Buffalo Bills Season Injury Review- TE

Season injury review of the tight end position.

Today’s off season analysis focuses on the tight end position for the Buffalo Bills. This season, 4 tight ends suited up for the Bills with varying levels of success. Today’s post will break down the injuries sustained to the TE corps and impact for next season.

First assessment starts with TE Khari Lee. The 3rd year pro found his footing with the Bills for the last 8 games of the season primarily used as a blocking tight end with some occasional work on special teams. He did not see any time on the injury report and saw no targets on offense. As he was only active for half the season and has one year left on his contract, he may be an attractive option to return as he can provide depth.

Next is TE Logan Thomas. The QB turned TE turned some heads this season with his conversion to TE which appears to be working in his favor as he appeared in 12 games for the Bills. While he did not accumulate head turning stats, 7 receptions for 67 yards and 1 TD, he fit into the offense nicely and showed that he is able to play tight end at the highest levels. Thomas recently did have knee surgery which knocked him out of spring practices for the foreseeable future. It did not appear that there was any prior injury as he did not appear on the injury report for any part of the season. Thomas has one year left on his contract and is an exclusive restricted free agent which I expected the Bills to bring back to develop further as a tight end.

TE Nick O’Leary became a increased focal point in the offense and appeared to finally show flashes of what got him drafted out of Florida State. Stats for O’Leary are: 22 receptions for 322 yards and 2 TD’s which are all career high’s for him. Injury wise, the 3rd year pro dealt with late season back pain which was possibly back spasms or pulled muscles which forced him to miss only one game. As O’Leary has improved every season in Buffalo, he is an exclusive restricted free agent, and continues to grow into the offense, it would be a no-brainer to bring him back for next season.

Finally, TE Charles Clay leads the pack with his major knee injury early in the season. If you recall, he partially tore both his MCL and meniscus during the Cincinnati game during a late tackle out of bounds. Clay did have surgery to trim down the meniscus and 3 games, returning for the contest against New Orleans. While his return was remarkable, he continued to appear on the injury report for the rest of the year. His stats overall for the year: 49 receptions for 558 yards and 2 TD’s. While he was a safety valve for Tyrod Taylor, the amount of money paid to him for that production doesn’t equate.

His initial injury from a return to play perspective is unremarkable, but long term concerns remain. I had previously written on his previous knee complaints and my thoughts on how he will fare. Having knee injuries such as this add to the overall damage and may continue to cause problems. While the body has the remarkable capacity to heal and remodel based on injury, sports such as football impede the ability to heal as quickly, leading to greater difficulty to maintain a high level of play. Clay is only 28 years old and while he should have several productive years of football left, this may be limited if he continues to deal with the chronic knee complaints from earlier. I envision a scenario where the Bills let him play out his contract and move on from him as they have several younger, healthier players in the wings and will allow the team to get the salary cap under control.

Overall, the TE position is relatively healthy with the exception of Clay who can still be productive with the proper medical treatment. There are several other players that the Bills have on their radar with the previously mentioned Lee and Thomas. They also have TE Keith Towbridge who spent the year on IR with a foot injury sustained in training camp. The Bills have also recently signed TE Jason Croom to a futures/reserve deal. There will be some players that will be odd man out come training camp but many things can and will happen in the off season.

Continue to check back with me at Banged Up Bills for the latest injury news and analysis. Thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Bills Injury Breakdown- Patriots

Breaking down the latest Bills injury report & thoughts on E.J. Gaines latest injury.

The Buffalo Bills continue to play meaningful games in December! This is quite the rarity, but something the fan base should and is embracing! Regardless of this week’s outcome, the Bills will not be out of the playoffs which sets up a huge showdown with the Miami Dolphins in Week 17! This is an exciting time to be a Bills fan and hopefully a sign of positive things to come!

Today’s post will assess the injury report prior to the game against the Patriots. To earn a win in Foxboro, the Bills must play mistake free football and have everyone still available healthy. Right now, the latter is a distinct possibility. Those not practicing today are as follows: LB Lorenzo Alexander (rest), WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), CB E.J. Gaines (knee), WR Andre Holmes (neck), TE Nick O’Leary (back), DT Kyle Williams (groin).

Alexander is a seasoned veteran that still puts up solid play at the linebacker position and earns every one of his rest days. Benjamin continues to require extended rest breaks and rehab to manage the pain and swelling that he suffers after each game as a result of the meniscus tear that he will require surgery for at the end of the season. Holmes and Williams continue to deal with their respective injuries that appear to be nothing more than muscle strains which require rest and stretching. O’Leary has been on the injury report earlier this season due to back issues which may be muscle strains as he has had multiple short term complaints rather than a chronic long term issue.

As I stated in my last article, Gaines injured his left knee on a tackle of TE Julius Thomas in the 3rd quarter. After looking at video during coaches film, Gaines was running towards Thomas and had to change direction suddenly. During pivoting on the left knee to go to the right, it appears as though he sprained his left knee as he was able to take one more step and then throw his body into Thomas to knock him out of bounds.

