The Buffalo Bills are experiencing a wave of recent injuries. Let’s comb through the news and see how it affects the team from a fantasy football perspective.
The main player everyone is wondering about is Sammy Watkins. He is the Bills best fantasy player along with LeSean McCoy. Watkins had surgery on his foot in the offseason and there was never a definite timeline for his return. He is back practicing and is close to 100 percent.
There’s concern that he could re-injure the foot. To prevent that, he is working with the medical staff to change how he runs to reduce pressure on it. He remains a risky draft pick. He will either make you really happy or really mad that you took him. That will depend on his health and Tyrod Taylor’s improvement at quarterback.
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The Bills had a scary injury with left tackle Cordy Glenn. The team recently signed Glenn to a long-term deal to anchor down the left side of their line this past offseason. Glenn suffered a high ankle sprain and was seen in a walking boot.
He is very lucky to have no structural damage. Reports are that he will be held out of preseason but ready to go when the season starts. If Glenn isn’t ready Week 1 look for the Bills running game to suffer considerably.
Another concern on the left side of the line is Richie Incognito who left practice on Monday, August 8th with sore ribs. There have been no further updates but it doesn’t seem like anything major at this point. He was a major force pulling in the running game last year and his presence on the line is needed for the running game to be effective.
Bills tight end Charles Clay is still a concern. His player page on Rotoworld.com has a report from Mike Rodak of ESPN that indicates he has been receiving lower back treatments from the team. Considering he missed the final three games last year with back issues it’s a major concern that this injury could nag him all year and reduce his fantasy production. This a major red flag against drafting the tight end.
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For those in extremely deep leagues or who love players with blazing speed, Kolby Listenbee remains limited from hernia surgery. With Marquise Goodwin looking good in practice, Listenbee’s roster spot appears in jeopardy unless he can get on the field soon.
Wide receiver Dez Lewis injured his shoulder last night in a collision with Aaron Williams who may have suffered a concussion. Wide receiver Greg Salas injured his hamstring at Wednesday’s practice and may miss about a week. Both of these injuries lower their chances slightly of winning the WR3 role.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Bills suffered many potentially damaging injuries. It was announced this week that second-round pick Reggie Ragland is out for the year with a torn ACL. The Bills needed Ragland at middle linebacker and are now thin at the position. Zach Brown is likely to start in Ragland’s place.
It is still a mystery how long first round draft pick Shaq Lawson who had preventative shoulder surgery in the offseason will be out. ESPN’s Adam Schefter estimates he could return between Weeks 6-8, according to Rotoworld.com, which matches the initial timeline. He will provide a huge boost to the team’s pass-rushing efforts once he returns. IK Enemkpali is the favorite to start in his absence.
Manny Lawson was expected to replace Shaq Lawson but he suffered a partial tear of his bicep after trying to bench over 400 pounds. He should be back by the first game since it’s only a partial tear.
He’s a veteran who showed good command of the defense so it should not affect his spot with the team. He may miss all of the preseason which could affect his ability to adapt to NFL game speed in the first week or two of the year.
Cornerback Corey White left Monday’s practice with a knee contusion but no further updates have been provided. This does not appear to be anything serious. Cornerback Sterling Moore is currently in concussion protocol according to Rex Ryan.
We previously mentioned the big news last night that Aaron Williams might have gotten a concussion on a collision with Dez Lewis. The talent at safety drops off considerably after Williams who’s estimated return date is uncertain. Fantasy managers should monitor this closely if they are considering the Bills as their defense.
The Bills defense should be much better as a fantasy option this year but you have to be concerned with all of these injuries early in training camp. Proceed with caution if you are considering drafting them.
As you can tell, the Bills have dealt with a fair amount of injuries at this point in the year. It’s never too early to start worrying about what type of implications preseason injuries could have on fantasy production during the year. We’ll keep you updated when new information surfaces.