Heading into Week 2 of the preseason, the Bills are dealing with some ailing athletes. There is a wide spectrum to discuss. These injuries resulted in both pre-camp/camp conditions and the last preseason game itself. Pre-camp/Camp injuries are very difficult to project, as teams don’t necessarily disclose the relevant information. However, it’s possible to connect the dots. The most affected position groups are RB, WR, and OL.
WR Stefon Diggs
Stefon has been out since August 10th with a “knee” injury. Nobody really knows what happened. Now, don’t forget, he was taking some “rest” days earlier in camp. He was also out and about at practice after his injury, and was fairly animated and engaged with the players. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to worry. However, the longer his absence, the more concerning it will be.
I’m calling this a tendonitis, similar to what we saw with Tyreek Hill in Chiefs camp. However, Tyreek only sat out a few days, and Stefon is going on over a week. Tendonitis, likely his patellar, can take anywhere from a few days or up to a couple weeks to fully recover. I think they are just being conservative. However, it also might be something to do with his contract situation (aka a business decision).
LT Dion Dawkins
The Shnow Man was ailing. Out with COVID since the start of training camp, Dion spoke to the media about his experience fighting the disease. How he was very symptomatic with the virus and even had been hospitalized for 4 days. This is unfortunate, but God bless him. Due to weight loss and deconditioning, Dion will likely take his time ramping up and miss the remainder of the preseason. An unfortunate and humbling event, but hopefully it won’t hamper his play this season.
DE Jerry Hughes
Jerry has been back at practice and off the PUP list for a week. I would like to see the team take it easy and hold him out for the rest of the preseason. He’s not ancient, but he is at an advanced stage in his career as he just turned 33. And, as I recently mentioned in another piece, this increases his risk of re-injuring that calf.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
Sanders has also been back at practice for about a week. I would think the team will take a great deal of precaution with him. He was listed with a “foot” injury, but there was no footage of it. It occurred in practice and he missed five days in early August. Emmanuel is also at and advanced stage in his career, as he is 34. This is coupled with a history of surgical procedures for leg maladies including an Achilles, high ankle sprain, and Jones fractures. It should come as expected that he will need to have his workload limited and will have some bumps in the road. Overall, I don’t think this injury is a big deal, for now.
Preseason Game Injuries
WR Isaiah Hodgins
During the first preseason game, Isaiah Hodgins jammed his left knee hard into the turf. He stayed on for one play, but exited after. Based on McDermott’s comments, that they are just waiting on the swelling and it’s day-to-day, it should be assumed he had patellar bursitis. Basically, he suffered a badly bruised/swollen knee cap. This likely means Hodgins will be either day-to-day or out for up to 1-2 weeks max.
RB Antonio Williams
Suffering a “stinger” always hurts. Antonio initially left the game, but returned. However, he is now missing practice. Given the fact he returned, I’ll assume this will be day-to-day, and he is just dealing with soreness. This would be similar to whiplash pain.
TE Tommy Sweeney
Leaving the game with a “foot” injury, this doesn’t bode well with Tommy’s injury history. He missed half of last season recovering from left foot surgery, only to come back and get COVID with myocarditis. That shut him down for months. He finally returned to camp healthy this season.
There was nothing glaring in the game that occurred, so, unfortunately, I think he is suffering from a complication with his foot surgery. He likely had a Jones Fracture last year, which needed a screw. They do commonly fail and there is a plethora of pass catchers who have needed multiple procedures to get it right. These include Julio Jones, Sammy Watkins, and even Kevin Durant of the NBA. Best case scenario, it is just a stress reaction and he is only week-to-week. Unfortunately, I am concerned it is fractured and he is mulling options.
Rest of the Pack
RB Zack Moss
It was good to hear Zack returned to practice on Tuesday. This is a sign that his hamstring was very minor, but is still worth monitoring. Perhaps this could be due to mild impairments stemming from his ankle surgery this offseason?
RB Christian Wade
Currently, the UK sensation has been out for almost 2 weeks with a “shoulder” injury. Based on his position and lack of participation, it is likely a severe AC joint sprain. This would be similar to what Tremaine Edmunds and Josh Allen dealt with early last season. One would assume he would be returning within the next week.
G Forrest Lamp
Lamp has had a history of an ACL and a lower leg fracture in the past. Currently, he has been out since the end of July with a “calf” injury. He likely has a calf strain, which can take 2-4 weeks to return.
LB Marquel Lee
Landing on the COVID list on August 10th, Marquel can return on the 20th. However, as we saw with Dion, these can be a crapshoot, depending on symptoms.