Gaines was carted off the field and tests are still being performed as of today. I suspect a MCL sprain as the primary injury based on video with an ACL/meniscus tears always worst case scenarios. However, had he torn his ACL, that type of news would have been released by now. I suspect that the team is keeping tight lipped so as to not allow teams to game plan as if he doesn’t play. Considering his injury history, I suspect he misses the next game which would be a blow to the secondary as there is an obvious difference when he starts and when he is out.

If Gaines is forced to miss the next game, S Colt Anderson is returning to the roster from IR after breaking his forearm earlier in the season. This is a surprise due to the fact that he saw little playing time when he was healthy and has not made an impact during his time here. However, he provides depth in the secondary and may allow special teams to add a new wrinkle to this week’s game plan.

Those limited in practice are: TE Charles Clay (knee), RB LeSean McCoy (knee), G John Miller (ankle), and WR Deonte Thompson (back). Clay continues to deal with his knee and may forever be listed on the injury report. McCoy continues to take a beating as the workhorse of the offense and while I had originally thought he may be on the report due to a hip, his knee continues to be listed as soreness, though does not appear to limit his ability. McCoy is another player that will require a serious injury to be ruled out.

Miller is still dealing with what I believe to be a high ankle sprain and may be ruled out again on game day. Thompson has seen the injury report several times during the season but is currently dealing with a back injury. It did not appear that an injury forced him out of Sunday’s game, but he took several hard hits that could cause some expected discomfort in the following days.

Finally, those practicing in full are: QB Nathan Peterman (concussion). Peterman continues to bounce back from the concussion in the Colts game and appears to have resolved all issues in order to return to the backup QB position. I do not expect him to play unless QB Tyrod Taylor goes down with another injury at which time he will build off his solid outing against the Colts.

This game against the Patriots doesn’t have the Bills favored, but in the NFL, it’s Any Given Sunday. The Bills have a shot at winning. If they play like they did in the first half of the Patriots game, they have a realistic shot at keeping it close and possibly winning. I believe the coaching staff will bring everything they have in order to win and that includes most of the players on the injury report with the exception of Gaines.

I’m going to boldly predict a Bills win to push them to 9-6 and to the brink of the playoffs! Continue to check back for updates articles injuries as more information is known. Follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for the latest updates and game day analysis. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 14 Injury Breakdown- Colts

Breaking down the latest injury report prior to the Colts game including updates on Kelvin Benjamin, Tyrod Taylor, and Tre’Davious White.

Not surprising, more news coming out of One Bills Drive after today’s press conference and practice. The Bills aren’t quite shutting it down for the season, but after that loss to the Patriots to leave them at 6-6 and 8th in the AFC, the playoffs are becoming less and less of a possibility. It is quite disappointing after that great 5-2 start, but this team had shades of 2011 all over it and at this point, the team is playing for pride and to hopefully build a stronger foundation for next year.

Breaking down the injury report, WR Jordan Matthews and DE Shaq Lawson have been placed on IR, ending their respective seasons. Not much is known at the moment regarding what is hampering Matthews besides a knee issue. I had suspected a recurrence of tendonitis that he was dealing with during training camp, but more may be released as time passes. Lawson injured his ankle during a goal line stand against the Patriots on Sunday and based on what I was able to see, it appeared to be a high ankle sprain. This is supported by the mechanism of injury and the fact that he is on IR.

Those not practicing today are: RB Travaris Cadet (concussion), TE Charles Clay (knee), G John Miller (ankle), QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest), DT Kyle Williams (groin). There is no surprise with Cadet not practicing as he is still in concussion protocol. Miller is still not practicing due to an ankle injury that has sidelined him for the past several weeks and nothing is really known; he has been dealing with this since November 16th. He may also have suffered a high ankle sprain considering his timeline and add in the fact that he has not been able to participate in practice.

Yarbrough is not practicing secondary to what appears to be the same chest injury that he was dealing with last week. Looking back at film, he did not appear to be limited and was able to play through the entire game. This may be a pulled chest muscle that he continues to play through knowing that depth is thin at his position. Taylor is dealing with his patellar tendon contusion which was detailed in my previous article. Time will tell whether he will be ready for Sunday, otherwise QB Nathan Peterman may get the start. Finally, DT Kyle Williams is dealing with a groin injury. He was able to play the entire game and while there were some instances where he could have pulled his groin, he did not have to leave the game. The only time he was off the field was when certain defensive packages allowed him rest. I do not anticipate that he will miss next game.

Those limited in practice are: WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), CB Tre’Davious White (concussion), CB Leonard Johnson (knee), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring), and OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle). It is very promising to see that Benjamin is out and running on the field during practice today. Typically, in the general population these types of injuries do require a lengthier rehabilitation to return to full function. Benjamin is may be still dealing with some minor pain and swelling, but can at this point be expected to play through some discomfort. It helps that Benjamin has access to rehabilitation daily and expert medical advice. I expect him to be able to play Sunday but be on a possible snap count so as not to create further damage. It does help that the field conditions will be poor which in turn will reduce the likelihood of injury with inability for the feet to stick in the ground.

