Recapping the past two months worth of work for your reading pleasure.
Hey there Bills fans! After a long hiatus at Banged Up Bills, I am back with content as we continue to navigate this offseason during the pandemic. As I had said in a previous article, I would only be posting if there was breaking news. During that time, I had been feverishly working with Cover 1 writing up injury draft analysis. I have also been writing up injury reviews for Buffalo Rumblings post draft for our newest Buffalo Bills.
As I write for my own site, Cover 1, & Buffalo Rumblings, it can be hard to track all the work I did unless you scour the Twitter feed on the side of the webpage. So to make it easy, below are all the newest Bills draft picks and free-agent signings for your reading pleasure. I have also included all my Cover 1 articles, two of the current Bills in Trey Adams & Zack Moss.
Breaking down the 2018 injuries and players who suited up for the Bills and what to expect in 2019.
Training camp is less than a week away! As the opening day nears, a bullish outlook on the secondary is the general consensus after the excellent play the last two seasons. The only weak spot is CB2 in where there was a carousel of players throughout the season due to injury which led to inconsistent play. Today’s post will review the injuries from last season, impact they’ll have on this season, and new faces added to the mix.
First up is CB Phillip Gaines. The veteran corner appeared in 7 games, starting 6 accumulating 2 pass deflections, 30 total tackles, 24 solo and 6 assisted with 1 tackle for loss. Gaines also suffered a dislocated elbow during the loss to the Chargers. As a result, he missed 1 game. Gaines was cut in early November due to his inconsistent play where he later signed with the Browns. He won’t be back and the cornerback position will be better without him.
Next up is CB Denzel Rice. The 4th year back has bounced around the league, most notably playing in 8 games with the Browns last season. Rice was a late-season addition to the roster in which he appeared in 4 games and completed 2 tackles. As he came in late and with little consistency sticking with a team, it will be a long shot for Rice to make this team unless he has an amazing camp along with injuries to other players.
CB Lafayette Pitts has shown to be a somewhat dependable player though his contributions were felt more on special teams during the 2018 season. Pitts appeared in all 16 games and recorded 9 tackles, 8 solo and 1 assisted. Injury wise, Pitts suffered a concussion when he collided with Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook on a punt return in the 1st quarter. Thankfully, Pitts did not miss any future games and appeared to have no lasting effects. Pitts has a solid chance to make this team due to his previous play over the past 2 seasons but is far from a lock.
CB Ryan Lewis marks another returner from 2018. Lewis was a waiver claim from the Patriots and had an immediate impact on the field early in the season. However, he must have drawn the ire of the coaching staff as he was inexplicitly benched shortly after his debut and received sporadic playing time thereafter. Lewis appeared in 7 games, starting 3, notching 3 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 15 total tackles with 12 solo and 3 assisted. To note, a majority of those stats came in the 3 games he started before his benching. Injury wise, Lewis suffered a concussion during the 2nd Jets game which caused him to miss the remaining 3 games of the season. Considering his doghouse status and concussion at the end of the year, things do not bode well for Lewis. It is unlikely that the concussion will affect him this year, but he will also have to have an outstanding camp to make the 53.
One of the Alabama UDFA darlings, CB Levi Wallace makes his appearance. Wallace replaced Lewis midway through the season and never looked back. He appeared and started in 7 games with 3 pass deflections, 37 total tackles with 24 solo, 13 assisted, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 QB hit. While at times Wallace was inconsistent as he made the jump from CFB to NFL, he was able to remain healthy and show he could lock down the CB2 position. Wallace did suffer an ankle injury during the 2nd Jets game in where his ankle bent oddly as he was attempting to tackle the ball carrier. However, he did not suffer any long term issues and is a near-lock to make the roster barring any surprising performances by others.
2nd year CB Taron Johnson shows up and he made quite the impact as a rookie in 2018. He appeared in 11 games, starting 2 with 1 interception, 3 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 1 sack, 42 total tackles, 34 solo, 8 assisted, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 QB hit. For a rookie coming from a small school, that is an impressive stat line. What makes it even better is the fact that he suffered a torn labrum early in the season opener against the Ravens. He missed the next game but played the entire season with a damaged shoulder before being shut down after the Bills were out of the playoff hunt. I have detailed his injury and recovery at Buffalo Rumblings for those interested. Johnson may be at risk to re-injure next season but still overall low risk. He is certain to make this roster barring any season-ending injuries in training camp.
Finally, CB Tre’Davious White rounds out the group. The stellar 3rd year back out of LSU has really made a mark in the past 2 seasons with the Bills, but hasn’t quite got his dues from the national media. As he continues to play, I expect his stature to grow and be more well known. Regardless of national media perception, opposing teams are certainly aware of what White brings to the table.
