff is pinched during abnormal shoulder biomechanics. There is a possibility that he also suffered some type of nerve injury which could also contribute towards a fatigue like feeling. As this is not his throwing shoulder and he has not had any recurrence since 2014 leads me to believe that this is no longer an issue.

McCarron will be afforded the ability to compete for the starting job along with QB Nathan Peterman and the expected 1st round draft pick the Bills will bring in this year. The 4th year signal caller has seen minimal time with the exception of a 3 game stretch in 2015 in where he went 2-1 with 6 TD’s against 2 INT’s. He was able to show that he could play in college under Nick Saban, but time will tell whether he can be a serviceable QB when given a starting role.

Overall, all these recent signings are favorable to the team and allow them to chase the high end talent in the draft to build for years down the road. All of these players I don’t expect to have any injury issues with the exception of Murphy. He has battled smaller injuries over his career and suffered the above mentioned ACL tear which puts him at a higher risk to reinjure. He will also most likely not be ready until OTA’s in June to fully participate. I believe all these players will provide the needed depth and skill required at their respective positions should the starter go down.

Continue to check back for the latest articles and updates at Banged Up Bills. Follow me on Twitter @BangedUpBills and follow my colleagues at Grandstand Sports Network for the latest NFL draft talk. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- C/G

Analyzing the injuries at the C/G position and implications for next season.

Today’s post on Banged Up Bills breaks down the guard and center positional injuries and implications for next season. A total of 5 players suited up at the C/G position that powered the Bills to the playoffs and was able to maintain a top 10 rushing attack. Unfortunately, the offensive line is aging and unexpected injuries have derailed the possibility for a repeat performance next season.

Starting off with the center position is C Eric Wood. The 9th year pro had a relatively successful season anchoring the offensive line. Injury wise, Wood suffered an ankle injury during the win over the Oakland Raiders which did not force him to miss any time and was not a factor for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, it was later revealed he did suffer two neck stingers in Week’s 5-6 which after an end of season physical resulted in his inability to continue to playing due to possible long term risks. A more detailed analysis of his injury can be found here. He is not expected to return under any circumstances and is not officially retired due to salary cap complications.

Next up is versatile C/G Ryan Groy. The 4th year pro served in mostly a backup role this season but has shown the ability to start when C Eric Wood went down in 2016 with a broken leg. Groy saw no time on the injury report with the exception of illness in Week 16. The young lineman appears to be a natural fit to replace Wood at the position as a low cost option and will either grow into the position or be a bridge piece for someone else to come in. Expect him to assume a larger role next season.

Transitioning to the guard position, there were 3 primary players that took on the job at guard. First up is G Richie Incognitio. The controversial player found a second life in Buffalo and has continued to demonstrate a Pro Bowl caliber play despite being one of the older players on the line. Injury wise, Incognitio saw minimal time on the injury report, suffering an ankle injury during the Tampa Bay game and shoulder injury during the playoff loss to the Jaguars. The 12th year pro did require weekly rest days which may have contributed to his ability to stay healthier compared to others. Incognitio is still very effective despite his age and is a great transitional piece as the front office slowly begins to rebuild the offensive line. Recently, he restructured his contract to allow him to stay on a more team friendly deal to allow the team to focus on other assets this off season.

Next man up is G Vladmir Ducasse who after not initially starting the season, came in and performed effectively, playing in 12 regular season games and 1 post season game. Ducasse was thought to be a depth player going into the season but questionable play by G John Miller led to Ducasse’s starting opportunity after 4 games. In addition to winning the starting job from Miller, the 7th year pro stayed injury free and proved how effective he can be in a run heavy offense. As for next season, the Bills would be making a poor decision if he were to leave. Like Incognitio, his contract and availability is favorable and he also provides a nice transition as the line gets older. Expect to see Ducasse on the line again in 2018.

Finally, G John Miller rounds out the guard review for the 2018 season. Miller had a pretty rough season, winning the job out of training camp before relinquishing his job after 4 games to Ducasse. To add insult to injury, Miller began to be ruled inactive thereafter and suffered what I suspected to be a high ankle sprain in practice right before Thanksgiving which forced him to miss 6 games. Despite Miller’s horrendous season, it is possible that he returns for next season. He is only 24, has demonstrated the ability to play well in past seasons and is going into the final season of his rookie contract. He does provide another veteran body in an aging line but is still young enough that could be moved in a trade for other pieces if needed.