White returning to practice after the hit he took is quite amazing but every concussion is different in how they respond. As long as he does not have any recurrence of symptoms, he should be able to play Sunday. Johnson’s knee was of little concern as he took a helmet to the knee but he should be able return to play. Tolbert and Glenn continue dealing with their respective injuries which may allow them to return to play Sunday. However, I believe Tolbert is nearly out of the woods with his hamstring injury but Glenn will continue to be hampered with his issue as I still maintain he has chronic instability.

Those able to fully participate are OT Seantrel Henderson (back) and RB LeSean McCoy (knee). Henderson only participated in one offensive play and one special team play so its interesting that he has a back injury despite such little playing time. McCoy continues to be the engine that drives the offense and with the amount of abuse that his body goes through weekly, it is expected that he would have some type of week-to-week ailment. As he is a full participant, there should be no limitation.

Interesting to note, after FB Patrick DiMarco and TE Nick O’Leary were listed on the injury report last week with their respective ankle and back injuries. Despite O’Leary missing the Patriots game, they are not present which indicates that their issues must have been minor and should not limit them going into next week’s game against the Colts.

As the injury list gets longer along with the schedule getting shorter, this is expected at this time of the year. It is impressive that the Bills have not lost anyone significant to injury reserve which could have derailed their season. Unfortunately, poor play derailed this season and a chance to end the long suffering playoff drought. Ideally, depending on how these last 4 games play out, this should allow the season to end and everyone to get healthy to come back next year.

Hopefully the Bills get another win against the lowly Colts and continue have something to play for despite the disappointment that ends nearly every season in Buffalo. This is a very winnable game at New Era Field; they should be able to move to 5-2 and at least be respectable at home. These weather conditions are suitable to Buffalo football, the Bills should take advantage of the inclement weather and use the run game that’s worked for them so well in the past.

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

Buffalo Bills Injury Updates- Patriots

Updating the Bills injury report following many changes & clearing up the confusion.

The Buffalo Bills are making their injury report confusing with their upcoming match up against the Patriots Sunday. Is Sean McDermott and brass take a page from Bill Belichick’s book, making the injury report vague and convoluted to attempt to gain and edge over game planning for certain players? I believe this to be the case. It is also possible that the Bills are dinged up and this week’s injury report reflects that? Quite possibly too. Last game against the Chiefs saw no major injuries occur which bodes well for starting personnel to play.

Today’s post will update my last article as there has been so many changes since Sunday. Starting off with those ruled out are WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), G John Miller, RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring). No change here; Benjamin is able to perform some light drills as mentioned in the video last article, but he still has a ways before he’s realistically going to be able to return. Earliest is next week against the Colts, but I expect possibly against the Dolphins or 2nd Patriots game.

Glenn continues to deal with his issues and should only be brought back if the team is still in playoff contention. Tolbert’s injury appears to be more severe than I originally thought as this will be his 3rd game he misses. He may be able to return next week, but time will tell. I still believe it is a Grade 1 hamstring that just requires a longer rehab than most.

Questionable’s include: TE Charles Clay (knee), FB Patrick DiMarco (ankle), OT Seantrel Henderson (illness), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), OT Connor McDermott (chest), TE Nick O’Leary (back), and DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest). The interesting ones of this group are DiMarco and McDermott. After reviewing All 22 footage, there did not appear to be any instance where DiMarco had to leave due to injury. He was listed as a full participant Wednesday, did not practice Thursday, and was limited Friday. He could be an ankle sprain that is minor that the team does not want to aggravate. While I am not privy to when the Bills have padded practices, he may have been sat out to avoid full contact practices. As for McDermott, he has not appeared in a game this season so his injury remains irrelevant besides losing a depth player.

Henderson is questionable with illness; to note OT Dion Dawkins had an illness earlier, it is flu season, and that group is together a lot more than the full team practices. Others to note are Clay and Matthews with knee injuries. I believe these two will continue to be mainstays on the injury report for the rest of the season but should not affect their level of play. They have high impact positions and need continued maintenance rehab to ensure they do not suffer a decline in health or production.

O’Leary and Yarbrough remain questionable with their respective injuries, but video review showed that while they did have to leave late in the game, there wasn’t any specific play or instance where there was an observable injury. Out of the questionable players, I expect everyone to play with the exception of McDermott and possibly Henderson. There are always surprises on game day, but my goal in my articles is to better educate my fellow Bills fans.

