Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- S

Assessing the safety position injuries from the 2017 season and personnel expectations going forward.

We are 3 weeks away from the opening of the 2018 NFL season with the beginning of training camp! Here at Banged Up Bills, I have been trying to stay cool and sane despite the excessive heat and lack of football. Today’s post will finish up the injuries on the defensive side of the ball at the safety position. The secondary overall was an incredibly strong position for the Bills this past season and going into the 2018 season, this does not appear to change.

Stepping up first for review is S Jordan Poyer. The transplant from Cleveland spent the first 4 seasons mostly with Cleveland along with a cup of coffee in Philadelphia before signing a free agent deal with the Bills in 2017. He rewarded the Bills handsomely with 5 interceptions with one TD, one fumble recovery, 2 sacks along with 95 total tackles 63 solo and 32 assisted. These are fantastic stats for a player that Cleveland did not want back. In addition to his versatile abilities on the field, Poyer was able to stay relatively healthy, appearing in 15 games, missing only the Raiders game with a knee injury. He was incredibly durable this season despite the high injury risks that the position comes with. As Poyer is a veteran, he understands how to take care of his body and prepare for each game. Expect another standout year from Poyer!

Next up is S Micah Hyde who was also a castoff from the Green Bay Packers after 4 years. The dynamic play maker appeared in all 16 games producing 5 interceptions along with 82 total tackles, 65 solo and 17 assisted. The 5th year veteran has also been incredibly durable during his time in the league, rarely missing any games which demonstrate why this coaching staff values Hyde so highly. Despite Hyde not missing any time, he also dealt with several minor knee injuries that limited his play at times but did not signify any longer term issues. Similar to Poyer, expect Hyde to continue to prepare like a veteran and come ready to play every week.

Another player who saw time at the safety position this year was S Shamarko Thomas. The 5th year veteran saw action in 12 games but did not record any defensive statistics, making the most of his playing time on special teams. As he did not see many defensive snaps, he was able to avoid injury. Thomas finds himself a free agent going into the 2018 season and could be a candidate to come back at a veteran minimum but that is most likely the reason he was not retained as he became cost prohibitive.

Rounding out players who saw playing time at safety is S Colt Anderson. The oft-injured safety was used more frequently as a special teams ace in years past but his time in Buffalo was forgettable. In 2 years, he appeared in 7 games and not recording any defensive statistics. He had dealt with hand, foot, and forearm injury which cost him significant playing time. This past year, a broken forearm cost him 11 games and when he finally returned, was largely ineffective. As one may guess, he was not re-signed to the team going into the 2018 season. After the multitude of injuries over his career, he may see fit to hang it up rather than try to find another team due to his lack of availability. I do not even envision him coming back as a camp body in any fashion. My final thought on Anderson, he was a holdover from the Rex Ryan staff, I do not understand what the Bills saw in him as he was unable to stay healthy.

As for new personnel, there are many new faces coming into the secondary with the addition of S Dean Marlowe, S Kelcie McCray, S LJ McCray via the practice squad this past season. In addition, S Rafael Bush was brought in via free agency; a more detailed report can be found here. Finally, the Bills brought in S Siran Neal via a 5th round pick who could project to be a top backup with a strong training camp performance.

While this group is veteran heavy with Poyer and Hyde, they will need Bush and Neal to step up and provide effective depth as it is difficult to totally avoid injuries. With strong training camps, Marlowe, McCray & McCray can step up and add another dimension to the already strong unit. This is a position group I do not worry about due to the talent level, but could drastically change with a serious injury.

Continue to check back at Banged Up Bills for training camp content, injury reviews, and any other breaking news to come out of One Bills Drive. Follow Banged Up Bills on Facebook and on Twitter @BangedUpBills. Feel free to contact me with any questions or content you would like to see. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Bills Injury Recap- Jaguars

Detailing the injuries sustained following the Bills playoff loss and thoughts on this special season.

