Preseason Injury Review- Browns

Analyzing the latest injuries following the preseason win over the Browns including AJ McCarron, Kyle Williams, and Cory Carter.

The Bills got their first win of the preseason with a decisive 19-17 win over the Cleveland Browns Friday night. While we saw some good things including the continued emergence of RB Marcus Murphy and darts thrown by QB Josh Allen show that there is some talent on this team and should be a force to reckon with this coming season. However, with all the good also comes the bad. The Bills have been relatively healthy over the course of this preseason, getting some bumps and bruises along the way but avoiding serious injury. Unfortunately, the Bills luck ran out Friday night on the shores of Lake Erie. Today’s post will review injuries sustained Friday and what this means going forward.

Prior to the game, DE Trent Murphy and WR Brandon Reilly were ruled out prior to the game with groin and rib injuries respectively. Hopefully both will be able to return to full health very soon and bolster depth going forward. The biggest injuries sustained Friday night with regards to name recognition were QB AJ McCarron and DT Kyle Williams. The former Alabama QB came from Cincinnati in the off season and was expected to compete for the starting job. Regrettably, McCarron reportedly sustained a hairline fracture in his collarbone towards the end of the 1st quarter.

The play that McCarron potentially suffered his collarbone fracture seemed pretty innocuous. He was tackled hard with most of his weight coming down onto his right shoulder but was able to finish the series. He did not appear to have any initial discomfort or favoring the injured area. Reports do not state which collarbone he fractured but my guess is the right side which is his throwing arm. However, after today’s press conference, there is question regarding the severity of the injury as McCarron is getting a second opinion which may change his availability. Once we have confirmation one way or another, I will be able to elaborate more.

DT Kyle Williams suffered what appeared to be a season ending injury early in the 2nd quarter. This occurred when he was getting blocked and a Browns offensive player fell into his right leg and he went down immediately in pain. The initial fear when a knee is bent like that with an outside force on the knee is an ACL tear. Thankfully, he avoided the dreaded injury and only sustained a MCL tear. The MCL is the ligament on the inside of the knee and is a commonly injured ligament during knee sprains. It appears as though Williams suffered a Grade 2 sprain which should heal on its own and will not require surgery.

Had Williams foot been planted in the ground when he got hit, he would have most likely torn his ACL and ended his final season. This is an injury that will take 4-6 weeks to heal which means he should be able to come back for Week 4 against the Packers. If things go well, Week 2 against the Chargers. As he is older, he will most likely be on the slower side of this timeline and lets face it, Kyle Williams is a national treasure when it comes to Bills fans. Training staff will not rush him back to the field unless he is truly ready to play. Once he returns, he should have no performance issues with the exception of some pain/swelling initially after playing.

One player who was hit hard by the injury bug was P Cory Carter who suffered a torn ACL after a collision late in the 3rd quarter. His plant leg was fully extended as he came down and the Browns defender rolled into his leg, preventing him from landing safely, causing his knee to hyper extend and tear the ACL on the second small hop in the above posted video. Prior to this injury, reports were coming out that he was having a solid camp and really challenging for the starting position. I have detailed ACL tears in a previous article, please check it out. Carter will be out for the entire year. I wish him the best of luck in his recovery. To note, this is the first ACL tear for the Bills since TE Chris Gragg tore in the preseason in 2016.

Another player that has had a very strong camp and warrants a roster spot is TE Jason Croom. The WR turned TE injured what appeared to be his left ankle on a punt return play the next play after Carter was injured. On the play, Croom went downfield and changed direction quickly to tackle the punt returner and LB Tanner Vallejo attempted to do the same thing, missed, and rolled into Croom’s ankle. He was able to walk off under his own power with a noticeable limp and was done for the night. It appeared as though he may have a low ankle sprain at worst. However, he was able to practice today according to reports which is something to watch for as the week progresses.

Others injured Friday include S Siran Neal, CB Taron Johnson, and OT De’Ondre Wesley. Neal was injured after a hard tackle and appeared to have the wind knocked out of him but was able to return later in the game. Johnson suffered a crackback block at the hands of WR Jarvis Landry who infamously ended the career of former Bills S Aaron Williams, thankfully no long term issues. Finally, OT De’Ondre Wesley appeared to tweak his ankle and came off the field but was able to return. I don’t see anything that warrants further concern. Also today, S Kelcie McCray was not practicing but film did not reveal any injuries at first glance.