Finally, RB LeSean McCoy made an appearance on the injury report briefly this week. He was not on the report Wednesday, was a full participant Thursday, did not practice Friday, yet is not listed on the injury report as a game time decision. Going back through the All 22 footage, McCoy was able to play the entire game and showed no limitations with his ability to move. He may have general knee soreness, but it is unknown. It is hard to diagnose an injury or limitations without seeing what happened. As mentioned above, I expect McCoy to play and not miss a step, only making the Patriots defense miss theirs.

I expect New Era to be rocking allowing the Buffalo D to step up and provide pressure all day. The Bills are 4-1 at home, hopefully they will go 5-1 under the right circumstances. I expect a close game and ideally a Bills win!

Continue to check back for the latest articles and updates. Follow me at @kyletrimble88 on Twitter for the latest updates on injuries and game day reactions. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!

Week 13 Injury Breakdown- Patriots

Detailing the latest Buffalo injury report including why video showing Kelvin Benjamin practicing is not what it appears to be and what it means.

The Buffalo Bills won a vitally important game towards remaining in playoff contention against the Kansas City Chiefs 16-10. However, most of the focus was spent on Monday’s report that WR Kelvin Benjamin is out with a torn meniscus and according to HC Sean McDermott, he is “day-to-day.” If you read my previous article, and you should, you will learn that meniscus injuries are not day-to-day, but at best week-to-week. Personally, I believe the Bills are downplaying the injury by trying to keep the fan base engaged and hopeful. Benjamin has not been a factor in the offense during the games he has been active. Yes, the Bills do lose a potential play maker, but his loss is less worrisome than when TE Charles Clay or CB E.J. Gaines went down with their respective injuries. The Bills sure do know how to sell hope; it’s their best asset after 17 years of subpar football.

Thankfully, the Bills did not lose anyone additional following the win. Those listed on the injury report not practicing today are as follows: OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), G John Miller (ankle), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring), TE Nick O’Leary (back) and DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest). Those limited in practice are: TE Charles Clay (knee), WR Jordan Matthews (knee). Those full participants are: FB Patrick Dimarco (ankle).

For those not in the Buffalo area, the NBC news affiliate WGRZ had an article on tonight’s news with video of WR Kelvin Benjamin performing ladder drills on the sideline. This tells us two things. First, this indicates that he has not had surgery to the right knee. Second, this states that the meniscus tear is smaller in nature and improves the outlook for return to play. Depending on the location of the meniscus tear which I can safely assume is in the red-red or at worst, red-white area. This is areas with the greatest blood supply, allowing for a better chance at recovery for return to play.

When interviewed by WGRZ, Benjamin states that he is feeling better and will definitely play later this season. I believe this still to be the case if he heals up and if the Bills are still in contention for a wild card spot. Benjamin can walk and run right now with a meniscus tear including performing ladder drills. If he attempts to pivot, sprint, jump, or try to extend his knee to land, his knee may lock up or catch, causing immediate pain and could worsen the meniscus tear, leading to a more complex rehab process. This is not a pain issue, but a functional issue that can worsen if not managed correctly. He could come back at the earliest for the Colts or Dolphins game if things progress really well.

Cordy Glenn may be able to come back soon as he has missed the past three games indicating that this may be a re-aggravation of whatever he has going on. However, reports state that he may also be shut down for the season. This clearly shows that he is not healthy. As the team is tight lipped on what is occurring it is hard to speculate what a viable return to play protocol can be for him. I will continue to monitor and determine if there is any change in his status or information regarding his injury.

Miller continues to be a non-factor and it appears he injured his ankle in a practice which has limited his availability. Tolbert continues to nurse a hamstring pull sustained in the Saints game, but with the change of pace play of RB Tarvaris Cadet, he has become more expendable and does not appear to rushing back to play. The Bills also have FB Patrick Dimarco which allows Tolbert to return to full health, but could potentially leave him jobless in the off-season.

O’Leary is a new addition to the injury report with a back injury. Upon video review, O’Leary was able to catch a pass halfway through the 4th quarter and then did not appear to be any other chance at injury. He may be dealing with general back soreness or recovering from a hit that precluded him from practice as a precaution. I do not expect him to miss any time for next week.

Yarbrough is also added to the injury report with a chest injury. He left at the end of the 3rd quarter and did not return. Upon video review, there was no instances where he was down on the ground or saw that he suffered any injury to his chest. Speculating on why he did not practice, he may have pulled his pectoral muscle which assists with pushing and horizontal adduction or pulling his arm in towards midline. He may have also suffered a contusion to the area; he did pressure QB Alex Smith several times and laid a solid hit on him late in the 3rd. I do not anticipate that he will miss any time.

Clay does not appear to be 100% recovered from his knee injury sustained in the Cincinnati game, but his game has not been affected as a result. He may be dealing with the chronic knee issue that he dealt with all last season, but considering that Clay’s type of injury usually takes longer to be 100%, it is most likely the most recent one. His play suggests that limited participation in practice is related to getting him the reps he needs but limit the chance of re-injury.

