Good morning Bills Fan,
Happy 4th of July!!
Well not quite. I won't be posting a Joe! tomorrow, so I just wanted to get it out now :)
Today's Joe! will be a little "bitter", as I'll be discussing a topic that none of us really like; injuries. At this point we all expect injuries to occur, and you hope that it's never something serious, long-term, or career threatening. Injuries come with the territory and the way this team prepares for them; will be CRITICAL to our success this season.
Some think injuries are just a matter of bad luck, and others feel that it can be prevented. Me? I'm on the fence. Last season we had 15 players on IR, which was the most in the league. Every year, it seems like we are bitten by the "injury" bug, so I'm not sure if it's bad luck or preparedness.
So I decided to try my hand at predictions. I want to discuss 4 guys who have struggled staying healthy, and has routinely made the IR list over the past 2 seasons. These aren't just any 4 guys; they are guys who when healthy can be a dominate force on this years team. History has showed us, that at least one of these guys at some point will land on the IR list. I don't want to predict who will get hurt, because that's a kind of sick, even for me. But I want to predict,which oft-injured player will mis the most amount of regular season games this season due to injuries. I do realize that the last two sentences may contradict themselves, but not to me, it's just how my brain works :)
OL Eric Wood- This guy can't buy a break (no pun intended). He has managed to land on the IR for 3 straight seasons. He suffered a gruesome leg injury in his rookie season, where he only played 9 games. Landed on IR, his second season after taking over full time duties at C, but did manage to play in 14 games. And last season, he tore his ACL, and only played in 10 games. When healthy, no doubt in my mind the guy is a pro bowl caliber OL. The key word is "healthy". Ironically, he managed to stay relatively healthy his entire collegiate career.
WR Marcus Easley- Mr. Fan favorite. Since being drafted in the 4th round of the 2010 draft, Marcus has been one of the fans favorite players. He was a bit raw coming from Uconn as a guy who walked on, and only really played his senior season. However, he has all the physical tools to be successful in this league. Great size and speed, and seems like a really good kid. But unfortunately for him, he has never played in a regular season game because of his injuries. He landed on the IR list his rookie season, and never was able to play a down. After rehabbing his injury, there were hopes that Easley will finally get a chance to show what he can do. Performing pretty well during preseason games last season; things were looking good for Easley. But another unexpected set back occurred, where he was diagnosed with an undisclosed heart ailment; putting an end to another season. Easley has been looking really good during the OTA's and mini-camp, and if he can remain healthy, he can legitimately challenge for the starting WR position opposite of Stevie. He has the potential to have a breakout season this year.
CB Terrence McGee- In his 9 year career, McGee has NEVER completed a 16 game season, and as of late it just seems like his body is breaking down. Since 2007, McGee total games played has decreased from 15, 14, 11, 9, and 6. It's been injuries after injuries, and to be honest with you, I really don't feel like researching all of them. But when McGee has been healthy, he's been the best CB on this team. He routinely lines up against the other teams WR, and typically plays really well. A healthy McGee can make this team really deep and solid at CB.
DE Shawne Merriman- The lights have literally been out for veteran DE/LB Shawne Merriman. Once regarded as the best pure pass rusher in his generation; Merriman has simply been a shell of himself over the past 3 seasons. Another guy who has NEVER completed a 16 game season in 7 seasons; Merriman has only played in 23-80 games in the pass 5 seasons, and only played in 8 over the past 3 seasons. Merriman has been hampered with achilles injuries and a shoulder injury, that has kept him from playing on Sunday's. But according to Merriman, he's finally healthy and feels like he has the same explosion that once made him one of the most feared pass rushers in this league. With a healthy Merriman, and the addition of Mario and Mark, this Bills past rush can be one of the best pass rushes in the league, if not the best.
Okay Rumblers what do you think? Which oft-injured player will miss the most amount of regular season games this season due to injuries?