Well, it was fun while it lasted! The Buffalo Bills ended their 2017 season with a 10-3 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Wild Card Playoffs. While the game left the fan base expecting more than 3 points, it was still a fantastic season. This unexpected campaign has created stability within the franchise, allowing for the entire front office to mold the team in their vision and find the pieces they need to take that next step.

Even though the season is done, my job is not. Today’s post will outline the injuries sustained in Sunday’s loss and determine the level of severity and identify any possible long term side effects. Starting off, G Richie Incognitio suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st quarter with 5:20 left that removed him from the game for a short duration. Video observation shows that he injures his left shoulder while being spun around to the ground, colliding with DT Marcell Dareus. He was able to walk off the field under his own power and required some time to rest on the bench. There does not appear to be any specific mechanism of injury; just two big men that collided and Incognitio took more of the force.

Next up is TE Charles Clay who suffered a right hamstring injury running a route with 3 minutes left in the 1st quarter. The injury did not appear to be anything more routine than a minor Grade 1 strain. Clay was able to return later in the game and it appeared that most of the players injured tried to return in order to give the Bills the best chance at winning.

The Bills were relatively injury free for over a quarter of the game until the 3rd quarter when S Micah Hyde suffered a head injury with 13:25 in the 3rd quarter when he collided with DT Kyle Williams during a tackle. Hyde was forced to leave the game for a short time, eventually returning before hitting his head during a low tackle on Marcedes Lewis with 6:30 left in 3rd quarter which ended his day. Neither hit appeared to severely injure him, but as he appeared to be having some symptoms of a concussion as trainers tended to him; he was entered into the concussion protocol which ended his day. I question whether he should have left after the first hit, but he was tested and cleared to return by training staff.

As the game progressed, S Colt Anderson sustained an injury attempting to catch an interception. It was reported that he injured his hand while diving but was observed to be placing weight through both hands while trainers tended to him. Upon further review, it appears that he hit his right shoulder or forearm. He did have a compression sleeve on his right forearm indicating his broken forearm from earlier in the season and may have hit it in such a way that sent significant pain through his body. Either way, there has not been any updates and his presence all season has been irrelevant at best.

Finally, QB Tyrod Taylor suffered a hard hit to the head during a tackle by Dante Fowler late in the 4th quarter and then suffered another lesser hit from Fowler falling into him while attempting to get up. He initially appeared to be unconscious while medical staff assessed him. Taylor presented as dazed coming off the field and as he went into the tunnel to be evaluated for a concussion. However, the effects of the hit appeared to have little impact on him as he was observed attending a Toronto Raptors game with RB LeSean McCoy on Tuesday. This indicates two things; either the hit was not as severe as initially thought and has since recovered, or he is not following doctor’s protocols. If he did sustain a concussion, flashing lights, loud noises, lots of activity would exasperate his symptoms and he wouldn’t be there. Either way, it is irrelevant as the season is over and he can take time to recover on his own schedule.

I believe there were other injuries that the players played through, giving their all in order to win the game. RB LeSean McCoy played through a sprained ankle and did not appear to miss a step. He allegedly declined a cortisone shot prior to the game to prevent him from not feeling whether he injured the ankle worse. The entire team played incredibly tough and gave everything they had until the very end. Thankfully, none of the observable injuries appear to be foreshadowing problems going into the off-season.

As disappointed as I am in the final score, I am overall incredibly happy with how this season ended. The Bills ended the playoff drought, they began to build a culture that players want to be a part of, and they brought hope and excitement to a city starved for a winner. I am thrilled to note that the front office realizes that while they took a step in the right direction, they still have a lot of work to do and will not rest on the successes of this season. I cannot wait to see the changes the Bills make in the off-season and how they continue to mold this franchise back into a winner.

With the season ending, this does not mean that my blog will take a hiatus. While there may not be Bills football to watch, there are still many topics to discuss. Some topics I will look to cover in no particular order, but not limited to: my thoughts on the Bills finally making the playoffs, surgeries Bills players are scheduled for and impact for next season, reviewing position specific injuries from this season, and evaluating players injury histories that the Bills may draft.