He played in 16 games with 16 starts, accumulating 2 interceptions, 8 pass deflections, 54 total tackles, 44 solo, 10 assisted, and 1 tackle for loss. While he was stellar on the field, having minimal injury also did not hurt either. White suffered an ankle injury during practice prior to the Titans game which he did not miss. Unfortunately, he suffered a head injury in the season finale over the Dolphins where he was later downgraded to out. While no official information was released indicating concussion, precautions were still taken to ensure his health. If he was indeed diagnosed with a concussion, this would be the 2nd one of his professional career in as many seasons. White is a player that any coach can put in writing as a starter, the only concern will be who will be playing opposite him.
New faces this year include CB EJ Gaines who was with the Bills in 2017 as a key cog during the playoff run, CB Kevin Johnson, and CB Cam Lewis. All with the exception of Cam Lewis will have a legitimate shot at making this team. We know White, Wallace, and T. Johnson will make the roster, good shot that K. Johnson & Gaines round out the CB position. Pitts & R. Lewis also have a shot but injuries are always the great equalizer at the end of the day, so only time will tell how the cornerback position fleshes out.
Continue to check back for the latest updates and news coming out of One Bills Drive. Follow Banged Up Bills on Facebook, on Twitter @BangedUpBills, on Reddit at u/BangedUpBills, and online at www.bangedupbills.com. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!
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.
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!!
Assessing the severity of E.J Gaines injury, Kelvin Benjamin’s eventual knee surgery, and discussing other player’s updates injury status.
The Bills continue to play with our emotions, winning their home finale against the Miami Dolphins 24-16 which brings their home record to 6-2. This is their best record at home since 1999 which everyone knows is the last time they made the playoffs. I have said on this site several times that I felt they had a playoff run in them; I have also stated that they are just about done. This is my fandom, living and dying week-to-week. I have been here once before as a fan in 2014 when the Bills lost to the Raiders after a rousing win against the Packers the week before. I also recall in 2004 when they played the Steelers at home and lost their chance at a playoff berth. These moments are fleeting during The Drought; as before, we must enjoy this and know that one day, they will make the playoffs again.
Before I let my emotions get the best of me, today’s post as always will be assessing injuries sustained in Sunday’s game. Thankfully, only CB E.J. Gaines was injured midway through the 3rd quarter during a tackle. Upon video review, he comes in low attempt to tackle TE Julius Thomas at which time Thomas turns to his right to absorb the blow, forcing Gaines down as he hits his left knee, rolls over and begins favoring it.
After multiple reviews, there is no planting or pivoting motions, there are no lateral movements, there is no specific mechanism of injury. I am initially stumped as to what his injury is; I suspect he hit it hard and just couldn’t play through it. At worst, he may have sustained a patellar fracture due to the direct hit on the knee, but that is an extreme case which I do not believe to have happened. More information may be released in the coming days, but there wasn’t anything that can indicate any specific injury. Losing him for any extended time will be costly as the team does suffer without his play in the secondary.
Other notes regarding injuries are RB LeSean McCoy, WR Kelvin Benjamin, QB Nathan Peterman, and OT Cordy Glenn. First up is Mccoy who appeared to be injured after reaching 10,000 yards and had to leave the game momentarily midway through the 2nd quarter. After seeing broadcast replay, he got the wind knocked out of him. Later in the 4th quarter, McCoy was hit in the backfield and twisted in the air, landing very hard on his right hip. He was able to get up but was in obvious pain as he walked off the field. He did not return to the game as the offense was no longer needed until victory formation. He may show up on the injury report with a hip injury but should be nothing that will keep him out for Sunday.
Benjamin will continue to show up on the injury report due to his meniscus tear sustained in the Chargers game but did not appear to be limited during this previous Sunday. It is worth mentioning that after the game Benjamin was asked about surgery on his knee after the season and he reported that he would require a procedure. He will most likely require a meniscectomy which involves shaving down the partially torn area to reduce pain, repeated swelling, and range of motion limitations. As he has already been cleared to play, he will most likely not sustain any further damage, but may limit his full abilities. Even injured, Benjamin brings big play abilities to the offense when given the ball.
Peterman has cleared the concussion protocol as of Monday. He appeared to be on track to clear before Sunday’s game, however he may still have been dealing with some dizziness or headaches during Friday’s practice which prevented full clearance. He will be valuable against the Patriots in case QB Tyrod Taylor goes down with an injury. Peterman has shown he can run the offense during the Colts game and can be a game manager.
