Bills Week 15 Injury Review- Lions

Assessing the latest Bills injuries following the win over the Detroit Lions.

Sunday was certainly a nail biter! The Bills managed to squeak out a win over the lowly Lions 14-13 to move to 5-9 on the season. However, the win didn’t come without sacrifice as injuries continue to mount and will force the team to shuffle the roster around in order to get to the end of the season. Today’s post will assess the injuries sustained and what they mean going forward into Week 16.

The most serious injury of the day happened to RB Marcus Murphy (elbow) who suffered a dislocated elbow late in the 2nd quarter. Murphy ran up the middle and as he began going down, he planted his left arm on the turf and Lions LB Jarrad Davis came in and hit his elbow with enough force that it gave way and dislocated. As expected, he appeared to be in significant pain but was able to walk to the locker room with the assistance of the training staff. After the game, it was reported that the elbow had to be reduced or in other words, put back in place on the field by Ian Rappaport. As a result on the injury, his day was done. While the elbow itself is rather stable, it can dislocate just as any other joint and will still take 1-4 weeks for him to return to full function per most guidelines. My assessment is that it takes the better part of a month for him to regain full function without any associating fractures. If you recall, CB Phillip Gaines sustained the same injury earlier in the season, missing one game. However, Murphy would require greater use of his elbow to cradle the football and fend off defenders which would necessitate a longer recovery. Murphy has since been moved to IR which is the smartest move at this point as there is nothing to play for and he would not be able to return to 100% by the end of the season. He will be able to make a full recovery for OTA’s and have no lingering issues.

Another injury that appeared to be rather serious initially was WR Isaiah McKenzie (calf). The shifty wide out went down suddenly with no contact during a punt return midway through the 3rd quarter. Initial fears were an ACL tear or Achilles due to suddenly going down without contact. An Achilles tear was especially concerning when McKenzie began pointing to his right calf, eventually requiring a cart to get off the field. However, almost miraculously, he was able to return in the 4th quarter and finish out the game. This alone indicates he avoided serious injury with his ability to return. While riding on the cart, it was observed that he had his feet in full dorsiflexion by training staff. Thoughts later by @ProFootballDoc Dr. David Chao, speculated that he may have had a muscle cramp which required stretching and IV to recover. This appeared to be the case as there was no specific mechanism for injury or tell tale signs upon video review. The severity of the injury was magnified due to the presence of the cart which certainly altered my thought process at the time. As expected, McKenzie was still clearly not 100% during his return but was able to be available dealing with some residual pain and soreness. Believe it or not, this is an injury that he should not miss any time with and should finish out the season.

LB Tremaine Edmunds (back) required a quick assessment from training staff after getting blindsided by OL Frank Ragnow early in the 3rd quarter. Walking off the field, Edmunds appeared to be walking gingerly and motioning to his back. Edmunds was able to return to the game next defensive series and did not appear to be laboring through the rest of the game. This is not an injury that I expect him to miss any time or even find his way onto the injury report.

RB Keith Ford suffered what appears to be a left ankle injury late in the 3rd quarter which forced the team to go to FB Patrick DiMarco and at times, empty backfields, briefly before Ford was able to return early in the 4th quarter. The ankle injury that he sustained isn’t conclusive but may have been a typical inversion sprain or contusion that was taped up and allowed him to return. This is not an injury that should sideline him for any duration of time. He should play next week as the Bills have been running 3 running backs all season and with Murphy out, Ford moves up.

FB Patrick DiMarco (thigh/knee) and LB Corey Thompson (left leg) suffered what appears to be hard hits to the left thigh/knee area for both players when trying to run back up field towards the ball carrier on a punt return early in the 4th quarter. DiMarco got tangled up with LS Reid Ferguson who was knocked out of the way by DB Quadre Diggs, forcing Ferguson into DiMarco for some friendly fire. As for Thompson, he got tied up with S Tavon Wilson and went down injuring his left leg in the process. Both were able to return later in the game without any residual effects. No concerns for the rest of the season.

The Bills have since moved Murphy to IR and signed WR Victor Bolden from the 49ers practice squad to fill his roster spot and attempt to find another WR for potentially next year. The Bills should be able to get to the finish line with this roster barring any further injuries, hopefully finishing on a high note by beating both the Patriots and Dolphins. These past few weeks are the fears we all have as injuries can certainly derail a season. While this season is essentially done, it still is terrible to see guys who have worked hard all season end their year prematurely and not on their terms. Regardless, all these injuries still allow the players to come back at full health next season as they march towards a Super Bowl championship.

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!!

 

Preseason Injury Breakdown Part II

Highlighting the injuries around the NFL following Preseason Week 2.

The NFL has finished preseason week 2 and the only constants are that rather meaningless games are being played and players continued to be injured. Since Part I of my preseason injury analysis, 29 players have gone down with some type of significant injury. While it is difficult to gauge the exact players due to dates and delayed reporting by teams, there is still a sizable amount of players placed on injured reserve or expected to miss significant time. Please be aware, there are some players that have been waived with injury settlements that have either signed with a new team or they are in the process and will alter the numbers when final count is made at the end of preseason.

Once again, the Bills escape the injury bug with major role players. The only player to note is rookie TE Jason Croom was placed on IR with an ankle injury. Reports are scarce on the severity of injury, leading to the possibility that he may get an injury settlement at a later date. Previously, I had highlighted the fact that the New England Patriots missed the injury bug up to that point. Within a day of publication, rookie DE Derek Rivers went down for the season with an ACL tear and sprained LCL. This occurred during a joint practice with the Texans on kickoff coverage. Rivers was the Patriots top pick of this most recent draft in the 3rd round.

To add to the ever increasing ACL tear total, the current number is 21, adding 3 from last time. With the previously mentioned Rivers; also suffering torn ACL’s were LB Tank Carder of the Browns, and LT George Fant of the Seahawks. All of these tears occurred during the 2nd preseason game with the exception of Rivers who was injured during a full speed drill during practice. According to the ACL Recovery Club on Twitter, there are on average of 50 ACL tears/season. Already through 2 preseason games, the NFL is rapidly approaching the halfway mark.

While there is a smaller sample size with this article compared to the previous article, there still have been several other serious injuries. Shawn Williams of the Bengals dislocated his elbow and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. Danny Shelton of the Browns sprained his knee and is expected to be out 3-6 weeks. Keeon Johnson of the Giants fractured his foot, requiring surgery, landing on IR. The rest of the injuries consisted of generalized ankle, hamstring, and unknown injuries. Depending on the value the team has placed on that particular player will determine whether he gets released or spends the season on IR. To make special note, I am not including Odell Beckham in this due the minor ankle injury he sustained in Monday nights game against the Browns. He is on track to possibly return Week 1 and has not reported any significant damage.

Thankfully, there are not any superstars on this most recent list. Unfortunately, there are some significant role players that did dent that particular’s team depth. I expect that several role players to go down, continue to see major injuries occur, and several teams fortunes change based on these outcomes. Of the teams hurt the most of the past week, the Browns and Giants lead the way with 4 players followed by the Seahawks, Colts, Buccaneers, and Bengals with 2. Continue to follow this blog for updates and new articles. If you have any specific injuries or players you would like me to analyze, please leave a comment, message me via Twitter at @kyletrimble88 or e-mail me at kyletrimble88@gmail.com.