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Breaking Down Zack Moss’ season ending injury!



Well, Bills Mafia, the 2020 season is over. I am sad because this was Buffalo’s best season in my lifetime. However, this off-season is going to be exciting and intriguing with the uncertainty surrounding the salary cap and the expected QB carousel. Those are not the only things to look out for during the off-season.

It is common to see players undergo surgery in the off-season for injuries suffered late in the season/postseason. Some players even have procedures for lingering injuries that were present the entire season. So, for the next six months, I will bring you injury/surgery updates on any and all Bills players. First up is running back Zack Moss.

The Diagnosis

As you all know, Moss suffered a season ending injury in the fourth quarter of the wild card game against Indianapolis. He appeared to have injured his left ankle and was carted off the field. Moss publicly announced the surgery post-procedure on Instagram, when he posted a picture of a large wrap around his left ankle and leg with the caption: “Fresh Out. I’ll never doubt God, I know he’s written greatness for me in my life! Road to recovery. Year 2 I’ll see you soon.” Safe to say, Moss will be ready to roll as he rehabs this off-season!

So, what was the injury that required surgery? Well, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Moss underwent a “Tight Rope procedure”. This is a minor surgical procedures commonly done to repair a significant high ankle sprain. Schefter also reported that Moss should be ready for all off-season activities, which is a great sign for Zack Moss.

This illustrate depicts a high ankle sprain and its impact on the tibia, fibula, and damaged ligaments, courtesy of

What is a “Tight Rope Procedure”?

This is a common procedure done for athletes who have suffered high ankle sprains or fibula fractures. (Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa had this procedure done when he had an ankle injury at Alabama.) When a high ankle sprain occurs, the ligaments that connect the tibia and fibula bones at the top of the ankle are damaged/torn. The higher the grade of sprain, the worse the damage.

During the procedure, the surgeon will drill across the tibia and fibula and insert a small metal screw-like device to connect the two bones together. As you can see in the image below, there is a large plate on one side, a smaller one on the other, and then a small thin metal device that is screwed in.

Here is a computerized picture of what the “tight rope” looks like, courtesy of

This metal device acts as a “tight rope”, holding the bones in the correct anatomical place while the actual ligament heals. This leads to quicker healing of the ankle.

Tight rope surgery is becoming more common for athletes because of its ease and decreased healing time. Pretty cool, right?!

Thanks for reading everyone!

As always,

Go Bills!