Week 17 Bills Injury Preview- Jets

Will this finally be the week that Nsekhe returns?

The big concern going into this game against the Jets is how long starters will play & what players will be inactive. This is especially worrisome due to the recent comments by Jets S Jamal Adams in which he stated they would be hunting along with Jets DC Gregg Williams. Along with that comment, Bills fans have to worry about cheap shots from DE Henry Anderson. If you recall, he blindsided K Stephen Hauschka last season which threw his game off for the rest of the season seen below. 

Thankfully, the Bills continue to manage their injuries well & are not forced to play players who are injured. Below are the injuries prior to the game & inactives.

OUT

WR Andre Roberts (foot)

Roberts was a surprise addition to the injury report following Saturday’s game. Reviewing the film, it’s not clear when he suffered his foot injury. There aren’t many plays that show when he could have possibly injured his foot, but a possible culprit is when he was blocking for QB Josh Allen on a designed run play early in the 3rd quarter, it appears he got kicked on the right ankle.

There was also another point in the 3rd quarter with 3:35 left in where he appeared to be limping slightly after the play. There didn’t appear to be a mechanism of injury prior to this play either which makes this difficult to identify the exact problem. Considering he hasn’t practiced this week & has already been ruled out, we can only hope that he will be ready for the playoffs. 

DE Shaq Lawson (left hamstring)

Lawson has not been able to practice this week due to a hamstring strain suffered in Saturday’s loss to the Patriots. This occurred after a tackle for loss in the backfield during the 2nd half of the game. The actual tackle itself did not appear to be an issue, but rather the celebration afterward. He began to get up & celebrate, grabbing the hamstring in the process.

He was able to continue playing for the rest of the game but the injury appeared to catch up with him later. Even after a slight strain, the muscle is still painful & sore, requiring frequent stretching & controlled movement to allow healing but not overwork the area in order to prevent further injury. As he has already been ruled out, this is the smart move to do considering how valuable he will be in the playoffs. It will be interesting to note how the coaching staff rotates the defensive ends as there are only 4 on the roster.

QUESTIONABLE

OT Ty Nsekhe (right ankle)

I feel like we have been having the same conversation for the past 6 weeks regarding his injury. But new information is available! He finally appears to have made the expected progress, participating in practice on Thursday & looking quite well on film. He is moving with the fluidity of someone who is close to returning & appears to be close to 100%. 

Considering how he is moving, I’m making the assumption that he could have returned sooner, but how OT Cody Ford was playing, he wasn’t needed immediately. At this point, it is unnecessary for Nsekhe to play in Week 17, but he has missed the last 5 games which means he would benefit from some live reps in order to prepare for the playoffs. 

CLEARED TO PLAY

C Mitch Morse (right low ankle sprain)

Morse scared many Bills fans late in the 4th quarter in which he had his ankle rolled up on, reportedly feeling several pops & having difficulty walking on it initially. Fortunately, he was able to practice in full this week & not appear to have any limitations despite what appears to be a low ankle sprain. 

Morse is yet another starter that may play several series but overall benefit from a well-deserved rest day or even being declared inactive in order to ensure his health.

OTHER INJURIES

DT Harrison Phillips (left ACL)

Phillips has been out since September, diligently working back from a torn ACL that ended his season prematurely in the win over Cincinnati. Occasionally, news is released of Phillps attending practice, performing his rehab, & still participating in team activities. While it wasn’t expected that Phillips would return until next season, it’s great to see the progress being done in rehab. In the first tweet, below is Phillips running on an underwater treadmill to reduce the stress that land-based running would cause. In the other tweet, you can see the progress that Phillips has made & is demonstrating the proper muscle control during his step-up routine with a weighted vest. 

Even though he is unable to play this year, Phillips still understands his job & purpose on the team which further validates the culture that has been instilled at One Bills Drive. I expect to see more clips in the near future & see him inch closer & closer towards returning to football activities.

Probable Inactives:

TE Lee Smith

RB Frank Gore

S Micah Hyde

S Jordan Poyer

DE Shaq Lawson

WR Andre Roberts

G Quinton Spain

This would be a game that the Bills would be foolish to not play all their reserve players for much needed live snaps. It is probably the best bet to allow some of the veteran players a true rest day, have all the starters play several series & then act as backups in order to get through the game. It would be great to get to 11 wins, but not at the cost of a key contributor going down. 

The Jets are still a talented team, this is the NFL after all. But this is the best-case scenario in where the backups can get extensive playing time & get some film for next season when the roster churns over. Plus, I don’t think in any circumstance that Terry or Kim Pegula are forcing the coach to play certain players as in the still hotly debated topic of QB Doug Flutie or Rob Johnson. This will be a good game to allow the Bills to play & not worry about the outcome. There are bigger fish to fry next week with either traveling to Kansas City or Houston, both being true tests.

Top Photo Credit:

SBNation.com

Week 13 Bills Injury Review- Cowboys

How healthy will be Bills be heading into Week 14?

How bout dem Bills!! McDermott & crew landed in Dallas with questions about how good they were despite their 8-3 record. They leave Dallas with a 9-3 record after having shown 32 million people why they should be taken seriously. Outside of that opening Dallas drive that ended with a score, Buffalo then took control & never looked back, walking away with a 26-15 victory. On top of that, the Bills didn’t even suffer any notable injuries compared to the Cowboys coming into the game beat up & left even worse with Connor Williams going down with a torn ACL & Amari Cooper getting knocked out with a knee injury. Despite there being no significant injuries for the Bills, there are still several players to review as the final stretch of the season ramps up. 