Matthews appears to be on the med after injuring his knee a few weeks ago but does not appear limited in running his routes or coming up lame in any of his plays. He was able to play in 62% of the offensive snaps and appears on the better side of the injury he is currently dealing with.

Finally, FB Patrick DiMarco is listed with an ankle injury but was a full participant. Looking at video and snap counts, he played in 25% of the snaps plus saw time on special teams. There wasn’t anything on video that suggested any injury and may just be dealing with a tweaked ankle which requires observation without limitation in practice.

Going into Sunday’s game against the Patriots at home allows for the Bills to have a shot at winning, but everyone must be healthy, the team must play above it’s abilities, and some luck will be required. The Patriots are beatable, this is the NFL, its any given Sunday! Despite all that is wrong with this season, the Bills are still relatively healthy compared to other teams in the league. The difference is when the Bills starters go down, the backups are not high quality as you would find on other teams such as the Patriots, Steelers, or Packers. Hopefully this will change in the coming years, but the Bills are not there yet.

Continue to check back for regular updates and future articles. Follow me on Twitter @kyletrimble88 for real time updates and my thoughts as news breaks. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!

Week 7 Recap- Buccaneers

Breaking down the latest on EJ Gaines and Jordan Poyer injuries and following the exciting win over the Buccaneers.

The Buffalo Bills continue to thrill and excite the fan base with a fantastic 30-27 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers! Despite giving up 27 points to the Bucs, the Buffalo defense made key stops including a late fumble recovery by Tre’Davious White to set up the game winning field goal. Buffalo is now 4-2, including 3-0 at home, making Sean McDermott the first Bills head coach to start 3-0 at home. These Bills continue to impress, but key injuries may derail the good times.

Thankfully, the Bills injuries continue to occur at a minimum, but injuries in the secondary may be ill timed with the Oakland Raiders offense coming to life. CB E.J. Gaines suffered a hamstring injury during a tackle on DeSean Jackson early in the 3rd quarter. Gaines was able to walk off on his own power but was unable to return. As reports are minimal at best to avoid giving a competitive advantage to their opponents, Gaines has been listed day-to-day. Based on this report, he may have suffered a Grade 1 hamstring strain.

If you recall from my article on hamstrings, this is something that can be managed conservatively and is a week-to-week injury. It’s possible that he may be able to play in time for the Oakland game, but considering that Gaines had a hamstring injury in training camp and is just recently coming off a groin injury, this doesn’t bode well. Unfortunately, these are soft tissue injuries and while can be reduced, they are not fully preventable.

I would not hang the “injury-prone” tag on Gaines though at this time. During each time he has been injured, he has been going all out trying to make the play. I would rather have him go all out trying to make a play rather than a player taking it easy, such as CB Stephon Gilmore, who we dealt with for far too long last season. However, I believe based on all the previous history, he misses next week. As Brandon Beane has been known to do, he has been preemptive, signing CB Tony McRae and releasing WR Kaelin Clay with the uncertainty following the injury.

This signing was also made with the recent injury of S Jordan Poyer. His injury came on the last play of the game in which Tampa Bay attempted their pathetic imitation of the Music City Miracle. They were playing the Bills, you’re not going to fool them twice! Video of the play shows a player hitting Poyer low and Poyer reporting he felt a pop. Based on video, it appears he did injure his right knee, though the injury does not appear to be as severe as it could have been.

During the hit, Poyer was able to begin lifting his leg and turn his hip inward away from the hit, allowing him to deflect some of the force on the knee joint. As he was able to walk off with the trainers, this also indicates that this may be a Grade 1 MCL sprain. Thankfully, this MCL sprain is nowhere near the severity of the Charles Clay injury. I believe there is a better shot at Poyer playing Sunday than Gaines at the moment. This week’s practice will dictate how each player responds to the injury. I believe that the Bills could go without one of these players, but not both.

Finally, WR Jordan Matthews was able to suit up and play, recording 3 targets for 2 catches for 10 yards. While this is not the type of production the Bills had hoped for, this far exceeded expectations considering he is still coming off a broken thumb. It was a stretch that he was able to play this week, it appeared that he was used more as a decoy to help in allowing WR Deonte Thompson to make his mark after being signed off the street earlier last week. Having Matthews return to play gives Tyrod another weapon going into next week’s game against the Raiders.

Despite missing TE Charles Clay and using a less than effective Jordan Matthews, Tyrod Taylor was able to spread the ball around to Thompson, Logan Thomas, Nick O’Leary, LeSean McCoy, and even Zay Jones. Despite missing some top end talent on the roster, the Bills still benefit from the depth at each position which allows for a next man up mentality. I believe this is why the Bills have been able to stay in every game this season and win the close ones such as Sunday’s game. This formula will not work every week, but the Bills have to begin winning the close ones in order to have a shot at turning their years’ long misfortunes around.