Finally, QB Nathan Peterman appeared to sustain an injury in the last series of the game. Upon review, he took a low tackle which appeared to hit his knee but when he came up, he was hopping on his right leg and favoring his left. He was able to walk it off and finish the series but when he kneeled down to run out the clock, he did a reverse lunge and appeared to stumble backwards. It appeared as though he injured his left ankle. He may have twisted/tweaked it but as he was practicing today, it does not appear to be serious. Further reports will be made available if this becomes a problem.

Overall, the Bills escaped Cleveland without major losses.  They also have 9 days before their next game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately, there are two more preseason games which mean two more possibilities for players to get hurt before the regular season. While all injuries cannot be prevented, preventative measures such as exercises/practice and limiting playing time appear to be the only way for now.

Continue to check back for the latest updates and injury analysis as the season progresses. Follow on Twitter @BangedUpBills, on Facebook at Banged Up Bills, online www.bangedupbills.com and on reddit at u/BangedUpBills. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- OT

Assessing the tackle position and injuries sustained this season.

Today’s post will finish up the offensive side of the ball and the offensive line by reviewing the offensive tackle position. This was a position that was beset by injury and will most likely be overhauled for next season. 3 out of the 5 players at the position dealt with some type of significant medical issues which limited their abilities and will force the front office to make some changes. There were a total of 5 players that suited up for the Bills at the tackle position.

Starting off is T Cordy Glenn who made himself at home on the injury report with foot/ankle issues. He was shut down for the season after Week 9. A detailed analysis of my thoughts on his injuries can be found here. The extended time off with surgery may finally allow him to get healthy. Thankfully, the Bills do not have to worry about his health going forward as they have recently moved him and the 21st pick to Cincinnati for the 12th pick. They also reportedly swapped 5th and 6th rd picks during this trade. This is a fantastic trade that allows the Bills to move questionable pieces and obtain the draft capital to get the quarterback and other impact players they need to build for the future!

T Dion Dawkins came in as a rookie 2nd round pick and exceeded expectations filling in for Cordy Glenn, appearing to demonstrate the long term ability to protect the quarterback and make Glenn expendable if the price is right. Dawkins saw no time on the injury report and was able to stay quite healthy this season. He will be a mainstay on the line for years as long as he performs how he did this year.

4th year pro Seantrel Henderson saw minimal time on the field and minimal time on the the injury report. Henderson was on the injury report twice with back pain causing him to miss the Indianapolis Colts game late in the season. He only saw time in 8 games with very little time on the field. With his previously mentioned back complaints this season along with his use of marijuana for his Chron’s disease make him an easy decision to not bring back. As he is a UFA, the Bills elected not to offer him a new contract and Henderson has since left, signing a one year prove it deal with the Houston Texans for hopefully a fresh start.

T Connor McDermott stayed on the roster this season despite seeing action in only 3 games with most of his play involving special teams. In addition to minimal time, McDermott suffered a chest injury during practice which forced him to miss the first Patriots game. As he is a minimal cost to the team and has some value on special teams, expect him to return next year as a depth player with the ability to grow as he is only a rookie.

The last tackle that suited up for the Bills this season is T Jordan Mills. The 5th year pro saw significant action in every game this season at the right tackle position due to T Dion Dawkins moving to the left side to fill in for Glenn. While Mills play was suspect at times, he was still durable at the position, only suffering an ankle injury in the regular season finale which did not cause him to miss the Jaguars game. Looking at the salary cap, Mills comes pretty cheap for $1.5 million and with one year left on his contract, is more beneficial to keep than to cut loose.

Expect many changes following this season. The Bills have T De’Ondre Wesley and T Josh James on futures contracts who may factor in next season with the expected turnover. Add in the recent signing of T Mitchell Newhouse and the Bills have some options at this position. This wraps up the 2017 Buffalo Bills offense injury review. Continue to check back for the defensive injury review and many other articles both with Banged Up Bills. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!