Finally, Glenn has been placed on IR with his chronic foot/ankle issue which little information is known. I continue to believe he has some type of instability in that region which has prevented him from effectively producing. As has been the theme, specific information is limited which leaves a good portion to be guessed. I will be posting an article during the off-season on the type of procedure that I believe Glenn will be having and will be able to shed light on his availability for 2018.
After Wednesday’s injury report comes out, I expect more names to be added and more information known, specifically Gaines’ knee injury. As of right now, I’m still believing in this team for a playoff run. They still have to do their job, but they have to make the playoffs at some point; why not now? Like everything else, time will tell.
Continue to check back for updates regarding the injury report and any notable updates. Follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for breaking news and my latest thoughts. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!
Analysis of Zay Jones’ knee injury, Taiwan’s forearm, and a recap following the Jets game.
Whether you are a Bills fan or not, reading this, Thursday night was not a good game. Period. The offense never got moving until it was too late, the defense made Josh McCown look fantastic, and the Bills let one slip through their fingers. They’re now 5-3, 1 game back in the AFC East and currently holding the 1st wild card spot. Despite what the Bills fan base says after this loss, the sky is not falling. Every divisional game every year is a grind it out close game due to rivalry and pride. At the end of the day, the Bills came up short and now we will see how they respond. Last time they started 5-2, they lost 7 straight games. I don’t think this team is capable of a losing streak of that magnitude, but many men before me have been wrong.
Getting down to the injury side of things, it was one of the more rougher nights for the Bills this season. Several key players were returning from injury on a short week and several more key players sustained injury. First up is RB LeSean McCoy. McCoy injured his groin on the first offensive series of the game and had to leave briefly. McCoy was able to return shortly afterward but anyone could tell that he wasn’t the same. He lacked explosiveness, inability to cut hard, and unable to move the ball, rushing for only 25 yards. McCoy is the engine to our offense and if he goes down, then losses to the Jets are what happen. I don’t believe this will be a lingering issue as he was able to play the entire game and he has 10 days to rest. To add, he was able to run and perform some cutting, but lost the explosiveness he is known for. I would categorize this as a Grade 1 groin strain which should heal with proper management.
Next injury is WR Zay Jones. Jones suffered a right knee injury after being tripped late in the 2nd quarter. While trying to regain his footing and preventing falling down, Jones stepped awkwardly and hyperextended his knee, falling to the ground immediately. Upon initial observation, one may think ACL. The mechanism for injury was there but Jones avoided that. It appears as though he sustained a hyperextended knee, similar to what Bryce Harper sustained during this past MLB season. It is unknown whether he sustained a bone bruise similar to Harper but further evaluation is required.
Jones was remarkably able to return and play the rest of the game, hauling in several more passes before being injured again in the 4th quarter. There are several reasons why Jones was able to avoid the dreaded ACL tear. First, the knee acts as a hinge, similar to what is seen in a door. The knee bends and extends fully but with various forces, can go past their normal limits. In Jones case, his knee extended further than typically what is available. This injury happened due to the fact that he planted his right foot, attempting to stay upright while falling forward, leading to the joint to give.
Jones avoided a worse injury due to the fact that he was falling forward as he was planting his leg. His ankle joint was able to absorb some of the force, with the foot initially going into plantarflexion or pointed downward to stabilize as his knee was bending back. Thankfully, his foot did come up off the turf into dorsiflexion or bending up as he fell forward. Had his foot been stuck more in the turf or been hit directly through the knee, the injury would have been worse. Finally, it helps that he was not able to pivot to change directions laterally, leading to preservation of the ACL. In injuries such as this, there is concern for the PCL which prevents the knee from going backwards like that, but as he was able to return, it does not appear that he tore the PCL. There is concern for a PCL sprain or bone bruise upon further examination, but with the extended break, it may be inconsequential. As there is no updated information at this time noting severity, it is unknown whether he will miss any time. Chances are he won’t, but too early to tell. Either way, Zay Jones caught a very lucky break Thursday.
I’m overall surprised that he was able to return to the game and continue to run effectively after the injury. I believe that our medical staff would not put a player back out there that could risk further injury especially at a high level position. I did observe him wearing a compression sleeve but no bulky bracing which will assist for any swelling but provide minimal support.
Finally, Taiwan Jones got injured while trying to recover an onside kick late in the 4th quarter. Upon getting up to a seated position, the medical staff was supporting Jones’ left elbow indicating possible elbow injury or shoulder. Replays show that his arm got caught up in the pile and a helmet crashing into his forearm during the onside recovery. Unfortunately, reports indicated that Taiwan Jones fractured his forearm and will be done for the season.