In addition to all these players likely to come back next season, C Adam Redmon is on a futures contract which may allow the Bills to not have to search far for their next center if Groy does not work out or is injured. Continue to check back with Banged Up Bills for the latest injury updates. Check out Grandstand Sports Network for other injury related articles that I post and please check out the latest content by my fellow colleagues. GSN is truly an unique site comprised of passionate individuals providing the latest stories and shows not found anywhere else. GSN is the #1 place to go for the 2018 NFL draft! As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

FA Signings: RB Ivory & DE Odighizuwa

Breaking down the latest free agent signings, analyzing their injury histories, and expectations for the 2018 season.

The NFL has managed to captivate its fans 365 days a year and yesterday was no exception! Brandon Beane has shown that he is willing to build a contender and move pieces to build for the future. This is evident with the Bills trading QB Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns for a 3rd round draft pick in the 2018 draft. Along with big moves like this, the Bills continue to stay active in free agency prior to the beginning of the official league year and draft.

Building off of signing of CB Vontae Davis last week, today’s post will further analyze the depth chart signings and injury histories of both RB Chris Ivory and DE Owa Odighizuwa. Unfortunately, both have had a variety of injuries throughout their college and NFL careers which may impact their ability to produce this upcoming season for the Buffalo Bills.

First up is RB Chris Ivory. The 8th year pro has played with the Saints, Jets, Jaguars and recently signed a 2 year deal with the Bills. Overall, Ivory has had an up and down career with highlights including the AFC rushing crown in 2015 along with a Pro Bowl nod to multiple injuries and being passed on the depth chart by more talented backs. Prior to entering the NFL, Ivory sustained a season ending injury to his knee during his senior year in which he tore his PCL and meniscus. He was able to successfully recover and was signed by the Saints in 2010 as an undrafted free agent.

Since then, Ivory has sustained a multitude of injuries which include: knee MCL sprain, concussion, shoulder AC joint sprain, multiple hamstring strains, Lisfranc fracture, sports hernia, ankle sprain, and rib fractures. While impossible to avoid injury, Ivory has had several serious injuries which has certainly affected his production. Most of these injuries have not forced him to miss significant time as they happened either late in the season such as the Lisfranc or were soft tissue injuries and forced him to only miss 2-3 games at a time.

The only concerning injury is the sports hernia which forced him to miss the first half of the season in 2011. Thankfully, as outlined in the Vontae Davis article, most NFL players are able to return to play with satisfactory outcomes of upwards to 90% which Ivory has been able to clearly demonstrate. Cumulatively, the injuries should not impact his production as each injury has been isolated to various events and not piling onto each other. While he is not the future Bills feature back, he still provides depth at a critical position.

Next up is DE Owa Odighizuwa who was signed to a one year contract Thursday. The 3rd year pro has been plagued by injuries throughout his short career with the Giants as a 3rd round pick in 2015. The athletic defensive end has dealt with foot and knee injuries along with a hamstring injury that forced him to the IR in his rookie year. In addition, he sustained a hip injury to the gluteus medius or hip abductor muscle in college which required season ending surgery. During his pro career alone, injuries have forced him to miss a total of 15 games over 2 seasons. In addition to the missed games, he sat out the 2017 season after violating the performance enhancing drug policy and was released shortly after. After an extended break from the game, Odighizuwa may have finally been able to give his body a chance to heal.

From my research, there is little detailed information regarding his knee injury and his foot injury has only been described as dealing with the muscle and that it was rare. The above mentioned article states that his feet are wide and flat with footwear possibly contributing to his complaints. What it specifically is, I suspect some type of issues with the arches in his foot. As for the exact injury, none of the muscle injuries in that area appear to be rare which leaves me stumped.

Both of these signings are strictly for depth and are overall beneficial to the team. Ivory is a great signing due for the fact that he has been relatively productive during his time in the NFL. While Ivory is backing up workhorse of the offense in LeSean McCoy, the 9th year back is also entering his age 29 season and a drop off in his production is expected. Having a proven back behind McCoy that can maintain the workload if he were to go down is something that the Bills have not had in several years. Any Bills fan knows that FB Mike Tolbert was not an acceptable replacement during any point of the 2017 season. While the contract is not team-friendly as it gives him top-20 money for running backs, it is still worth it in the event that McCoy goes down.

