Buffalo Bills: 14 players will be returning from injury this season

Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) reacts after he scored a touchdown during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 24, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) reacts after he scored a touchdown during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Carolina Panthers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-13. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 4, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills tackle Cordy Glenn (77) against the New York Giants at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Giants beat the Bills 24 to 10. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

The Buffalo Bills have 8 starters that should perform better this season — if they can remain healthy.

#70. We all remember Week 9 vs. the Seattle Seahawks when Eric Wood suffered a broken leg that immediately ended his season. The Bills were lucky to get solid backup play out of Ryan Groy, but Wood was easily the leader on the offensive line. With that being said, having him back will do wonders for an offensive line that is one of the best in football — especially when it comes to run-blocking. Plus, you’d be lying if you said you didn’t miss seeing his curly hair every week.. C. Buffalo Bills. ERIC WOOD

SAMMY WATKINS. #14. Watkins, as we all know, has battled injuries his whole career. Everything from his ribs, groin, hip, hamstring, calf, ankle and most recently his foot — which kept him out/limited all of last season. Watkins needs to have a breakout year this season if he wants to remain with the Buffalo Bills, who declined the fifth-year option on his contract. When he’s been on the field, he has been nothing short of amazing. He has shown a lot of chemistry with Taylor’s deep ball and can immediately take this offense to the next level. As of right now, he is on time with his rehab and figures to be ready by Week 1. If not, fans will grow tired of it real quick — as if they haven’t already. We are all hoping for a breakout season from Watkins.. WR. Buffalo Bills

#5. Tyrod Taylor had a groin injury to end the 2016 season. If you don’t remember, it received a lot of criticism because speculators believed he was trying to cash in. Instead, Taylor took a pay-cut and restructured his contract to remain in Buffalo and proved his loyalty to the city that gave him a chance. Personally, I think Taylor will have a great season in 2017 and will surprise a lot of people with a healthy receiving core. He has check-down options, deep threats, slot receivers, blocking, help in the middle of the field, I mean he has everything he needs to succeed — plus some. I think he finally starts to win some games.. QB. Buffalo Bills. TYROD TAYLOR

#85. Charles Clay battled injuries most of last season, but didn’t miss a whole lot of time. If he had, the Bills’ passing game would’ve been that much worse. It started Week 2 with his knee, which ailed him all the way up until the final game of the season. He also suffered a small ankle injury Week 7, but it was the knee that kept him limited. Considering he wasn’t at full-health, Clay turned out an okay season with 57 catches, 552 yards and 4 touchdowns, but most of those numbers came in the final four games of the season. He will need to show consistency if he wants to stay in Buffalo much longer, but there’s no doubting he has the ability to be one of the best tight ends in the league. Plus, his blocking is great. I see a much better season from Clay this year.. TE. Buffalo Bills. CHARLES CLAY

MUST READ: Marcell Dareus primed for a big 2017 campaign

#99. Marcell Dareus had a disappointing season in Buffalo last year. First, he was suspended the first four games after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. When he returned to practice, he suffered a hamstring injury that kept him out two more games. He returned vs. NE, but would miss the next game vs. Seattle. From that point on, he didn’t miss a game, but was bothered by groin and abdominal pains. He is healthy again, but the rocky season for Dareus resulted in most fans growing tired of him. I say don’t sleep on him just yet. Dareus is on a mission to turn over a new leaf and is looking to come out on fire this season. I expect him to get back to his Mr. Big Stuff ways, piling up them sacks and tackles for loss. Just wait.. DT. Buffalo Bills. MARCELL DAREUS

#77. Cordy Glenn is another staple along the Bills’ offensive line. A 2nd round selection in 2012, Glenn has started since being drafted and has been great. The injuries started to creep up in 2015 when he dealt with an ankle injury early on in the season and a back injury late in 2015. Last season, the ankle injury ailed Glenn from Week 2 to Week 9. From Week 12-14, the back problems re-surfaced. Week 15 brought a foot injury and then the final two games of the season were his back. With the offseason to heal, Glenn should come back better than ever and should help with the protection of Tyrod Taylo — which was a problem last year.. LT. Buffalo Bills. CORDY GLENN

#90. Shaq Lawson got to finish the second half of the season, but missed the first half due to a shoulder injury that was announced after the Bills drafted him. He ended up playing in 10 games, but saw limited snaps in some of those games as Rex Ryan eased him into his rookie year. By the end of the season, he had 13 tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble, 1.5 stuffs and one pass defensed. Lawson will move to a starting role at defensive end this season, opposite of Jerry Hughes. It will be his time to shine, as well as his time to make up for what was lost during his rookie campaign. Look for big plays and big numbers from Lawson this season.. DE. Buffalo Bills. SHAQ LAWSON

#59. Reggie Ragland suffered a torn ACL on August 5th last season, ending his rookie season before it even started. He was the team’s second round draft choice out of Alabama and will be thrust into a starting role at middle linebacker this season. I have big expectations for Reggie Ragland this season and hope he can do well in coverage, which will be needed in the Bills’ new 4-3 defensive scheme.. MLB. Buffalo Bills. REGGIE RAGLAND

Alright, now that we have covered the starters that will likely have better seasons this year, let’s move on to the rest of the players returning from injury.