A fracture is quite simple in terms of injury severity. A bone is broken at some point in the structure leading to instability and significant pain. Jones did not sustain a fracture which protruded through the skin which allows for the management to be more conservative. He will possibly require surgery depending on the severity and complexity of the fracture. He could hypothetically come back if they pushed recovery, but it is a bigger bone compared to what Jordan Matthews and Ramon Humber sustained and would require extra stability. Had this been McCoy or Taylor, it may be considered to push for a return. While Jones is an important part of the team, he is not what drives the offense. Placing him on IR will allow the Bills to bring in a new player to gain experience to provide depth and try out for next year.
As the Bills have an extended break between games, this allows these injuries to have a greater chance to get healthy with the exception of Taiwan Jones. As I’ve said before, no NFL team is immune from injury. The Bills are doing incredibly well with avoiding serious injury. However, despite that luck, the Bills still have to win those games that are winnable to turn things around for long term success. Going into the Saints game, while their offense continues to be high powered, their defense is suspect and will be playing at New Era Stadium which will provide a favorable atmosphere for the Bills to go 5-0 at home.
It has been reported that TE Charles Clay and CB E.J. Gaines should be returning from injury. It is surprising that Clay is able to return quicker than originally thought, but is a welcome addition. Gaines returning will provide an immediate upgrade to our secondary that without him, may be exploited by Drew Brees and the Saints.
Continue to check back for updates and new articles regarding Bills injuries and other topics of interest. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!
Educating on the all too common hamstring strain, levels of severity, and prevention.
As the Bills are on a bye this upcoming Sunday, this allows some deviation away from Bills injury talks to discuss general matters, my thoughts and opinions, and review ideas/thoughts that may get lost in the shuffle of the busy season filled with injuries. Already this season, we have seen Pro Bowl, All-Pro, and HOF caliber players go down with injuries that are potentially career ending, career altering, and just plain unfortunate. Over the next week, I will look to identify and explain general injuries that regularly occur and how to differentiate between injuries and their severity.
Today’s post will look at the all too common hamstring strain. This is an injury even the best conditioned athlete can sustain. This article will not focus on one specific player, but rather educate and inform what the hamstrings are, how they operate, why they’re injured, and prevention.
The hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles in the back of the thigh consisting of the biceps femoris on the outside and the semimembranosis and semitendonosis on the inside. Together these three muscles attach to parts of the upper femur and bottom of the hip which is called the ischial tuberosity . This is the bony part that everyone sits on when they are in a chair. At the other end, they connect to the top of the tibia and fibula, which is the lower leg bones. Due to the muscles crossing over two joints, they have different functions. Together, these muscles allow the leg to extend and drive the body forward, along with bending the knee. During running and blocking, these muscles cycle through the process of shortening and lengthening at regular intervals depending on the position of the leg.
To help you envision the hamstring functioning, picture a sprinting athlete. Typically, one foot is in contact with the ground, the other in the air. During the foot that is in contact with the ground, the hamstrings with other muscles assist in extending the thigh to assist in moving the body forward. As the body moves forward and begins to push off, the other leg begins the process towards beginning to make contact with the ground. Once the original leg finishes pushing off, the knee begins to bend to assist in clearing the foot to bring the leg forward. Even during the portion where the leg makes contact with the ground, the hamstring is loading back up and eccentrically contracting which means that it is accepting a load while lengthening, which is the most taxing type of muscle contraction. While the hamstring does sound confusing, it can be, but know that without them, you’re not doing much walking without them
During times of injury, the muscle can be overworked, overstretched, or fatigued, leading to part of the muscle to become injured. Depending on the severity and location can dictate the recovery time. A strain is due to the injury to the muscle or the muscle bone attachment. Grade 1 tears are the least severe in which a small portion of the muscle tears during excessive activity. This can heal up rather quickly but several days of rest, stretching, and light exercise can remedy the muscle.
Grade 2 hamstring tear is where at a moderate portion of the muscle tears with a greater force, leading the player to limp and be unable to properly use the affected leg as intended. Typically, there is greater bruising and swelling with initial difficulty placing weight, keeping the player off it for some time. Bruising, poor functional control, and tenderness may occur during this time.
Grade 3 hamstring tear is where the muscle nearly or completely tears. It can also pull a chunk of the bone away from the bony attachment, most likely at the ischial tuberosity, known as an avulsion. This is due to this area being the anchor point, meaning the harder the muscle contracts, the harder it pulls on the anchor point, leading to eventual overload. At this level of injury, the muscle is quite weak and function is no longer normal.