S Micah Hyde (left leg)

Hyde sent a scare into Bills fans early on when he was tended to by trainers late in the 1st quarter. On replay with :38 left, it appeared that he got kicked or had his lower leg hit as he attempted to complete the tackle during the play. He was attended to by the trainers, slightly favoring the left leg as he walked off. He was briefly getting replaced by S Kurt Coleman for 1 play before returning for the rest of the game. Considering he returned so quickly, I don’t anticipate this being a concern moving forward, especially with the extra few days to recover. 

WR Robert Foster (right hamstring)

Foster was a surprise activation for Thursday’s game despite dealing with a right hamstring injury sustained in the win over the Broncos. He was questionable going into the game but managed to suit up & be quite effective. The fact that he was active bucked the trend of the conservative approach that the team takes towards hamstrings. This doesn’t mean that the team is making poor decisions, it just shows that there are variables when managing these injuries.

Either he suffered cramping during Sunday’s game & was fine for Thursday or he really only sustained a mild strain that allowed him to play through. He was able to play in 42% of the offensive snaps with 2 targets for 1 reception for 20 yards & 43% snaps on special teams. Foster also drew a key defensive pass interference early in the 1st quarter which helped keep the drive alive but did not result in any points. 

Regardless, Foster did his job & will have extra time to rest between now & December 8th when the Bills host the talented Baltimore Ravens. 

C Mitch Morse (right 5th digit)

Morse didn’t appear fazed by his finger injury which led him to be questionable heading into Thursday’s matchup. He was able to play in 100% of the offensive snaps & seemed able to handle his duties as normal. I don’t anticipate that this injury will linger & with the extra time off, this should be a non-factor heading into Week 14.

OT Ty Nsekhe (right ankle)

Nsekhe missed his 2nd straight game with the sprained ankle sustained in the win over the Dolphins. While he wasn’t active as expected, Marcel Louis-Jacques reported that Nsekhe made the trip down to Dallas to support his teammates. The significance of this is that Nsekhe was observed walking, albeit, with a noticeable limp but without a boot on following the game. 

This is promising to indicate that his swelling & pain appear to be improving, requiring less use of the walking boot. Considering he is still limping walking around, this means that he is still a ways off before returning. He will have to be walking pain-free & begin practicing on the sidelines before it is even considered that he returns to playing. I have not examined him but I don’t really see where he practices next week & misses the Baltimore game.

It’s possible that he resumes practice for the Steelers game with him going through the paces & at best ruled questionable. He could be active at that point but be used as an emergency backup if needed. A more realistic return may be in time for the Patriots game where he would be closer to 100% & be effective as a rotational player. He would have missed 4 weeks which isn’t unreasonable for an injury such as this. This timeline could obviously change as his practice status is updated, but this is what I believe will be a realistic approach in his recovery. 

The Bills are 9-3, a win away from double-digit wins for the first time in 20 years. There are more than several ample opportunities to win with possible chances over Baltimore & New England with higher probabilities over Pittsburgh & New York. This is a fantastic feeling to have, I really don’t know what to do with myself! This could end in 5 weeks in the Wild Card round, this could end in the conference championship, hell, even the Super Bowl. Right now, I’m ready to believe anything. This kind of success has long eluded this fan base & it’s about time we finally got to enjoy something. I’m looking forward to this next month win, lose, or draw. 

Top Photo Credit:

Bloggingtheboys.com

Week 10 Bills Injury Preview- Browns

The Bills are healthy?

So hey Bills Mafia, what do you want to talk about? Clearly not about this injury report, I mean, there are all of two names on there. By the way, it’s Week 10. Week 10 of an NFL season. An NFL season which consists of broken bones, torn tendons, ligaments, concussions, & an endless supply of heartbreak. Yet, here we are at Week 10 with a “healthy” roster. I say nearly healthy because there are still injuries that linger, injuries that are unknown, injuries that are still on the mend. 

The Bills are 6-2 with a “healthy” roster coming into Week 10 against the 2-6 Cleveland Browns. That’s an awesome sentence to think about, write, & read. While the Bills still have to go & play the game, 7-2 is looking quite good right now. Before I get ahead of myself, there are a few injuries below, take a few moments to check them out, it’ll be brief!

Injuries during the game included WR Andre Roberts (leg), DE Trent Murphy (neck), & S Micah Hyde (knee) were all minor enough that they did not show up on the injury report & shouldn’t be a concern moving forward. To note, all did return to play after getting quickly evaluated by the medical staff. 

LB Maurice Alexander (knee/calf) was placed on IR this past week clearing the way for the Bills to sign DT Corey Liuget to help shore up the run game. The exact specifics behind Alexander going to IR is right now a mystery & may not be revealed until much later. To get more information about Liuget, make sure to check the tweet below. 

S Kurt Coleman (left hamstring)

Coleman suffered a hamstring strain on a special teams play against the Dolphins back in Week 7. He has since missed 2 games & frankly, the team has soldiered on without him. He continues to fit what the Bills training staff has done in managing hamstring strains. He was limited Wednesday when it was cold & windy outside, but since able to practice in full on Thursday & Friday. I expect he’ll play Sunday as he’s fresher than some of the other players who may be able to play but could use a week off.