As for Odighizuwa, he has had injuries have costed him nearly a full season’s worth of games, was out of the league last year, and still has a lot to prove. This may be an individual that has been incredibly unlucky or has not quite figured out how to take care of his body due to the demands of the NFL. Although, it appears as though he is making the most of his second shot in this Instagram post from New Athlete. In the post, it clearly shows that he has been working out incredibly hard and preparing for the demands of an NFL season. As he is strictly a depth player, the injury risks may lessen which may allow him to get through a full season with reasonable production. My concern is if DE Shaq Lawson or DE Jerry Hughes go down with injury, I do not expect Odighizuwa to match the same production and see him as a liability being on the field if forced into a starting role. However, he appears to be healthy and on a prove it deal, so he may surprise many critics this season. Thankfully, the Bills are not tied to him long term and can cut him loose if he does not work out.

The front office is far from done this off season. I expect to see more players signed for depth, several long term needs addressed in the draft, and the possibility of moving up the draft board to find their franchise quarterback. While I do not like every transaction the Bills have made, I expect to see more moves like this in order to build for long term success. Continue to check back at Banged Up Bills for the latest news and injury analysis. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- WR

Assessing the WR corps injuries sustained this season and impact for next season.

Continuing with the off-season coverage of Buffalo Bills position review, today’s post reviews the WR position. As other posts have shown, no position is immune from injury and lots of analysis continues. A total of 7 wide receivers suited up at the position for the team this season with a variety of outcomes this season. First up is WR Kaelin Clay who came over from the Carolina Panthers in a trade during training camp. Clay did not stay long as he saw 4 targets for 1 reception totaling 28 yards. He was shortly released afterward and reclaimed by Carolina. During his time in Buffalo, he did suffer a foot and back injury which possibly contributed to his lack of productivity but did not cause him to miss time. As he returned to Carolina, finding his way back to Buffalo unlikely anytime soon.

WR Brandon Tate saw most of his playing time during special teams in the return game. Tate’s limited playing time at the position saw him targeted 14 times for 6 receptions totaling 81 yards and 1 TD. Thankfully, Tate did not suffer any injuries this season. The 9th year pro’s value remains at the special team position and with his lack of recent injury history remains an appealing target to bring back with his versatility.

WR Andre Holmes became a steady player after coming from the Raiders last season. While he has career low as a regular player totaling 13 receptions for 120 yards and 3 TD’s, he was still a key depth player, appearing in 14 games. Holmes was limited around Thanksgiving with an ankle injury that he was able to play through. Unfortunately, the 7th year veteran suffered a neck injury which sent him to injured reserve. It is undetermined what type of neck injury Holmes dealt with. Neck injuries are a hot button in Buffalo at the moment with C Eric Wood forced to end his playing career and former S Aaron Williams announcing his retirement shortly after. My educated guess is that Holmes strained several muscles in his neck and wasn’t responding well to treatment, forcing the team shut him down. He still has 2 years left on a 3 year contract at an affordable rate which allows the Bills to bring him back for depth. Pending his neck injury, he should find his way onto New Era Field next season.

Next up is WR Deonte Thompson. The 8th year pro was quite productive after coming over to the Bills after being cut by Chicago earlier in the season. Playing in 11 games, he was able to snag 27 receptions for 430 yards and 1 TD. While none of these numbers are eye popping, the receivers as a whole were down due to QB Tyrod Taylor’s limited passing abilities. Thompson suffered several injuries throughout the season including an ankle injury sustained during the Chargers loss in which he attempted to catch a ball while going out of bounds. Towards the end of the season Thompson suffered a nondescript back injury during the first Patriots game. He then suffered a shoulder injury that was either identified later in the week or injured in practice which placed him on the injury report but did not cause any time missed. As Thompson is getting older and a unrestricted free agent, roster turnover will determine if he returns. As he earned the veteran minimum for his experience, he may command more money in free agency but an affordable option to bring back for next season.

Assessing the receivers who have some injury questions for next season include WR Jordan Matthews. The 5th year pro suffered a series of injuries that eventually landed him on IR for the end of the season. Starting off, Matthews sustained a chip fracture during the first practice after he was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia. The chip fracture limited his ability to participate during the preseason but he was able to return to start the season. After getting used to the offense, Matthews sustained a thumb fracture during the crucial win over the Falcons. Matthews only missed one week and was able to return far faster than anyone had expected. This is another injury that will not cause any issues next season.