These types of injuries occur when an athlete suddenly tries to decelerate and change direction, hurdling a player, or trying to push their body faster and faster. This can also occur during blocking, trying to maintain their ground as their being pushed forward and backwards, eventually the muscle gives out and the player becomes injured as a result. There are countless ways for the hamstring to be injured, these are just several of the more common mechanisms of injury.
While the injury is not fully preventable, there are certain steps that can be taken to reduce the incidence. Some preventable measures that can be taken is ensuring proper hydration, conditioning, stretching, and strengthening. Some things that can’t be controlled is previous hamstring injury and increased age. The best method to treat an injury is to prevent. However, I would be hard pressed to find an athlete that has not sustained some sort of hamstring injury during the course of their athletic endeavors.
As Bills fan, we have already seen several players deal with hamstring injuries this season with varying degrees of severity. As a PT, I am not concerned about the long term management of the injuries. I know these players need time to rest, recover, and not to rush back. I would expect to see these injuries increase as the season wears on and the bodies begin to break down. So far, several players on the Bills such as Marcell Dareus, E.J. Gaines, Matt Milano, Nick O’Leary, and Deon Lacey have all spent some time on the injury report this season due to this malady.
I hope this helped educate your understanding on the purpose of the hamstring, why it gets injured, and what it means when a Bills player or another player you follow goes down with the injury. Over the next week, I will continue to outline other common injuries or any specific injuries that occur. Thank you for your time; just doing my job one post at a time to help educate the fellow Bills fan and realize that not every injury is season ending or dashing the team’s success each year.
Assessing the latest injuries prior to the showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals and how it affects depth.
The injury list continues to grow for the Buffalo Bills heading into the Week 5 match up against the Cincinnati Bengals. While the only notable players that are sure to be out are LB Ramon Humber and WR Jordan Matthews, there are still many others that are dealing with injuries. Most of these injuries appear to be players getting banged up due to the rigors of the NFL season.
Today’s article will review most everyone that has appeared on the injury list this week and attempt to determine the true severity of each player’s injury. Staring off with players who have not been limited in practice with injuries are as follows: RB LeSean McCoy (wrist), RB Mike Tolbert (thumb), and DT Jerel Worthy (thumb). It was observed that Mike Tolbert injured his hand at the end of the 3rd quarter which led to a fumble that Buffalo recovered. It is unknown how Jerel Worthy injured his thumb, but it was injured enough to appear on the injury report. Both players most likely sustained sprained thumbs which will affect play, but with proper management which may consist of taping for stability or even a wrist brace to reduce risk for further re-injury.
McCoy continues to appear weekly on the injury report due to a nagging wrist injury sustained in the season opener. While he continues to be a full participant, it does worry me that he continues to re-injure this wrist. He has been observed leaving each game briefly due to wrist pain after running the ball. He appears to jam it while cradling the ball, leading to pain and possible weakness. He could tape the wrist or wear a brace, but this limits the ability to cradle the football and effectively block. I expect him to miss some time during the game due to wrist re-injury, but the upcoming bye week may allow him to get the rest he requires to prevent worsening of the injury.
Those limited in practice were WR Kaelin Clay (back), DT Marcell Dareus (ankle), CB E.J. Gaines (groin), OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), RB Taiwan Jones (knee), CB Shareece Wright (back), DE Eddie Yarbrough (thigh), DT Kyle Williams (thumb), S Micah Hyde (knee), and DE Shaq Lawson (groin). Glenn continues to deal with his chronic foot/ankle injuries and Dareus is still recovering from his sprained ankle, which is consistent with this type of injury. Lawson injured his groin last week in practice and missed the Atlanta game.
Kyle Williams thumb injury may be similar to Jerel Worthy’s injury in that it may have been sprained due to the hand fighting that a defensive lineman performs during each play, getting the thumb hyperextended or caught. Williams is tough as nails and won’t let something like this slow him down. Shareece Wright and Kaelin Clay’s back injuries are injuries that not much information is available. This may be something that occurred during practice or something that is nagging. Considering that the spine is made up of bones, ligaments, and tendon attachments, it is quite possible they pulled a muscle, over rotated, or extended; causing pain and difficulty during tackling, running, and changing direction.
Eddie Yarbrough and Taiwan Jones also have little information regarding the nature of their injuries. These may be just contusions and limit the ability to go full speed, but do not concern me about underlying issues. Yarbrough continues to be a diamond in the rough, playing exceptionally well and Jones handles kickoff duties, which affect more game play rather than another body on the sidelines.