CB Kevin Johnson (left knee)

Johnson was a surprise addition to the injury report Wednesday with a knee injury. Looking at the video below, it appears that he gets tripped up before landing hard on his left knee as he continued downfield.

He may have slightly hyperextended his knee, he may have twisted or tweaked the knee where it was sore, it’s not quite known what he’s dealing with. However, while he didn’t practice Wednesday, he was a full participant on Thursday & Friday. Johnson has been incredibly durable this year, only suffering a stinger which limited in practice during the week prior to the Eagles game but otherwise appears to have avoided serious injury that derailed multiple seasons when he was in Houston.  Either way, he should be good to go for Sunday to continue to special teams & defensive depth.

Probable Inactive’s:

TE Tommy Sweeney

S Jaquan Johnson

OG Ike Boettger

OT Ryan Bates

WR Robert Foster

RB T.J. Yeldon

DT Vincent Taylor

The Bills are looking to move to 7-2 following a trip to Cleveland in a battle for Lake Erie supremacy. All the talk about soft schedules, DVOA, power rankings; what does it matter if a win is a win in the NFL? Previous iterations of the Bills have received winnable games on paper & blown them, leading to a loss. So if the Bills get a win on Sunday, then they’re 7-2 & that much closer to a playoff spot and that much closer to a Super Bowl, even though that seems so far off. For now, I hope the Bills keep stacking wins, soft schedules be damned! Let’s hope for minimal to no injuries Sunday as the Bills march towards the difficult portion of their schedule.

 

Week 9 Bills Injury Review- Redskins

Are Murphy, Roberts, & Hyde’s injuries going to keep them out for Sunday?

The Bills secured a virtually expected win with a score of 24-9 on a cold Sunday afternoon at New Era Field. The Washington Redskins hung around a little longer than most people would have liked with the score 17-9 until the very end but a win is a win. The Bills still moved the ball effectively with the run game & held rookie QB Dwayne Haskins in check in his first NFL start. In addition to the win, the Bills move to 6-2 for the first time since 1993 when they started 7-1. Along with the excellent record, little to no injuries occurred during the game which should prevent altering the game plan for Cleveland. 

Prior to the game, it was announced that both OT Cody Ford & CB Levi Wallace were both active as I had predicted. Wallace was able to play in 100% of defensive snaps but Ford did not appear in any offensive snaps. He did appear in 4 special teams plays consisting of extra points which show he was able to play, but with how well OT Ty Nsekhe played, the coaching staff may have made the determination that he plays in the event that Nsekhe was injured. To note, he was wearing padding with what appeared to be bracing on the left elbow, fitting the expected protection he required in order to play.

 

DE Trent Murphy (left shoulder/neck)

Murphy, who for the most part, has been incredibly healthy this year following an injury-plagued 2018 season suffered a minor injury early in the 2nd half. The play occurred with 10:54 in the 3rd quarter on a routine run play. Murphy got sucked into the middle and got hit/stepped on under a pile of bodies. 

Trainers quickly reached him on the field with Murphy repeatedly motioning to his left trapezius/shoulder area as he walked off. He went to the medical tent to get assessed and was briefly out, able to return later in the game. 

He may be day to day with a minor neck/left trapezius muscle strain but shouldn’t cause any long term issues. It’s incredibly promising that he was able to return but he may be sore this week. 

 

S Micah Hyde (right knee)

When Hyde had to be assessed by trainers early in the 4th quarter, it put a scare into all fans that thankfully didn’t appear to be serious. Video review showed that he got clipped by a cleat in the right knee as he went down. Football players are tough, but getting clipped is painful no matter which way you look at it. 

This isn’t an injury that would likely appear on the injury report unless he is dealing with some swelling. This may be more pain-related but like Murphy, he was able to return to continue playing. Barring any new updates, he should be fine for Sunday. 

 

WR Andre Roberts (left hamstring/quadricep/calf)

Shortly after Micah Hyde went out, Roberts suffered a minor injury of his own. At 10:18 in the 4th quarter, he ran up to catch the punt, kneeling down on his left leg to fair catch the football. He briefly walked around before trainers checked him out. Reports indicate that he was motioning towards his hamstring but broadcast video available doesn’t show this. It’s possible that he tweaked his hamstring running up to catch the ball, attempting to slow down, but there’s always a chance he suffered a minor quad or calf injury. 

As with the others above, he was later able to return indicating that this may also be minor. Unless there is a better view or media reports, then this is what we will be working with. While the team is conservative in managing hamstring injuries, I do not believe that this may be anything to be concerned with as Monday’s press conference did not highlight the injury. I am not convinced that he suffered a hamstring injury based on the video alone.

This Bills team isn’t built to blow out teams, this isn’t a team that imposes its will on any team it wishes, but it is a team that finds ways to win. Considering the coaching staff is solidified & most of the team positions aren’t experiencing high turnover, this allows the team to stack wins rather than trying to piece together a game plan to just survive. We’ll see how the week progresses but things are looking up injury-wise as they move onto Week 10 against Cleveland. 

 

Top Photo Credit:

Washington Post

Week 2 Bills Injury Preview- Giants

Assessing the latest injuries to Levi Wallace, Tyler Kroft, Andre Roberts, & Taron Johnson

The Bills head back to the Meadowlands for a Week 2 matchup against the New York Giants in hopes for a fast start to the season. Already, they are without several key players that are nursing injuries. However, these injuries are minor in comparison to teams around the league but still significant enough that this may give the Giants an advantage. 