Thank you for reading this season, this has been an incredibly special season that I was glad to provide my thoughts and assist in giving a new perspective that has been found in limited spaces. As I continue to grow as a Physical Therapist, I intend to broaden my knowledge base to evaluate injuries via video, provide a greater in depth understanding of the injury to the reader, and improve my writing skills to share my knowledge with everyone.

Please continue to follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for the latest Bills news, playoff thoughts, and feel free to ask any injury related questions. While I cannot diagnose and offer treatment interventions without evaluating someone, I can still answer general questions, discuss injuries and assist in providing resources for further education. Thank you for your support and GO BILLS!!

Week 16 Recap- Patriots II

Assessing injuries observed following the Patriots game including Travaris Cadet’s ankle injury.

The Bills are still in the playoff hunt! Despite losing to the New England Patriots 37-16 Sunday, the Bills still have a very realistic shot at ending the long suffering playoff drought. With a win at Miami along with a Ravens loss to Cincinnati, or losses by the Chargers to the Raiders and Titans to the Jaguars, the Bills can enter the playoffs with an actual shot at winning the Super Bowl! While it is an incredible long shot, just making the playoffs is a step in the right direction. Regardless of the playoff implications, players continue to get injured leading to constant changes to the roster.

The only major injury sustained during Sunday’s game was to RB Travaris Cadet with a gruesome ankle dislocation/fracture. This occurred during a routine play late in the 2nd quarter in which he got wrapped around as he tackled while his foot got caught up underneath. The play ended with Cadet lying on his stomach with his ankle lying at an unnatural 90 degrees to the right. While not surprising, Cadet did suffer a dislocation and fracture to the right ankle which landed him on IR for the rest of the season.

During a dislocation of the ankle, the foot becomes dislodged from the area that articulates with the tibia/fibula and is pulled out of alignment. Due to the forces associated with this injury along with the rotational forces in play, the outside portion of the ankle (lateral malleolus) which is the bottom portion of the fibula broke. Had he solely dislocated like former Bills CB Ronald Darby during the season opener, he may have been able to return at a later date in the playoffs. As it was fractured, he is done for the season. While on the field, he has his ankle relocated and placed into a compression sleeve to maintain stability and manage swelling. He will require surgery to stabilize the fibula with the use of a plate and screws while assessing for any other damage. As there are so many variations of types and location for the hardware to be placed, it is difficult to obtain an accurate picture to the procedure he is going to have. He should be able to make a full recovery for 2018 to continue to build off the solid season he had this year.

Others injured during the game included WR Deonte Thompson (back) and CB Micah Hyde (abdomen/chest). Thompson was hit from behind early in the 2nd quarter and had to leave the field from several plays. He was eventually able to return but would be expected to end up on the injury report on Wednesday. Hyde managed to tackle TE Rob Gronkowski late in the 3rd quarter and got a hard heel to the chest/abdomen area. Hyde appeared in acute distress but was able to return. It appeared as though he had the wind knocked out of him but was able to return.

Other injuries to note include WR Andre Holmes going to IR due to a lingering neck injury. This injury was sustained during the Colts game and while Holmes was able to play the next week, but at some point aggravated it at which time the team decided that he needed to be shut down. As of right now, it is unknown what occurred to his neck. I continue to maintain that he strained his neck in some fashion and it was not healing as quickly as expected. Up until being ruled inactive this week, he had been involved in ~20% of the offensive plays and ~65% of special teams plays which indicate lack of serious injury. The WR corps was thin at the beginning of the season; it continues to be hurt by injuries but the impact has been limited secondary to the anemic passing game. Hopefully with a better QB next year will allow the receivers to blossom and improve the offense vastly.

The injury report comes out tomorrow as it does every Wednesday and I expect TE Charles Clay (knee), WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), and DT Kyle Williams (groin) to remain on the report but not expected to miss any time. As always, there are new additions but thankfully, the team continues to be relatively healthy with the idea that the team still can make the playoffs.