Finally, E.J. Gaines and Micah Hyde are questionable along with Cordy Glenn and Shareece Wright. As mentioned last article, Gaines’ groin severity is unknown at this moment, the team may take the approach that they did with Lawson last week and see how he feels going into the game, shutting him down if things don’t feel right. Micah Hyde is dealing with a knee injury that was not noted until Thursday afternoon. It was initially reported that he was dealing with general soreness which has since been narrowed down to a knee issue. This may be as simple as a sprain which he needs to rehab correctly or it may be something worse that the team wants to see how it responds before taking further action. Without video, it is impossible to speculate what specific injury may be ailing him. Losing Hyde going into the Bengals game will be a huge loss in the secondary considering the offensive weapons the Bengals have and several injuries already in the Buffalo secondary.
If this game were to be a non-conference opponent, I expect more players to be out include the above mentioned Glenn, Hyde, Wright, and Gaines. As the Bills would benefit from winning every game, it is more important to win the conference games if it comes down to tiebreakers at the end for playoff seeding. Excluding Gaines, I expect all the players listed above to play. Some of these players may see a limited snap count such as Dareus did last week. It remains to be seen if his snap count is limited secondary to discipline or whether they want to ensure that the ankle heals correctly. I am in favor of limiting snap counts in order to get the best players on the field.
I believe this game is winnable with the way the defense is playing, simple as that. How things play out with the questionable players, along with Ramon Humber’s and Jordan Matthews’ replacements will dictate the quality of play. McDermott and Beane have constantly been addressing depth and finding the type of players that fit their schemes, which in turn should reduce the drop off in quality of play dealing with replacement players.
Continue to check back for injury updates after the game and break down roster depth, injuries heading into the bye, and any injury highlights from around the league. Thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!
Breaking down the Bills latest injuries including thumb fractures, surgical approaches, and long term outlook.
This is a Bills team that continues to impress so far into the 2017 season. The defense is looking better than ever, Tyrod Taylor is moving the ball well, and serious injuries continue to be at a minimum. The Bills pulled out a solid win against the defending NFC champions, winning 23-17. These Bills look good, but I am not getting my hopes up yet. This happened in 2008 and 2011, both of which became lost seasons.
Unfortunately, with a hard nose win, comes some tough injuries which does affect how the next few weeks play out. A total of 4 players went out with some significant injuries that some will miss extended time. LB Ramon Humber and WR Jordan Matthews are out with broken thumbs, also known as the first metacarpal, the portion of the thumb that is highlighted as the broken area in the picture. Reports indicate that both will have surgery with Matthews requiring a pin to hold the fracture in place. There are not reports that Humber will require the same technique which may indicate a different type of fracture which may affect healing time.
While there are multiple ways to break a thumb and various ways the bone can break, the surgical options are fairly straight forward. For Matthews’, he will require a pin or “K-wire” which is inserted into the bone to hold it in place while it heals, which typically takes 3 weeks until it can be pulled out. A small piece of the wire sticks out of the skin and is protected to reduce infection. This is called a Bennett’s type approach. He may require this surgery due to a portion of the bone that has become fractured and requires stabilization to ensure proper healing.
Humber’s surgery may take the approach known as a Rolando’s type approach due to the nature of the break. Humber may have had several small breaks in the first metacarpal requiring a surgical approach to bring together all the various pieces together using a plate and screws to secure the area while it heals. Considering that the surgical area will be sewed shut, it is possible to have a cast placed over the area and continue playing. To better understand the difference between the thumb surgeries, please check out this link. While it does have basic drawings, it is the best resource that makes understanding the differences easily.
Next up is S Colt Anderson with a broken forearm. Any of my readers, please tell me what the Bills see in this guy? He continually gets hurt and I personally fail to see the value in him being on the roster. However, he suffered a broken forearm and has since been placed on IR. Typically, an injury such as this is sustained due to a direct blow to the arm such as during blocking or hitting the arm against a helmet. It is unknown which bone he broke in his arm, but he will require surgery which typically places a rod and screws to stabilize the area to ensure that it heals properly.
Finally, E.J. Gaines suffered a pulled groin on a hard tackle after changing direction in the 4th quarter and left the game. As of now, it is unknown how severe the injury is, but if it is similar to Shaq Lawson’s injury, then he should recover well. He was able to walk off on his own power and did not need any immediate attention which may indicate a mild strain. To understand further what the groin is and how it affects the football player, check out this article.