However, Matthews’ knee landed him on IR and while there is not one particular injury that landed him there, it may have been a recurrence of knee tendonitis he was dealing with during the early parts of training camp when he was still with the Eagles. This knee injury may determine how much he can command on the open market. His stats for the season included 27 receptions for 282 yards and 1 TD may limit his bargaining power considering he is in the same class as former Bill Sammy Watkins, along with Odell Beckham Jr., & Mike Evans. Considering his contemporaries, he could command more money than what the Bills are willing to pay and I expect the front office to move on from Matthews.

WR Zay Jones suffered an up and down rookie season which is not uncommon for a new player to the NFL. Unfortunately, expectations may have been set too high as he came out of college as the all time leader in receptions which did not initially translate well to the NFL. Jones’ stats were similar to other receivers on the team with 27 receptions for 316 yards and 2 TD’s. A slow start to the season along with several now known injuries were contributing factors to his lackluster season. Jones suffered an low ankle sprain which had appeared to be a severe knee injury during the Jets game. Thankfully, his knee hyperextended and his ankle absorbed the brunt of the force causing the sprain. This did not force him to miss additional games outside of some plays in an ugly loss to the Jets.

The unknown injury that came out after the season in an interview with Zay’s father revealed a torn labrum in what was possibly his left shoulder. He did appear on the injury report during the last week of October but this did not force him to miss anytime. My article on his injury appears here, please take the time to read. He has since had successful surgery to fix the tear and should be back in time for the regular season. He will continue to be an integral piece of the offense and production should increase if the QB position improves.

Finally, WR Kelvin Benjamin was the biggest acquisition by the Bills this season of unexpected trades. Upon arriving to Buffalo, Benjamin never really took off, injuring his knee in his 2nd game against the Chargers which resulted in a partially torn meniscus. Missing 2 games to rehab and recover, he was able to return against the Colts and play through the injury for the rest of the season. His production, 16 receptions for 217 yards for 1 TD, was limited as expected but playing through the injury did not cause further injury. He has since had successful knee surgery to shave down the partial tear and will be able to return in time for OTA’s. As for injury risk next year, his previous ACL tear is more of a long term concern to re-injure than the meniscus tear. Benjamin will be back next year and pending salary cap ramifications, I hope the Bills find a way to keep him long term.

The Bills WR corps will look different next year with the exception of Jones, Holmes, and Benjamin. There is the possibility of Thompson coming back along with futures contracts of WR Malachi Dupre, WR Quan Bray, and preseason favorites WR Brandon Reilly and WR Rod Streater. In addition, the Bills also had WR Jeremy Butler on injured reserve due to a concussion during the preseason. The Bills are building something to create more stability in the offense and give either QB Tyrod Taylor or whoever the new Bills QB will be more weapons to energize the offense and build off the anemic passing offense of 2017.

Continue to check back with me regarding injury updates and news coming out of One Bills Drive. Thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Vontae Davis Injury Analysis

Analyzing the latest Buffalo Bills signing of Vontae Davis, reviewing injury history and expectations for next season.

More news coming out of One Bills Drive with the recent signing of CB Vontae Davis. This is a move that has been discussed for several weeks and is now official. This signing may allow the Bills to hedge their bets that CB E.J. Gaines leaves in free agency. With Davis now roaming the secondary, this allows the Bills to further add to the positional group without sacrificing other areas of need. Today’s post will go over Davis’ injury history and detail his recent core injury.

Reviewing his career, the 9th year pro is a 2-time Pro Bowl selection drafted in the first round by the Miami Dolphins out of Illinois in 2009. After 3 seasons in Miami, he was traded to the Indianapolis Colts where he spent 6 seasons with the team before leaving under difficult circumstances.. As a corner back in the NFL, Davis has had several injuries that vary in severity. These injuries include: knee, quadriceps, wrist, hamstring, neck, elbow, ankle, foot, groin, and concussions. Year by year, a hamstring injury in 2011 caused him to miss 3 games, 2012 saw him miss 6 games due to knee and ankle injuries. 2014 saw a missed game due to a concussion, 2016 saw two games missed due to ankle injury, and 2017 forced him to miss 3 games before returning to play prior to his release with a groin/core muscle injury. While Davis has had a litany of injuries throughout his career, this is not uncommon to see to a player at his position.