It is hard to believe this is Week 17 and the Bills are still in the mix. It has been 13 years since they have played a meaningful Week 17 game with playoff implications. There are many things that can happen Sunday, but one thing is clear: this team has talent to contend in the NFL, but it is far away from contending from championships. Even though the AFC is weak this year, 6 teams still have to make the playoffs and the Bills potentially are one of them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and for those Bills fans that don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you enjoyed your holidays and continue to enjoy this rare playoff push. Whatever comes of Sunday’s game, I can look forward to next season with the idea that the front office and coaching staff have a plan in place to execute and bring the Bills back to glory.

Continue to check back for the latest articles and updates regarding Bills injuries. For breaking news and thoughts on new injuries, follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 12 Injury Breakdown- Chiefs

Assessing the latest Buffalo Bills injuries prior to their Week 12 match up against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Another day down, another injury report released! November has not been a great month for the Buffalo Bills. Three straight losses have brought the Bills back down to earth and exposed flaws once thought hidden by the defense. Sunday’s upcoming game against the Chiefs doesn’t make anything easier especially with their recent signing of CB Darrelle Revis. However, the Bills continue to avoid major injury and key players have better injury outlooks than initially thought.

First up on the injury report with did not practice is WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), OT Dion Dawkins (illness), OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), and G John Miller (ankle). Out of these players, Dawkins is not of concern as he may have the flu. He may be limited but could still play if needed. Glenn continues to deal with his chronic issue and there is no timeline of whether he will be able to play. Miller continues to be hampered with an ankle injury, but as he has not been activated for most of this season; he continues to be a non-factor.

Benjamin is considered “day-to-day” according to McDermott in today’s press conference. As expected, McDermott gives little information other than what is required. Due to the impact during the injury, he may have a bone bruise or a mild sprain. An MRI would demonstrate no significant damage but would still show Grade 1 sprains which are relatively inconsequential. Based on the hit he sustained Sunday, I am still fairly confident that he will be at best questionable for Sunday and learning towards missing the next game.

Those limited in practice were TE Charles Clay (knee), K Stephen Hauschka (right hip), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), WR Deonte Thompson (ankle), and RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring). Clay is still dealing with his original knee injury from October and if he wasn’t pressed to help the offense, probably would have benefited from the extra time to recover as I originally stated. I suspect he is still dealing with some swelling and pain due to the high demands of the position. His play supported the decision to return but he may still not be at 100%. He did have an impact being out on the field Sunday and was a vital cog despite the low offensive output.

Hauschka is still dealing with his right hip injury which is described as soreness. It appeared he was able to perform all his kicking duties without compensation and this should not change Sunday’s outlook. It is unknown what Matthews is dealing with in his knee, but as he missed last game and was limited after today’s practice, this is a positive sign. It was mentioned in the past he has dealt with tendonitis which is still a possibility, but may have also been a mild knee sprain. Having Matthews back in the lineup if Benjamin is unable to suit up with gives QB Tyrod Taylor another weapon he is more comfortable with.

Thompson is limited with an ankle that was rolled up on attempting to catch a pass and was able to limp off. I anticipate that he will play Sunday with a heavily taped ankle and some good painkillers. Tolbert continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury sustained in the Saints game. However, with the performance of RB Tarvaris Cadet backing up RB LeSean McCoy, this may allow Tolbert to rest another week to ensure a full recovery.

Finally, those dealing with injury but able to practice in full include WR Andre Holmes (ankle) and S Micah Hyde (knee). This is promising as there was concern that Hyde would be limited following injury his knee during a tackle late in the game. Practicing in full indicates that these injuries are not worrisome and should not affect performance for Sunday.

One interesting note, typically Wednesday’s are reserved for veteran rest days and there were none listed. It may be possible that the veteran’s didn’t require a rest day or that McDermott wants to push these guys extra to shore up the weaknesses seen over the past several weeks. Either way, none of the injuries are severe, none are key losses which includes Benjamin as Tyrod has not built up the consistency that he has with his other receivers.

If this team has a playoff push in them, they have to win this next game in the always hostile Arrowhead Stadium and continue to stay relatively healthy. This roster is not snake bitten and if some of the flaws can be reduced, this team can play at a higher level than what we have seen. As Bills fans know, we continue to remain eternally optimistic and frequently let down. Things will change though; probably not this season, but this mediocrity has to end at some point.