OUT

WR Andre Roberts (quadriceps)

Regrettably, he has already been ruled out for Sunday’s contest. He is still dealing with a quadriceps injury which frankly, is a mystery. To date, there is no known video that shows what happened with Roberts or any details explaining what he did. He played in every preseason game with the exception of the 4th game with no known injuries during that time. He was able to participate in practice on Labor Day and this is likely when he suffered his injury. 

There isn’t a ton of injuries that a player can sustain to his quadriceps. There can be strains & contusions and to a lesser extent, tendinitis. Considering the practice consisted of stretches and individual drills, he either suffered a strain trying to slow down or sprinting. He may have also suffered a contusion which wasn’t reported at the time. Either injury that occurs, it’s possible he could be out for 2 weeks and it wouldn’t be unreasonable. 

What’s interesting is that he isn’t even out in pads or a red practice jersey; he was observed in sweats during Friday’s practice. That doesn’t bode well for someone trying to return quickly. Something more may be going on than we know right now. 

CB Taron Johnson (hamstring)

The undersized cornerback suffered a possible right hamstring strain attempting to keep up with Jets WR Jamison Crowder early in the 3rd quarter during Week 1. He was unable to return and later had an MRI the next day. He has since been ruled out for Sunday which was expected as he hasn’t practiced all week. He was seen with a red practice jersey on Friday which indicated that he is improving but far from ready. Don’t be surprised if he misses 2 games before returning. 

QUESTIONABLE

TE Tyler Kroft (foot)

Kroft was limited all week and is questionable to play this weekend. He continues to increase his workload as he works to return to fully playing. Don’t expect him to suit up this Sunday as he hasn’t had 3 full days of practice and his conditioning may not be up to par either. Once he gets through a full week of practice, then he will be likely to play. Expect him in Week 3.

CB Levi Wallace (right ankle)

Wallace threw a scare into the Twitterverse when he went down on a 1-on-1 drill late in practice Thursday. Close up video review showed that he tried to keep close with WR Zay Jones before turning his hips, attempting to pivot on his right foot and fell down. At most, it appeared to be a minor low ankle sprain that didn’t limit him in Friday’s practice. He did have it wrapped up to assist with swelling and pain but appears to be full go. Considering the Giants receiving corps is depleted, Wallace may be able to keep up with them. If he suffers a setback or needs a break, CB Kevin Johnson can step in. 

 

Overall, it’s already known that Johnson & Roberts are out with Kroft also likely not to play this weekend. Despite losing Taron Johnson as a starter, the biggest loss continues to be Roberts in the return game. Considering S Micah Hyde is still returning punts indicates that Roberts is sorely needed. Ideally, injuries continue to be minimal and the Bills escape Week 2 with a win to move to 2-0.

Preseason Review & Week 1 Bills Injury Preview- Jets

Reviewing the starters preseason injuries & Week 1 injury preview.

Week 1 is days away & the Bills appear to be healthy after a successful preseason. Despite the team reporting that the roster is mostly healthy, several players are still dealing with the effects of the preseason. Below is a list of players who have suffered injuries through the preseason. This is broken into 3 tiers to identify severity level and what to watch out for in the coming weeks.

Minor but noteworthy:

LB Corey Thompson- Groin

Thompson missed the Panthers as the result of a groin strain suffered during the Colts game. Groin injuries can linger if not addressed with rest & rehab. Considering Thompson is a backup & special teams contributor, the likelihood of re-injury is low.

WR Zay jones- Back soreness/hamstring

According to video, Jones appeared to be working through general back soreness early in camp. This was concerning as he had missed minicamp with undisclosed reasons. It was later revealed that he had been dealing with a hamstring issue that did not get re-aggravated during the preseason.

Jones was able to play a various positions during the preseason & played late into games. As a result, there is always concern that he could suffer an overuse injury. Hydration along with proper warm up will can reduce the chances the hamstring flares up.

S Micah Hyde- Neck

Hyde battled a neck injury early in camp, causing him to miss the Colts game. Looking back now, it appears that he suffered a mild strain. This isn’t likely to be a chronic or recurring issue, but still worth taking note. As he’s such a vital part of the secondary, any injury to Hyde is worth watching.

OG Quinton Spain- Thumb surgery/ankle contusion/foot soreness

Spain has battled several injuries since signing with the team in free agency. He first suffered a thumb injury which required surgery. Once training camp began, he dealt with foot soreness early in camp which forced him to miss some time. He appeared to be on the mend & play well until he got stepped on by RB Frank Gore during the Lions game.

This appears to be a bruise to the area that control the foot arch and help to push off during running. These muscles will also be effective in pushing forward to hold during blocking. For Spain, this shouldn’t be a long term issue. The only limitation will be if pain is still affecting him at that time. This shouldn’t be a problem for Week 1, but we don’t know every single bit of info that goes into the decision.

WR Andre Roberts- Quadriceps

Roberts suffered a quadriceps injury sometime during Monday’s practice. McDermott reports that he day-to-day which bodes well for his availability for Sunday. Considering that practice was stretching and individual drills, I suspect that he suffered more of a quadriceps strain. This could have been during a routine drill, stopping suddenly, or jumping for a ball. Without video or specific injury information, my assumption is that he will play Sunday and is out of precaution to ensure that he is healthy.