However, the injury that Davis sustained which ended his 2017 campaign is more commonly known as a sports hernia. Despite the name, this injury is not actually a hernia in which organs protrude through the muscle wall. Instead, a portion of the deep abdominal wall tears away from the pubic bone which is found in the groin area where the leg meets the hip near the genital region. His injury has been described as a core or groin injury. Both are correct descriptors but can be confusing when reports come out that vary which make understanding what exactly happened more difficult. A picture below helps outline anatomically what is going on.

athletic pubalgia diagram c.gif
Credit: radprotocols.webs.com/athletic-pubalgia

Causes of this injury include violet twisting, kicking, and turning along with blows to the back can contribute towards increased incidence. Unsafe or intense abdominal exercises can also cause the injury with deconditioning or overuse is present. Symptoms include sharp pain in the groin area during turning, running, kicking, twisting, tenderness to the area, and typically one sided discomfort. According to reports, Davis sustained the injury during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and was unable to return for the next several games.

After missing the first 3 games due to the injury, he was able to play through 5 games before aggravating the injury. The Colts then benched him for as they described “poor play”, but his injury is most likely what led to his ability to play. Not being able to perform the physical requirements of the position secondary to pain led to his decline in ability. Colts team doctors then recommended to continue to rehab with conservative management and play with the injury. However, Davis went against team doctors’ wishes and opted for surgery which led to his ugly release from the team.

Davis could have recovered from his injury without surgery with rehab a more than effective intervention to return to his prior level. However with his age, positional considerations, and assumed time left in the league, Davis opted for the surgery to ensure his ability to return to top form for the 2018 season. A timeline for recovery is up to 12 weeks due to the location and nature of the surgery. The tear would be repaired and restrictions would be set in place to ensure healing. The focus on surgery would address range of motion, scar management, pain, and light strengthening in the beginning. Following proper healing of the affected tissue, agility, plyometrics, and speed drills are incorporated in order to return to sport related activities. A return to sport protocol that outlines a 12 week recovery is detailed here. Additional rehab protocol including a conservative, non-operative protocol can be found here. Please click these links, these are fantastic resources especially for an injury such as this.

As Davis has been in the league for 9 years, he demonstrates some level of ability to understand his body in regards to maintenance. He is nearing 30 years old but could still have several effective years left or change position in the secondary to remain effective. Following surgery, there has been reported rates specifically in the NFL upwards of 90% success rate and ability to return to prior level of function. While there is always a chance for re-injury, this specific injury does not appear to be one that can develop into a chronic issue or prevent him from fully participating next season.

As E.J. Gaines has battled several injuries over his career and missed 5 games this past season due to injury, he remains a liability and is commanding big money on the open market. It appears as though Davis is slightly more durable and may be an appropriate alternative if Gaines leaves. It is interesting that Gaines is trending upwards after being a low round draft pick and Davis is a high round draft pick that is trending downwards but may offer similar production. For the price, availability, and no long term commitment makes Davis a strong alternative to replace Gaines. To add in the extra benefits, with Gaines leaving, the Bills would benefit from a compensatory pick which could hypothetically be used to find Davis’ replacement in the draft.

Davis is an impact player that could add a veteran presence to a team slowly getting younger with the ability to earn one more contract if he plays well. This is a smart, low risk, low cost option that is in line with Brandon Beane’s focus to eliminate big contracts that don’t match up with production.

It is impossible to totally eliminate injuries, but the Bills are looking at the overall player and not simply production which may help guide better long term decisions. I like this signing and believe that Davis will reproduce a higher level of play earlier in his career than he has the past two seasons. If the Bills are unsatisfied, they are not stuck with him.

Continue to check back at Banged Up Bills for the latest Bills injury news and updates. Please feel free to ask questions regarding injuries and physical therapy, I enjoy the discussion and educating others regarding injuries. Thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- RB/FB

Season ending review of the Buffalo Bills backfield and implications for next season.

The Buffalo Bills had a variety of personnel in the backfield this year which leaves many questions regarding roster turnover for next year. Many factors go into these decisions based on production, salary, and injuries. Today’s post will address the RB/FB positions for the Buffalo Bills

This past season, there were 6 running back/fullback’s listed on the roster that saw playing time. Starting off, RB Marcus Murphy appeared in one game against the Miami Dolphins in relief for LeSean McCoy due to his sprained ankle. The most recent backfield addition thankfully suffered no injuries during his short stint with the team and showed the ability to play in the NFL. His future with the team remains murky at best as he is an unrestricted free agent and there is a dearth of talent at the position ahead of him.

