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Monday, June 2, 2014

Buffalo Bills Injury Update: offseason surgeries and injuries piling up

By on 6/02/2014 09:00:00 AM

The Buffalo Bills have had a rough offseason this year, losing their beloved owner Ralph Wilson as well as their standout starting safety leaving for the Big Easy.  It's not getting any easier for Buffalo, as injury reports of multiple starters have flooded the news media in the past week. According to Chris Wesseling of, Bills defensive end Mario Williams, linebacker Kiko Alonso, and wide receiver Robert Woods all went under the knife during the offseason.

Bills head coach Doug Marrone announced Wednesday that Alonso and Williams are both recovering from hip surgeries as OTAs get underway in Buffalo. Neither player took part in team drills, but Marrone expressed little concern that the Bills would be without them by the time training camp starts this summer. Alonso was on the sideline and Williams was in uniform but remained on the sideline for the duration of the practice.
Williams, an eight-year veteran, played in all 16 games last season and tallied 13 sacks, his highest total since 2007. He was added to the injury report mid-season with the hip ailment. Coach Marrone acknowledged the need for Williams' procedure:
We knew that we got [the procedure] done right away so he wouldn't miss any time. We're just being progressive as we work this through camp with him.
Buffalo's Twitter feed went on with their injury news:
First-year linebacker Alonso played on every defensive snap last season and finished second in voting for The Associated Press' defensive rookie of the year award. He recorded 159 combined tackles, one forced fumble, four interceptions and two sacks in his 2013 rookie campaign. Alonso's surgery was to repair a torn labrum and was performed in January.

J. Van Meter via Wikimedia Commons
Alonso slowed down a bit late in the year, as he dealt with a sore shoulder along with the hip injury, although he said the shoulder was not a big problem and did not require surgery.  “It was more the hip,” he said.  The second-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft played in all 1,145 defensive snaps as a rookie.

Wide receiver Woods, who was also a rookie in 2013, had ankle surgery in February.  He has suffered with a bad ankle throughout his college career and last season, and had a minor scope to clean out the affected area.  Woods ended his rookie year with 40 receptions for 587 yards and three touchdowns.

The good news is that both Williams and Alonso returned to the field for Thursday's OTAs and participated in limited team drills, and both are expected to be ready for training camp in July. Woods had been mostly limited to individual drills on Thursday, but saw his first action in team drills on Friday. Three months removed from ankle surgery, he is aiming to be ready for next month's mandatory minicamp.

The list doesn't end there.  Safety Aaron Williams (shoulder surgery), cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Leodis McKelvin (both hip surgery), tight end Scott Chandler (knee surgery), and wide receiver T.J.Graham (hip surgery) were among other Bills players not taking part in team drills last week.  All of these players mentioned here are expected to be fully recovered by the start of the 2014 NFL season.

A couple of players have been banged up on the field during OTAs as well.  Undrafted cornerback Darius Robinson left Thursday's OTAs with trainers, holding his left arm and did not return. Second-year wide receiver Marquise Goodwin came down hard on his elbow after diving for a pass. He briefly met with trainers before returning to action and finishing the practice.

As 8-10 starters are crowding training rooms and keeping Buffalo's medical staff busy, the Bills will be one team to keep a close eye on leading up to kickoff.

On Twitter:  @alewnes7

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