Worried but should be alright:

CB Tre’Davious White- Quadriceps contusion

White suffered a quadriceps contusion in the Lions game that initially appeared to be worse at first glance. After the injury, he was observed moving around on the sidelines without much difficulty and has since been able to practice without restriction. The quad contusion actually protects him from further injury at the moment as he may not have 100% function, but he won’t be able to push past it and overwork it. This isn’t something that typically lingers either, needs rest and proper healing.

TE Dawson Knox- Hamstring

Knox missed most of the preseason with a hamstring strain suffered early in camp. Hamstrings are tricky as even though they heal, they can be re-injured if the muscle group maxes out & fails. This is the problem as the player may feel good and then suffer a setback. I hope that Knox doesn’t have any further issues, but it’s far from a guarantee.

CB Taron Johnson- Groin

Johnson’s groin in itself isn’t the biggest concern, but rather his past injury history & his style of play. He missed the 2nd preseason game with the groin injury, but was able to play without apparent issues in the 3rd game. Groin issues can reoccur, especially with the positional demands of the cornerback position. However, with his torpedo type tackles and smaller frame, he may suffer further injuries this season unless he puts some finesse on his game to allow him to stay healthy.

G Spencer Long- MCL sprain

Long missed early parts of the preseason with what was described as “knee soreness”. However, he was seen with a compression sleeve followed by a hinge knee brace that provides lateral support to the knee which indicates he may have suffered a mild MCL sprain. These heal up quite well and as Long is a lineman who works in small spaces, he doesn’t rely on the MCL for cutting as much as a RB or CB would need. He shouldn’t have issues from this injury.

OT Ty Nsekhe- Knee sprain

Nsekhe is another player who suffered a “tweak” in his knee that caused him to miss parts of the preseason. On what the tweak is, hard to say without a mechanism of injury or further details. Considering his age and experience in the league, this may have been more precautionary. He, like Long, works in small spaces and should be able to perform his job without difficulty.

Can play, concerned for further issues:

WR Robert Foster- Turf toe/shoulder

Foster had an emergence last season after getting cut early on before changing his attitude and becoming a favorite target of QB Josh Allen’s. Foster was dealing with a shoulder injury early in camp that didn’t limit him but the turf toe that he has battled in the spring returned. Turf toe is a sprain of the great toe joint which is essential for push off during walking & balance. This is essential for sprinting as most of Foster’s activity is short bursts and pivots. He will most likely need a stiff sole or orthosis to restrict movement in the toe and frequent rehab to heal the injury & to prevent it from getting worse. He should be able to play Week 1, but he is coming in not quite 100%.

DE Jerry Hughes- Ankle/R hand/wrist

Hughes dealt with an ankle injury that limited him early in training camp but didn’t appear to be a factor during preseason games. It may have been general ankle soreness but more of a veteran rest injury. As for his wrist, he has worn a brace on the right side but hasn’t missed practice. It appears he injured it sometime during the win over the Panthers. Reviewing game film didn’t reveal any specific instance of injury. Having the wrist in a brace will limit his ability to hand-fight to get inside but shouldn’t affect the ability provide pressure. Wrist sprains in itself aren’t too concerning & should remedy within the next week barring any new information.

OT Conor McDermott- Concussion

While McDermott has been cleared from the concussion protocol, there is always a greater chance that he could suffer a future one later this season. From what I have found, this is his only documented NFL concussion, but his college career regarding injury is unknown. As he is a reserve player, the chances for concussion are less but still present.

C Mitch Morse- Concussion

Much has been said about Morse’s concussion including the moment when he sustained the injury back in late July. He has since cleared the protocol and returned to practice, but this is now his 4th documented concussion. It’s unknown if he will have further issues this season or if he has another concussion, only time will tell.

TE Tyler Kroft- R foot fx

Kroft has been working back from a fracture in his foot suffered during the first day of OTA’s back in the spring. Despite staying on the PUP all preseason, he made the 53 man roster and has been limited in practice though appearing to take part in individual drills. Video has shown the ability to push off the foot with conviction and pivot to turn up the field in the videos shown below. It appears that he will be ready soon, it may be a conditioning limitation at this point until he is fully ready to go. We may see him as soon as Week 3 for the home opener.

Despite the above mentioned players, outside of Roberts & Kroft, the team is actually very healthy. Understand that it will not stay this way, but there are several teams such as the Bengals who have been decimated by injury before Week 1. This can be a special year, the health of key players mentioned above will determine the course of the season.

Bills Season Injury Review- Safety

Read the latest Bills season injury review at the safety position and what the outlook is for 2019.

Training camp inches closer and closer and the end of season injury reviews near! Today’s review of the safety position will go into the injuries from last season at the safety position, new faces including recent signings & who has the ability to make the roster.

First man up is S Dean Marlowe. The veteran safety has been a mainstay in Sean McDermott’s defense since his days in Carolina. Marlowe’s time in Buffalo has been infrequent, a result of being placed on the practice squad, called up due to injury, cut; rinse and repeat. His stat line is as follows: 2 games with 1 start accumulating 1 pass deflection, 5 total tackles, 4 solo, 1 assisted. As Marlowe has been brought in as needed, he may find himself looking outside following training camp. However, he may be a quick signing based on injury needs as the season progresses.