Next up is RB Taiwan Jones. Jones actually never saw a carry in the RB position, instead was targeted 2 times resulting in 1 reception for 11 yards. Most of his game action occurred on special teams which unfortunately ended his season. The 7th year back broke his forearm during an onside kick return during the Week 9 loss to the Jets. Along with the fracture, Jones dealt with a knee injury early in the season that did not cause him to miss any time. Jones is also an unrestricted free agent and while his forearm is not concerning, his age and effectiveness may leave him without a team during the off season.

Travaris Cadet headlines the next RB in this post. Cadet as you may recall, suffered a traumatic left ankle fracture and dislocation during a routine play against the Patriots. Up to that point, Cadet was an effective change of pace back who allowed McCoy to stay fresh through games. Surgically, Cadet had his ankle relocated and then had a plate with screws inserted to stabilize the area. A typical rehab protocol allocates for 12+ weeks to return to walking, but may take much longer to return to full game speed. Cadet also suffered a concussion in December prior to the ankle which did not cause him to miss time. The 6th year journeyman is an unrestricted free agent and with a long recovery time factored in, his ability to recover fully will determine whether he has a roster spot next season.

Another back who saw no time in the backfield is RB Joe Banyard. The veteran back only saw time on special teams and while he does not have the carries that similar backs have at his age, he does not appear to be able to carry a workload for a NFL team. As he is a free agent right now, I do not see him on the roster for next year.

Patrick DiMarco was used sparingly in the offense this year at the fullback position. While he only saw 2 attempts for -2 yards, he saw some time in the receiving game and as a blocking fullback. DiMarco saw injuries to his ankle during the Kansas City game but did not miss any time. The 6th year fullback may find himself back on this roster next year as he was signed for 4 years for $8.4 million dollars.

The back who saw the most time in the backup role is Pro Bowl FB Mike Tolbert. The 10th year veteran carried the rock 66 attempts for 247 yards and one TD. He became the ire of the fan base due to his use during 3rd and long with short passes or runs that shut down offensive drives. Analyzing his injury complaints, he suffered a knee injury early in the season and sustained a moderate hamstring strain that sidelined him for 3 games. While he was able to return for the Colts game, he appeared to be limited until the regular season finale. Hamstring strains and tears not managed correctly can continue to limit players through the season. With the off-season to recover, he should not have any recurring issues, but his use in the offense and an unrestricted free agent determines whether he returns next season.

Finally, RB LeSean McCoy, the engine of the Bills offense continues to climb up the rushing ranks past the all time greats. Fortunately, McCoy only had a variety of minor injuries through the season which did not affect his production. The only significant injury McCoy sustained was a sprained ankle in the season finale against the Dolphins which did not limit his productiveness in the Wild Card loss against the Jaguars. Other issues McCoy dealt with included wrist, groin, and knee injuries in addition to illness that did not force him to miss any time.

McCoy has been incredibly resilient during this season & career but is approaching his age 30 season. As history has shown, many running backs begin to suffer decline in production around this time and McCoy is no exception. Those that have rushed for 1000 yard seasons after their age 30 season have seen a drop in production 1-2 years afterward. For those that rushed for over 1000 yards either did not accumulate the yards early in their careers or they were true outliers. I expect to see McCoy return to the starting RB role next season and continue to produce for the short window he has left.

While none of these small injuries are concerning for long term, that long term wear and tear adds up and he will eventually decline. With McCoy’s production both on the ground and in the receiving game, he is vital to the Bills successes. However, the Bills are aware of this and will hopefully address the backfield in the off season. As much as both McCoy and the Bills would like to remain productive, it is inevitable that he will decline in ability and relinquish his role.

Outside of McCoy and DiMarco, I expect this backfield to be turned over with fresh legs and develop the next running back for the Bills. As I am not an expert in roster management and salary cap issues, it’s possible that others from this article find their way back to the roster as depth players. The Bills do have RB Aaron Green on a futures contract but is not guarantee to make the team next season. Injury wise, everyone can come back healthy with proper rehab and time, but it will all depend on personnel needs.

I did not forget Kyle Williams contribution of his memorable rushing touchdown during the season finale. As this was atypical, I will not categorize him in with the RB’s, but give him the words and thoughts he deserves during his position review. Continue to check back with me for the latest updates on Bills injuries and season reviews. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!