The Bills aren’t losing anyone to season ending injuries, unlike many other teams in the league. Depth continues to be a concern, but it is not as though other teams lose their starting player and a Pro Bowl caliber replacement is warming the bench. I believe with this depth and team first mentality, the Bills can beat the Oakland Raiders and move to 5-2 on the season. The Raiders do have a talented offense lead by Derek Carr and Amari Cooper, but if the secondary can get healthy in time, this should limit the effectiveness of the passing game. With how the Bills defense has played this season, I expect McDermott and Frazier to draw up a defensive game plan to limit the Raiders offense.

I know that many Bills fans are still on the edge despite a 4-2 start. The Bills have been here several times in the past with poor finishes. This may be another year in which that’s the case. Experience, injuries, schedule all play a part in the rest of the season. Time will tell how the rest of the season plays out; I will continue to hope for the best, but prepare for moments that remind me why I am a Bills fan. Until then, I will continue to cheer and enjoy the moment. Thank you for your time and GO BILLS!!

Time to Learn

Updating Bills injury news and previewing posts for later this week.

At this point in time, the Bills are hopefully enjoying their time off and getting the much needed rest and rehab required to go into their match up against the Buccaneers next Sunday. This week was wild enough without the Bills playing and driving us insane. The Jets looked very competitive, losing to the Patriots 24-17 with a controversial TD overturned that could have changed the outcome of the game. The Dolphins upset the Falcons in their home 20-17, possibly exposing their Super Bowl hangover. With the way the AFC East games played out today, I expect each game to be a dog fight with no one lying down to wait for 2018.

As the Bills are on the bye, news has been lacking coming out of One Bills Drive. The team has been silent with injuries since last week, offering no updates or return to play expectations regarding Charles Clay, Ramon Humber, or Nick O’Leary. At time of publication of the game recap against the Bengals, it wasn’t known that Nick O’Leary suffered an injury against the Bengals. It was listed as undisclosed and as of today, still is not known what he is dealing with.

In other news, it is also worth noting that Charles Clay has not been moved to IR with designation to return. This tells me several things. This tells me that his injury may not be as severe as originally thought and may be back sooner than 8 weeks. This tells me that the team has faith in their training and medical staff, in that they keep a roster spot for him despite lacking depth at the position. Finally, the team has not gone out and found a big name free agent TE, indicating that they will rely on what they have. I have also stated before that I have no insider knowledge; just knowledge of the injuries and recovery process. With that said, I want Charles Clay to prove me wrong. I want him to return faster than expected. I want him to return healthy and contribute to the team as he was prior to his injury. Time will tell how this one plays out.

As there is little Bills information regarding injuries to report this week, I will go in a different direction. While there are a multitude of injuries that can be covered, I will look to outline general injuries so that you may understand the differences between each issue. My goal this week is to allow you to decipher what is going on when an injury occurs, how severe it may be, and generally, what to expect even before more information is publicly known. Continue to check back daily for new posts regarding these injuries and learn a thing or two! GO BILLS!!

Handling the Hamstrings

Educating on the all too common hamstring strain, levels of severity, and prevention.

As the Bills are on a bye this upcoming Sunday, this allows some deviation away from Bills injury talks to discuss general matters, my thoughts and opinions, and review ideas/thoughts that may get lost in the shuffle of the busy season filled with injuries. Already this season, we have seen Pro Bowl, All-Pro, and HOF caliber players go down with injuries that are potentially career ending, career altering, and just plain unfortunate. Over the next week, I will look to identify and explain general injuries that regularly occur and how to differentiate between injuries and their severity.

Today’s post will look at the all too common hamstring strain. This is an injury even the best conditioned athlete can sustain. This article will not focus on one specific player, but rather educate and inform what the hamstrings are, how they operate, why they’re injured, and prevention.

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Credit: myprotein.com

The hamstrings are made up of 3 muscles in the back of the thigh consisting of the biceps femoris on the outside and the semimembranosis and semitendonosis on the inside. Together these three muscles attach to parts of the upper femur and bottom of the hip which is called the ischial tuberosity . This is the bony part that everyone sits on when they are in a chair. At the other end, they connect to the top of the tibia and fibula, which is the lower leg bones. Due to the muscles crossing over two joints, they have different functions. Together, these muscles allow the leg to extend and drive the body forward, along with bending the knee. During running and blocking, these muscles cycle through the process of shortening and lengthening at regular intervals depending on the position of the leg.

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Credit: livestrong.com

To help you envision the hamstring functioning, picture a sprinting athlete. Typically, one foot is in contact with the ground, the other in the air. During the foot that is in contact with the ground, the hamstrings with other muscles assist in extending the thigh to assist in moving the body forward. As the body moves forward and begins to push off, the other leg begins the process towards beginning to make contact with the ground. Once the original leg finishes pushing off, the knee begins to bend to assist in clearing the foot to bring the leg forward. Even during the portion where the leg makes contact with the ground, the hamstring is loading back up and eccentrically contracting which means that it is accepting a load while lengthening, which is the most taxing type of muscle contraction. While the hamstring does sound confusing, it can be, but know that without them, you’re not doing much walking without them

During times of injury, the muscle can be overworked, overstretched, or fatigued, leading to part of the muscle to become injured. Depending on the severity and location can dictate the recovery time. A strain is due to the injury to the muscle or the muscle bone attachment. Grade 1 tears are the least severe in which a small portion of the muscle tears during excessive activity. This can heal up rather quickly but several days of rest, stretching, and light exercise can remedy the muscle.