Next up is S Rafael Bush. The longtime veteran safety has demonstrated an ability to be an effective plug and play piece in the event of injury. His stat line for 2018: 15 games played with 7 starts, 1.5 sacks, 40 total tackles, 30 solo, 15 assisted, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits. Injury wise, he suffered what looked to be an AC sprain or shoulder contusion while attempting to tackle Packers RB Aaron Jones. He did miss the next game as a result but didn’t suffer any further injuries through the year. Bush was slated to come back and compete for a depth spot at the safety position, but retired on July 19th, days before training camp was to begin. Unless he changes his mind, Bush will be walking away on his own terms.

S Siran Neal is the next player assessed during this positional review. The versatile safety out of Jacksonville State saw limited playing time during the 2018 season but made his presence known when he was on the field. Neal appeared in all 16 games with 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack, 11 total tackles with 10 solo, 1 assisted, 2 tackles for loss, and 1 QB hit. In addition, he avoided any known injuries. Neal is a strong candidate to make this roster again and should continue to develop into an excellent depth piece in the event starters go down.

S Jordan Poyer continues to outplay his contract every year since arriving 2 seasons ago and will be due a hefty raise when his contract is up. Poyer has been incredibly durable during his time in Buffalo, only missing 1 game over the last 2 years. Last season, he appeared in all 16 games recording 4 interceptions with 6 pass deflections, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 2 sacks, 100 total tackles with 73 solo, 27 assisted, 9 tackles for loss, and 3 QB hits. Poyer managed to only sustain a right finger injury during the 1st Dolphins game, but did not miss anytime. Poyer will continue to hopefully produce and earn his next contract in a Bills uniform.

Finally, S Micah Hyde rounds out the players returning from last season. Like Poyer, Hyde has also been incredibly durable over the past 2 seasons, missing only one game during that time frame. Stat wise, Hyde appeared and started in 15 games, recording 2 interceptions, 5 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery, 58 total tackles with 41 solo, 17 assisted, and 1 tackle for loss. Injury wise, Hyde suffered a groin injury while trying to cover TE Jimmy Graham during the 1st quarter in the Packers loss. He simply performed a football move, rotating his hips to keep up with Graham and tweaked the hip adductor. He did miss the next game but was able to come back and play the rest of the season without further complications. Hyde comes back to lock down the other safety position with continued lock down coverage in 2019.

New faces to the team include 6th rd draft pick S Jaquan Johnson and veteran S Kurt Coleman. While Hyde & Poyer are once again occupying the starting spots, there is a lot of talent behind them that can step up on the event one of them go down. It’s likely that Hyde, Poyer, Johnson, Neal, and even Coleman make this roster. Marlowe could be cut but brought back immediately as needed. Overall, the Bills secondary continues to be one of the healthiest & strongest groups on this team to help bring the Bills defense even higher.

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!!

Week 6 Bills Injury Preview- Texans

Assessing the latest Bills injuries despite a rare injury free game report.

The Bills roll into Houston with a noted distinction rarely seen in today’s NFL. They have no one on the injury report in a league where each player is one injury away from never playing again. I am not a statistician or have extensively researched this, but the incidence of this is rather low if you ever took a look at www.pro-football-reference.com injury report for any team during any season. Despite this week’s rarity, today’s article will still review injuries from this week and impact they can have on the game.

Those on the injury report this week were S Micah Hyde (groin), S Rafael Bush (shoulder), CB Tre’Davious White (ankle), & G John Miller (ankle). As previously mentioned, Hyde and Bush missed last week with their respective injuries and White & Miller appeared to have either injured or aggravated previous injuries in practice.

However, all are cleared to play though may not be 100%, as most players aren’t fully healthy during the grind of an NFL season. Miller and White appeared to have generalized sprains based on limited reporting out of practice this week. Miller did deal with what I believed was a high ankle sprain last season. I do not believe he is dealing with an aggravation of this, but is a concern if he has repeated appearances on the injury report. White did not miss an defensive snap which makes me believe this is a minor injury. These generalized sprains can be managed well with rest, rehab, and proper bracing/taping to play the next week.

Bush is coming off a shoulder injury that by video, appeared to be an AC sprain. He was able to play though the rest of the game which makes me believe this to be the case. It is possible that he could have sustained a more serious injury, but we will know if there is any bracing or additional support on the shoulder that would signify any other injury.

With those on the injury report, the only one I am concerned about is Hyde. With groin injuries, they can linger as most strains do and are at a higher risk for re-injury if coming back too soon. There is a precedent for healthy players to be ruled inactive as CB Phillip Gaines and RB Marcus Murphy were ruled out in past weeks despite practicing in full that particular week. As Hyde is a vital cog to the secondary, it is possible that he may miss the game, but less likely as he is a starter. Add in the fact that the team released S Dean Marlowe indicates that Hyde will most likely play.

This fortunate injury report allows the Bills to go into Houston with a healthy roster and everyone mentioned above active. This will give them the best chance possible to get to 3-3. These are the games that fit “The Process” exactly; games that while tough, are games that can be won with the right game plan and personnel available. I do not anticipate the Bills to have results that mirror the Ravens and Chargers games. I believe that the Bills will walk away with a win and keep pace with their AFC counterparts.

This is one of the shorter articles this season and in my book, that is an excellent thing. 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!!

Week 5 Bills Injury Review- Titans

Read up on the latest injuries following the win over the Titans.