Expect to see Gaines at worst miss the next game, but considering he has more time than Lawson to recover, it’s possible for him to play in some fashion Sunday. Depending on the severity of the Humber fracture, he could come back after the bye and play in a cast while he continues to heal. Matthews on the other hand, makes his money using his hands and will require a longer recovery time because of this and the nature of the surgery. He will come back at some point during the season, but I wouldn’t expect him to come back until the Saints game on November 12th. This will give him at least 4 weeks to recover and then with the Jets playing the Bills on Thursday night, no sense in rushing him back and gives him an extra week to recover.
To make up for these losses, the Bills signed WR Philly Brown, S Trae Elston, and S Shamarko Thomas, moving S Colt Anderson to IR and releasing S Robert Blanton and DE Eric Lee. The Bills continue to make moves to keep the depth at a premium and sign players who know the system, allowing for a smaller learning curve.
Continue to check back for updates and any new injuries. These Bills may be real, let’s see how real they can get! Go Bills!!
Analyzing Buffalo Bills injuries coming off Week 2 loss against the Panthers.
Well, that game is over. That was a tough one to watch from an offensive standpoint. LeSean McCoy ran for 9 yards and the offense scored 3 points. Not the kind of football that I want to watch nor root for. While the defense kept the Panthers to 9 points in their own house, there are no moral victories. Only upside is that the Bills continue to stay relatively healthy, once again, not sustaining any significant injuries.
Today’s post will consist of any Bills players who sustained any sort injury and breakdown potential ramifications for future games. First up, Marcell Dareus sustained an ankle injury early in the 1st quarter and sat out for some time. Watching the game, there was no injury timeout or replays showing the injury. Considering that Dareus returned to the game, it does not appear to be anything concerning. Best case scenario is that Dareus suffered a mild lateral sprain which was taped up on the sidelines, giving him stability to finish the game. Expect for Dareus to be limited in the next several practices as he recovers and be a full participant next week against Denver.
Next up is CB E.J. Gaines who was down momentarily with a shoulder injury. If you recall, Gaines suffered a shoulder injury that knocked him out of last week’s contest against the Jets. While not confirmed, it appeared to be the same shoulder, believed to the left side. This injury was sustained during a tackle near the end of the 1st quarter. While it was initially reported that his shoulder was not concerning last week, re-injuring the same shoulder now makes it concerning. Considering that it was a direct hit to the area, he may have suffered an AC sprain or possible SC sprain which would limit arm elevation, vital for tackling and batting passes down. Expect to see Gaines be listed on the injury report, too early to tell if he misses next game.
Cordy Glenn was next with an ankle injury sustained in the 2nd half. No video or injury timeout occurred leading to further review, but the fact that Glenn continues to be hampered with foot and ankle injuries is concerning. No updated reports indicate that this may be a multi week injury, but expect Glenn to be out of practice the next several days. It does help that McDermott has been rotating his lineman out to keep them fresh which has allowed Dion Dawkins to get vital playing time in cases such as this. I still believe that Glenn may be dealing with some sort of ankle instability which could lead to further sprains if not conservatively managed.
Two injuries that are not concerning are Kyle Williams going down with an eye injury and Andre Holmes with a chest injury. Both returned to the game quickly indicating that no damage occurred. Williams appeared to suffer a cut above his right eye during a tackle and Holmes appeared to have the wind knocked out of him briefly. Williams is too tough to let an eye laceration slow him down and Holmes still made plays towards the end of the game which allows these injuries to become afterthoughts.
Finally, LeSean McCoy went down with a right wrist injury during a tackle at the end of the 3rd quarter but was able to return. Last week, McCoy reported that his hand went numb during a similar play last week and pulled himself out briefly. Despite his hand going numb and then returning to the game tells me professionally that no structural damage has occurred. What is most likely happening is when McCoy goes down, he may be striking the field with his elbow and hitting his funny bone. When someone hits their funny bone, they are actually directly striking their ulnar nerve which is slightly exposed on the inside part of the elbow. This can cause immediate numbness along with the pins and needles feeling as though the hand fell asleep. McCoy could reduce the incidence by wearing elbow pads, but may be a comfort issue or may limit the ability to cradle the football.
A final note, earlier today, it was reported that Shaq Lawson suffered a nerve contusion during yesterday’s game and has begun to recover. Once again, no injury timeout or detailed video indicating when this occurred. Reports also do not identify the area that the nerve contusion occurred. Until further reports are made, I will have to assume that this is a similar injury that occurred with McCoy mentioned above.