Grade 2 hamstring tear is where at a moderate portion of the muscle tears with a greater force, leading the player to limp and be unable to properly use the affected leg as intended. Typically, there is greater bruising and swelling with initial difficulty placing weight, keeping the player off it for some time. Bruising, poor functional control, and tenderness may occur during this time.

Grade 3 hamstring tear is where the muscle nearly or completely tears. It can also pull a chunk of the bone away from the bony attachment, most likely at the ischial tuberosity, known as an avulsion. This is due to this area being the anchor point, meaning the harder the muscle contracts, the harder it pulls on the anchor point, leading to eventual overload. At this level of injury, the muscle is quite weak and function is no longer normal.

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Credit: physioprescription.com

These types of injuries occur when an athlete suddenly tries to decelerate and change direction, hurdling a player, or trying to push their body faster and faster. This can also occur during blocking, trying to maintain their ground as their being pushed forward and backwards, eventually the muscle gives out and the player becomes injured as a result. There are countless ways for the hamstring to be injured, these are just several of the more common mechanisms of injury.

While the injury is not fully preventable, there are certain steps that can be taken to reduce the incidence. Some preventable measures that can be taken is ensuring proper hydration, conditioning, stretching, and strengthening. Some things that can’t be controlled is previous hamstring injury and increased age. The best method to treat an injury is to prevent. However, I would be hard pressed to find an athlete that has not sustained some sort of hamstring injury during the course of their athletic endeavors.

As Bills fan, we have already seen several players deal with hamstring injuries this season with varying degrees of severity. As a PT, I am not concerned about the long term management of the injuries. I know these players need time to rest, recover, and not to rush back. I would expect to see these injuries increase as the season wears on and the bodies begin to break down. So far, several players on the Bills such as Marcell Dareus, E.J. Gaines, Matt Milano, Nick O’Leary, and Deon Lacey have all spent some time on the injury report this season due to this malady.

I hope this helped educate your understanding on the purpose of the hamstring, why it gets injured, and what it means when a Bills player or another player you follow goes down with the injury. Over the next week, I will continue to outline other common injuries or any specific injuries that occur. Thank you for your time; just doing my job one post at a time to help educate the fellow Bills fan and realize that not every injury is season ending or dashing the team’s success each year.

Week 3 Recap- Broncos

Analyzing the Buffalo Bills injury report following the Week 3 win over the Denver Broncos.

The Buffalo Bills stole a crucial win from the Denver Broncos on Sunday, winning 26-16 during possibly the hottest game ever in Buffalo. The Bills played a solid game despite some parts of the first half that were sloppy. Tyrod Taylor pulled it together and moved the ball well, giving up no interceptions, fumbles, or making any poor choices. I do not believe he is the long term starter for this team, but he is what will work for now until Nathan Peterman develops or the Bills draft a QB next year.

Breaking down this week’s Buffalo Bill’s injury report, well, there’s not much to go over. Sunday’s game showed the first time in recent memory where a player did not go down with injury for either side. As I was at the insanely hot game Sunday, I did not have the vantage points that I normally have on TV. One Bills player did get assessed by training staff but was able to walk off on their own power. This indicates that either they were possibly dealing with cramping or got banged up. Considering the heat Sunday, cramping is the likely culprit.

There are not any new additions to the Bills injury report with many subtractions from last week. Finding their way off the injury report is S Colt Anderson, TE Charles Clay, DE Shaq Lawson, WR Kaelin Clay, LB Deon Lacey, LB Matt Milano, and TE Nick O’Leary. All of these players were dealing with a variety of complaints that do not appear to be long term issues. One note that I would like to make is Shaq Lawson. It was reported that he was dealing with a nerve contusion last week which affected his foot. As I thought previously, it did not affect his overall play with 1 solo tackle, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, and 1 QB hit. While he did not light up the box score in previous games, he still played in 60% of the snaps, which is in line with the other defensive starters. I do not expect that this injury will reappear again this season.

Those currently on the injury report include LB Lorenzo Alexander and DT Kyle Williams due to rest. Two veterans that give it their all every Sunday, they benefit more from rest than practice. Next up is LeSean McCoy with a wrist injury. This is 3 weeks now that he has been dealing with a wrist injury sustained in the home opener when diving into the end zone. He may be dealing with a mild wrist sprain that the team wants to ensure that does not get worse. I do not believe that this injury is any worse or is part of something larger at this time.