Leave it to the Bills to wait until the last second to pull out a win like that! K Stephen Hauschka’s game winning kick to give the Bills a 13-12 win over the Tennessee Titans propels Buffalo to a 2-3 record and momentum going into their Week 6 showdown in Houston. As always, today’s post will review the injuries sustained in Sunday’s win.

Those ruled out prior to the game include S Micah Hyde (groin), S Rafael Bush (shoulder), and RB Marcus Murphy (ribs). Hyde and Bush were not expected to play this week after not practicing all week and their availability may improve with this week’s practice. However, Murphy was inactive despite practicing in full all week and demonstrating that he was healthy. There is precedent for the Bills to rule a player inactive despite appearing healthy. Just the prior week, CB Phillip Gaines was ruled inactive with an elbow injury despite practicing in full. These may be personnel decisions or may be allowing these players to heal up more before rushing back to full contact.

Those injured during the game were minimal included P Corey Bojorquez (shoulder), CB Taron Johnson (shoulder), CB Tre’Davious White (ankle), and DT Kyle Williams (knee). However, only White made his way to the injury report. Possibly the most serious injury out of the bunch is Bojorquez. He suffered a right shoulder injury on a botched fake field goal attempt and sustained an unlikely injury in the process. He was observed later having had the shoulder wrapped with limited motion during running and in obvious pain at times. Based on the mechanism of injury, it appears that he may have suffered a SLAP lesion of the shoulder. SLAP stands for Superior Labral Anterior and Posterior which means that the top portion of the labrum tears; this is where the long head tendon of the biceps connects at.

Bojorquez suffered the shoulder injury late in the 2nd quarter as the result of the tackle and came up with significant discomfort. The reason why this is at least a SLAP lesion or subluxation and not dislocation is due to the fact that he was able to move his shoulder around and did not appear to require immediate manual reduction of the joint. This injury occurred as he was tackled; his arm was in an abducted and externally rotated position which places a lot of stress on the front part of the shoulder. This is also the motion that is required to throw a football.

As he is falling with his arm in that position, he has a defender falling on his body, preventing him from falling to allow him to brace for impact. When Bojorquez hits the ground, the body weight of the defender plus the ground lead to the arm to hyperflex which possibly led to the SLAP tear. During impact, it is also possible that he may have suffered an anterior subluxation of the shoulder, which is a partial dislocation to the area but able to self relocate. However, of all subluxations/dislocations, this is the most common with 97% of all these injuries occurring in this manner. In dislocations, the labrum tears and leads to instability in the shoulder. In the case of subluxation, there is a joint shift but a lesser chance of injury to the labrum. However, in most dislocations/subluxations, damage does occur and instability is present. This is also evident in SLAP lesions.

Symptoms seen with Bojorquez after the injury would most likely include difficulty with overhead motions, general strength deficits, and complaints of popping, locking, or clicking during movement, among other complaints. As with labral tears, this is not an injury that will heal up on its own and would require surgery to repair the damage. A normal person could live with this injury without surgery but due to the demands of the NFL, he would most likely require surgery later.

Despite this grim prognosis, Bojorquez may not miss any time or have any deficits come next game. He will have to strengthen the area and give it time to reduce pain and weakness, but otherwise he will be able to perform his regular punting duties as required. Thankfully he is not out of the field often and he can still play with his full ability without compensation. The only major deficit he may have is if the Bills want to run a fake field goal play; this may limit his abilities to throw the football effectively. He may eventually need surgery if it continues to give him problems but will not require it immediately; he may use bracing as seen with CB Taron Johnson.

Unfortunately, following with another shoulder injury, CB Taron Johnson suffered a re-aggravation to the right shoulder, as he has had in previous games. He did have to sit out several plays after but was able to return with overall effective play. He will have to continue to tackle with his left side to reduce further injury and missed time. While he continues to injure the area, this can and will lead to less forces required to sublux the shoulder, leading to greater instability and eventual surgery.

DT Kyle Williams suffered a right knee injury in the 3rd quarter but eventually resumed participation. Williams did return to his place in the rotation after sitting out 1-2 series but based on the injury, does not appear to be serious. Williams injured his knee as the result of having his right leg kicked out from under him which resulted in him falling directly on his knee without bracing for impact. This may have been more of falling directly on it and requiring some rest to reduce the initial shock of the impact. While Williams is on the injury report, he is listed as requiring a veteran rest day as he does every week. I do not see this injury causing any long term issues.

Finally, CB Tre’Davious White suffered an ankle injury during Sunday’s win and was limited in practice today. Reviewing film, there was not one specific play that revealed the injury. Add in the fact that White played in every defensive snap and all defensive field goal attempts makes this difficult to diagnose. This may have been an injury that he played through and did not realize until after the game or this may have been an injury that he sustained in practice today. Without conclusive video, it is rather difficult to identify what type of ankle injury he sustained. Either way, he was only limited in practice which on Wednesday is a good sign in order to play Sunday. Based on this information alone, this does not appear to be a serious injury but something that the Bills should be proactive about. This is far from a guarantee, but history serves us well when looking at availability.

This wraps up the injury review from Sunday. The Bills continue to be fortunate when dealing with injuries in terms of severity. While some of these injuries are significant in nature, they are able to be conservatively managed until there is a more opportune time to address the long term management of these conditions.