Updates will be made once the official injury report comes out and more information is released. None of these injuries except Glenn’s ankle concern me. I expect players to get injured, miss plays/time, and not always be at 100%. While the results are not what us as fans want, I would rather have a close loss with everyone coming back to play next week than a win with a major player going down with a season ending injury. Expect further articles to briefly analyze Week 2 injuries around the league and updates on any Bills injuries once more information becomes available. As always, willing to answer questions, break down injuries, and educate my fellow fans on injuries occurring with the Buffalo Bills and in the NFL.
Breaking down the Bills injury report for Week 2 against the Panthers.
Going into Week 2, the Bills continue to look healthy as they travel down to North Carolina to battle McDermott/Beane’s former employer, the Carolina Panthers. While the Bills are not immune to injuries, they still continue to look better than other teams around the league injury wise, losing no big pieces such as the Chiefs and Jaguars did last week.
Breaking down the injury report, DT Jerel Worthy is still out with a concussion from the preseason game against the Lions on 8/31. As he is not practicing, he is still most likely in the early stages of the concussion protocol, most likely on Level 2-3 at best. To refresh, he may be cleared to begin light aerobic activity with watching game film and participating in team meetings. He may also be cleared for lifting and increasing intensity with aerobic activity. Considering he has not been moved to IR with designation to return, it appears as though he is continuing to recover and may be ready by Week 3-4. The fact that he has not recovered as quickly as Tyrod Taylor did indicates that it may be a more severe concussion; also consider positional demands. Though he is not a starting player, he is crucial for depth and can continue to provide effective play in place of the starters.
Those limited in practice are as follows: S Colt Anderson (foot), CB Leonard Johnson (quad) and LB Tanner Vallejo (knee). Thankfully, none of these players are starters, but for a team to be successful, they must have depth. Colt Anderson has rarely seen the field since joining the Bills last year. He has been described as a special teams ace, but has yet to show his array of skills so far. Considering that he has not been outright waived yet, this indicates that the team will continue to wait for his recovery. As for what is ailing him, professionally, I have been unable to truly assess as there is no film or detailed description of injury on him. Leonard Johnson is listed with a quad; due to the position and demands, possibly could be a quad contusion, which is typically known as a deep bruise. This would limit running forward/backwards and prevent planting effectively to perform coverage duties in the secondary. Finally, Tanner Vallejo is listed as a knee and continues to be limited. Early in the preseason, Vallejo sustained a shoulder injury which knocked him out for several preseason games. It is unknown when Vallejo sustained his knee injury, but it was reported that he had a knee scope which indicates that he may have had fraying of the meniscus or a loose body, causing pain and discomfort. As a knee scope is a surgical procedure, as minimal as it is, will still require rehab and rest. He will have to ensure that his knee does not swell up frequently and can adjust to game time activity. Regardless, this is not a good start to Vallejo’s rookie campaign.
Those cleared for full practice were as follows: TE Charles Clay (shoulder), CB E.J. Gaines (shoulder), OT Cordy Glenn (foot), RB LeSean McCoy (wrist/groin), and FB Mike Tolbert (knee). In my previous article, Gaines and McCoy sustained injuries in the win over the Jets that knocked McCoy out briefly and knocked Gaines out for the game. Gaines’ injury was not reported to be serious and does not appear to have any long lasting effects. McCoy is worrisome as he is the force that drives the offense. McCoy stated after the game that he did not injure his wrist severely, but that it went numb briefly during the previous run into the end zone. It has also been reported later that he is dealing with a groin injury that was most likely sustained in practice. While he is a full participant, this is still something that must be watched due to requiring the groin to be ready for bursts and cutting, moves especially crucial to any running back.
Other injuries including Glenn, Tolbert, and Clay do not appear to be serious. While Glenn continues to have issues with his foot, it appears to now be different from the ankle injuries he dealt with at the beginning of training camp. There is not much information regarding the exact ailment; he is able to play, splitting time with Dion Dawkins to keep both lineman fresh and healthy. Clay and Tolbert did not appear to be removed from the Jets game for injury, possibly indicating that they are banged up due to the physical nature of the game. As practice is important, rest is more important. Teams under the current CBA are allowed 14 padded practices during the first 11 weeks of the season and coaches are not required to use all of them. I believe that McDermott will limit padded practices and provide maintenance days for veterans, focusing on proper play calling, technique, and keeping everyone healthy to maintain depth.
The Bills certainly have a winnable game later today. Cam Newton is coming off a rotator cuff tear repair which should not limit him physically, but the rust was evident in Week 1. Add in the fact that McDermott knows the nuances of the Carolina defense and personnel, expect to see the Bills to exploit those weaknesses. Continue to look for updates after the game with injury review, analysis around the league of significant injuries, and any other big news. Thank you for your time and Go Bills!