A positive sign for this week is that DT Jerel Worthy is listed as a full participant in practice. This is a huge step forward from the past several weeks. If you recall, Worthy sustained a significant concussion in the preseason finale against the Lions. Considering that he is a full participant indicates that he is in Stage 5 of the concussion protocol. This means that barring any recurrence of symptoms over the next several days, he should be cleared to return to play against the Falcons on Sunday. This is supported by the Bills roster cut of DT Deandre Coleman, signed last week.

DT Marcell Dareus and OT Cordy Glenn have made themselves comfy on the report this week. Dareus was listed as a limited participant. Considering there was video of him last week in an air cast performing upper body work indicates that he continues to deal with a mild lateral ankle sprain. If this injury was significant, he would not have been doing activities in standing and may have had a walking boot, creating more stability. Expect him to play Sunday and shut down the potent Falcons running game.

Finally, OT Cordy Glenn continues to deal with foot/ankle injuries. As I have said before, I continue to maintain that he has instability within the ankle/foot region due to repeatedly spraining the areas. Are these injuries that he could play through if this were the playoffs, quite possibly. However, it is still early in the season and Dion Dawkins held his own against the talented Broncos D-line. I expect the training staff to continue to bring Glenn along slowly to ensure that the O-line has the depth required to get through the season.

I still believe that McDermott is rotating through players more frequently to reduce overuse injuries and keep the integrity of the roster intact. As the season continues on, I will continue to address injuries that occur plus outline any injuries that can become common or chronic. Once again, thank you for reading and look for further updates, GO BILLS!!

Week 3 Injury Breakdown- Broncos

Analyzing the Buffalo Bills injury report for Week 3.

Week 3 is upon us! As we head into the match up at home against the Denver Broncos, I will review the team injury report and breakdown expectations for the players on the report. Unfortunately, the Bills injury report will continue to grow through the season. However, most injuries so far have consisted of minor problems that if managed correctly, will not become a problem long term.

Getting several of the names out of the way early are LB Lorenzo Alexander, RB LeSean McCoy, and DT Jerel Worthy. I address these players first because they are not serious issues or have already been addressed. Alexander is on the list due to rest, McCoy due to his wrist which does not appear to be a serious injury as he was listed as a full participant. Finally, Worthy is still in the league concussion protocol and still not practicing, which likely means he is still having symptoms during regular aerobic activities.

Those carrying over from last weeks injury report are S Colt Anderson, TE Charles Clay, and OT Cordy Glenn. Colt Anderson continues to deal with a foot injury and continues to somehow be on the roster. Clay was on last week due to shoulder complaints; this week is knee, which continues to be a long term issue year after year. Glenn reappears on the list due to re-aggravation of the foot/ankle area.

New to the injury report are DE Shaq Lawson, WR Kaelin Clay, DT Marcell Dareus, LB Deon Lacey, LB Matt Milano, and TE Nick O’Leary. Kaelin Cray is dealing with a foot injury, yet not much is known about the current injury. Clay did suffer a broken foot last year during training camp with the Ravens. He was eventually cut in November from injured reserve and essentially sat out last season. Hopefully, this is not something that will keep him out for long. Deon Lacey, Matt Milano, and Nick O’Leary are all dealing with hamstring injuries which can continue to be tricky due to the demands of their specific positions. Lawson’s injury was detailed greatly in my last post and should not affect him for long term. To note, all were full participants on Friday which indicate that they will most likely play Sunday.

It was reported today that both Cordy Glenn and Marcell Dareus will not play Sunday due to the previously reported injuries. I had initially thought that Dareus’ injury was not major due to the fact that he returned to the game against the Panthers. He most likely sustained a sprained ankle and the team is possibly being cautious to ensure that he will be available later this season. With Dareus ruled out, the Bills signed DeAndre Coleman to the roster. Coleman was in training camp and during the offseason, released during cut down day. Considering that Jerel Worthy and Dareus is out, depth will be crucial to place pressure on the Denver offense and contain the run game.

With Cordy Glenn ruled out of the game Sunday, expect Dion Dawkins and Ryan Groy to see increased playing time. This will be the first true test for Dawkins, which I believe he will step up and fill in, demonstrating why the Bills picked him in the 2nd round. As for what Glenn is dealing with, possibly a foot sprain leading to further instability and pain. There are reports that he has issues with both feet/ankles, but unable to confirm each individual issue as that kind of detail typically isn’t released. At this point, I say keep him out until he is ready to play. I have outlined my thoughts on Glenn in the past, I still maintain that the previous issues are contributing towards this current one.

While missing Glenn and Dareus in the lineup, the depth is finally there to deal with these losses. All of the players except Worthy, Dareus, and Glenn practiced in full on Friday which leads me to believe that most of them will either be ready to play for Sunday or have their snap counts limited. Please continue to ask questions, leave comments, and educate yourself on Buffalo Bills injuries. I continue to be open to ideas and will address injuries that require further explanation. Once again, thank you for your time and GO BILLS!!!