Continue to check back for the latest updates and news coming out of One Bills Drive. Follow on Facebook at Banged Up Bills, on Twitter @BangedUpBills, on Reddit at u/BangedUpBills, and online at www.bangedupbills.com. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 5 Bills Injury Preview- Titans

Dissecting the latest injuries prior to the AFC matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

The Bills roll into Orchard Park with a 1-3 record and much to play for when they host the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. While it is quickly becoming a reality that this team will not look like last year’s surprise playoff team; the fan base is still hoping that there are some positives that can be squeezed out of this season.

According to Friday’s injury report, no one has been ruled out prior to Sunday’s game. Three players have been ruled questionable including: S Rafael Bush (shoulder), S Micah Hyde (groin), and TE Charles Clay (ankle).

Reviewing video, Hyde’s injury was fairly straight forward, pulling his left groin midway through the 1st quarter attempting go upfield and get involved with the play, coming up lame. He was on the injury report the prior week with a toe injury but this is not something that would have caused compensation patterns leading to the injury. He simply performed a football move and it caught him. While he is questionable, he has not practiced all week which historically is not favorable when predicting whether he will play Sunday. He will realistically need at least one more week before he can even consider playing in a game. Expect him to miss this Sunday.

S Rafael Bush injured his shoulder on the last play of the 1st quarter tackling RB Aaron Jones out of bounds. He injured his left shoulder when he got spun around off Jones, falling directly onto his shoulder without having the ability to brace for the fall. He was able to play the rest of the game but was not really directly involved in many plays regarding physical contact after that. His injury was not immediately apparent until reported on the injury report Tuesday. I believe he suffered an AC joint sprain or possible contusion to the general area. Other possibility of a SC joint sprain, though less likely. Typical mechanisms of injury are similar to what was described above; a direct blow to his shoulder. Considering that he was able to play the rest of the game, but take the entire week of practice off suggests that it is a mild sprain/contusion that may take a week to heal.

From my previous article from the Tampa Bay game last year, edited for relevancy:

“On average, the Grade 1 shoulder sprain that Bush possibly could have sustained typically takes 9.8 days to fully recover from according to Dr. David Geier. He will be at day 7 by kickoff Sunday, which may affect his ability.”

It’s possible that he could play, but not practicing all week may have allowed him to heal in order to play, but more realistically, he is not quite ready for contact. Like Hyde, he was unable to practice which almost certainly seals his fate.

TE Charles Clay suffered an ankle injury that on film did not appear serious. He had a Packers defender falling to the ground and fell into Clay’s ankle while he was trying to get out of the way. He was able get the ankle taped up, continue playing and finish the game. It appeared that he got his ankle rolled up on or tweaked as a result. While he was limited Wednesday, did not practice Thursday, he was able to practice in full Friday which is a strong indicator that he will play. In addition to the ankle, he is also dealing with previous shoulder and hip issues from the previous game. He is also a veteran and requires more maintenance which is why he is unable to practice during the week yet play Sunday’s. I would expect him to suit up to be QB Josh Allen’s safety valve.

Other injuries on the report include RB Marcus Murphy (rib), and DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring). Murphy appears to have a generalized rib injury that cost him last week but it appears healed enough to perform this week. Hopefully it is a contusion that continues to heal rather than a broken rib. Lawson missed two games with his hamstring strain and while he did play the entire game, he may have developed soreness as a result, requiring conservative maintenance on it so as to not further irritate the healing tissues. While it is possible to re-injure the area, giving it rest through the week gives him the best shot to play at 100% Sunday.

Others dealing with injury but did not make the injury report: RB LeSean McCoy (ribs/hand), CB Taron Johnson (shoulder), and CB Phillip Gaines (elbow). McCoy has been dealing with cracked rib cartilage that is physically impossible to be healed yet which still limits him despite what he says otherwise. However, reports indicated that he injured his left hand with it visibly wrapped up after the game. Film review was inconclusive whether he suffered any particular injury. To note, he was able to demonstrate effective ball safety, gripping the ball in each hand respectively without compensation during his limited playing time.

CB Taron Johnson has been a bright spot in the defense 4 games into his rookie year. However, he continues to deal with a shoulder injury that appears to be a torn labrum in his right shoulder. This is evident with the use of visible bracing on the right side, he continually injures the area on hard hits but is quicker to return in the game, and the original mechanism of injury. He can continue to play on the shoulder but eventually he may require surgery for long term correction. Until then, he has altered his tackling style, he is wearing bracing, and I’m certain he is doing rehab to strengthen the surrounding muscles around the joint in order to get through the season.

Finally, CB Phillip Gaines is coming off a right dislocated elbow that forced him to miss one game. However, he was inactive despite practicing in full the week of the Packers game which indicated that he may have been held out due to personnel needs rather than injury. Regardless of reason, the extra time off allowed him to heal even more and he may not require any bracing given the time frame.

Overall, anticipate Hyde and most likely Bush to miss the Titans game with Clay playing with several nagging injuries. These thoughts are further solidified with the signing of S Dean Marlowe and releasing TE Khari Lee. This indicates that at least one safety is certain to miss and the thinning of the TE depth chart indicates Clay is playing. The others mentioned above are expected to play but have injuries that do not require treatment by training staff but could still limit their effectiveness. This game should allow the Bills to get their first home win of the season and move to 2-3 to maintain some level of respectability in the AFC.

Continue to follow Banged Up Bills for the latest updates and news coming out of One Bills Drive. Follow on Facebook at Banged Up Bills, on Twitter @BangedUpBills, on Reddit at u/BangedUpBills, and online at www.bangedupbills.com. As always thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!