Continue to check back for breaking news and game day updates/assessments by following me at @kyletrimble88 on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 11 Recap- Chargers

Assessing Kelvin Benjamin’s knee injury and other injuries following the Bills horrendous loss to the Chargers.

There are the Buffalo Bills we know and love! As Harry Dunne would say, Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself! Similar to the quote, we all thought the Bills couldn’t get any worse, they go and turn in Sunday’s performance against the Los Angeles Chargers with a loss of 54-24. Where is the team that started 5-2? Now they are 5-5, losing ground in the playoff race, losing respect, and embarrassing themselves. To add to it, several key players went out with injury and made for an incredibly long day.

First man up, WR Kelvin Benjamin left early in the 1st quarter with a knee injury after a 20 yard catch. Upon replay, Benjamin got hit at the knee with the knee hyperextending while his foot was planted, similar to the Zay Jones injury. Benjamin had to be assisted off the field to the medical tent. After examination, he had difficulty placing weight through his leg and had to be carted off to be done for the day. As there are reports that he escaped serious injury, this does not mean he will play immediately next week. He may have hyperextended his knee as the video shows and may have sustained a bone bruise.

As outlined in my contusion article, there are several types of bone bruises. Bone bruises are actually a type of fracture that is less severe than a true bone fracture that we all think of. Keeping it brief, there are 3 types of bone bruises: Sub-periosteal hematoma, inter-osseous bruising, and sub-chondral lesion.

Sub-periosteal hematoma occurs when a direct high force trauma occurs and blood forms under the periosteum, which is a membrane that covers the outside of the bone. Inter-osseous bruising occurs when the bone marrow of the bone becomes damaged, specifically the blood supply. This occurs as the result of a repetitive high compressive forces on the bone, such as excessive running or jumping. These are seen more common in the knees and ankles.

Sub-chondral lesions occur when the cartilage layer of the bone becomes damaged. This area is found at the end of the bone and is the part that articulates with another bone. An extreme crushing force or rotational/shearing force may also cause this, commonly seen in injuries such as ACL tears. ACL tears typically not isolated, but MCL damage, meniscus damage, and even a sub-chondral lesion due to the forces that occur on the joint during the injury also occur.

At this point, if there is a bone bruise, further imaging is required which has already involved X-ray to rule out fracture and MRI. Imaging supported today that there was no ligament damage which would most likely end his season. If I had to speculate the type, I would suspect sub-periosteal hematoma based on the mechanism of injury and inability to play through it.

Bone bruises are tricky because depending on extent of injury, he could be out for 2-3 weeks or be out for the year in the case of Sam Bradford of the Vikings. I could easily see Benjamin out for at least the next game if not the next two with the possibility to come back against the Colts if the diagnosis is correct.

Next up is S Micah Hyde who also sustained a knee injury early in the 3rd quarter. Hyde was injured while trying to make a tackle and injured his knee. Replays initially indicate that he sustained a direct helmet to helmet hit but upon further review, he injured his knee as he was falling to the field. As there is no video replay of the incident, I can not speculate on what occurred. Sean McDermott did state that Hyde would be alright and did not elaborate. Hyde did suffer a knee injury at the beginning of October and unknown whether it is related.

Finally WR Deonte Thompson injured his ankle trying to catch a ball towards the sidelines at the end of the 3rd quarter. It appeared that he had his ankle rolled up on. He was able to exit under his own power but was clearly not moving well after the injury. McDermott did not mention him during today’s press conference; I do expect him to show up on the injury report but observing how his ankle was rolled on, it should not be something which should affect him playing next week.

Prior to the game, T Cordy Glenn, WR Jordan Matthews, and FB Mike Tolbert were all ruled out which severely limited the depth available today. Considering how the offensive line played, the injuries sustained today, this whole team fell apart today. I have mentioned in previous articles that depth will be key down the stretch, but considering the starters can’t even play up to snuff, depth becomes irrelevant. The Bills are horrendous these past few weeks and something has to change.

Continue to check back regularly for articles updating the injuries as more information is released. Follow me at @kyletrimble88 on Twitter for the latest up to date information. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!

Week 8 Recap- Raiders

Discussing the Buffalo Bills injury report following a dominating win over the Oakland Raiders.

These Bills continue to make me BILL-EVE!!! With a dominating 33-14 win over the Oakland Raiders, the Bills move to 5-2 on the season and 4-0 at home. These Bills look good!! While we have been here before recently in 2008 and 2011, finishing 7-9 and 6-10 respectively, this team is different. There are still tough games ahead including match ups with the Patriots and Dolphins twice, Chiefs, and Saints. If the Buffalo Bills continue to play complete games as they have most of the season, there’s no reason why they can’t continue to win. I expect some losses coming up, but this team does not appear capable of long losing streaks. I may come back and eat crow for that statement, but I continue to remain optimistic on these Bills!

With a convincing Buffalo Bills win despite the cold and rainy weather, injuries continue to remain at a minimum. The slick surface contributed to this as this lessened the chance for firm planting in the ground, leading to decreased major knee and ankle injuries. With decreased friction at point of contact with the ground, this leads to decreased force through the joints. Makes it very hard for running, but the Bills did just fine with LeSean McCoy rushing for 151 yards and a TD.

Notable injuries to the Buffalo Bills today included WR Zay Jones (Shoulder), C Eric Wood (Ankle), and G Richie Incognitio (Ankle). It is unknown when both Jones and Wood sustained their injuries, but considering they are on a short week, any possible injury must be reported and managed. If this were a normal week, this may not have even come to light. Jones was a full participant in practice and while Wood and Incognitio were limited, this is not concerning as they are both veterans. It is concerning that Jones is listed on the injury report after his most successful game to date, but I suspect it is nothing more than general soreness.

TE Charles Clay (Knee) and LB Ramon Humber (Thumb) continue to be out with their previously mentioned injuries. Originally, I believed that Humber should have come back shortly after his surgery, but not knowing the specifics of his particular injury clearly altered my initial projection. With the emergence of LB Matt Milano continuing to demonstrate stellar play allows Humber to take his time to get healthy.

I had originally also stated that Clay would be able to return for the Colts game which would have put him at 10 weeks from initial injury. As the Bills did not put him on short term IR, this allows the possibility to return sooner. Reports state that he has been stretching and preparing to practice, but has not been cleared yet. If the Bills clear him to practice and play in time for the Saints game, this would be a fantastic and incredibly short recovery. It is still within the realm of possibility, but I would still expect him to be out until at least the Chiefs game, possibly the Chargers game if he’s really pushing to play. While the knee can heal quicker than expected, the change in weather and surfaces will have an impact on when he returns which can alter re-injury rates.

Despite missing both S Jordan Poyer and CB E.J. Gaines due to injuries sustained last game, the secondary did not struggle as everyone believed they would. Filling in without missing a beat, CB Trae Elston came up with his first interception and CB Micah Hyde continued his stellar play, collecting his 5th interception of the season. I would expect that they continue to hold Gaines out until the Chiefs game to ensure prevention of further re-injury. Gaines goes all out which is appreciated, but not at the risk of turning into the Buffalo Bills version of S Bob Sanders when he was with the Colts during their Super Bowl run.

Through all these smaller injuries, this depth the Buffalo Bills have exhibited so far this season is the reason why they have stormed out to a 5-2 start. While some of these players are not starting material week-to-week, the idea is that the backup can come in and play up to par in short term stints until the starter can return. The Bills continue to avoid season ending injuries and key players missing extended time. It is impossible for a team to get through a season without injury, but the Bills are pretty close to that at this time. With the exception of Clay, Humber, Gaines, and possibly Poyer, I expect everyone else on the injury report to play Thursday without any limitations.

Continue to check back on a regular basis for updates on new injuries, my personal thoughts and observations, and detailed explanation on Bills specific injuries. Thank you for your time and GO BILLS!!

Week 5 Injury Breakdown- Bengals

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!!