While there was good news with at least one member of the Buffalo Bills dealing with an injury, several other players were absent from the team’s first OTA session this week as they are rehabbing injuries. Head coach Sean McDermott spoke about the injuries before Tuesday’s practice.
Coach Sean McDermott
Good afternoon. I’ll get this started with an injury update. These players will not practice: Tyler Kroft, yesterday sustained a broken foot and will have surgery today. Cole Beasley will not practice. He and Mitch Morse both underwent surgery a few weeks ago and are working through getting healthy; core muscle procedure. Russell Bodine is still coming off his shoulder surgery. Frank Gore; foot and ankle, that was sustained at the end of last season and David Sills will be limited with a hamstring sustained in rookie minicamp. Taron Johnson and Rafael Bush will be in red jerseys. Cory Carter, Corey Bojorquez, and Matt Milano are all full go. So with that, I will open up to your questions.
Q: What happened with [Tyler] Kroft’s foot?
A: We were going through our drills yesterday and we got word after practice that he had fractured his foot. Listen, it’s not ideal. Availability is key, but we trust our medical staff and Tyler as well who is a hard-working man and that he will be back in due time and ready to go.
Q: What is the expectation of the time period of a broken foot?
A: We won’t know for sure at this point. We’ve got some thoughts, but we are going to let the process run its course right now.
Q: What is the [Cole] Beasley and [Mitch] Morse situation?
A: They went through the core muscle deal with the groin area, went to Philadelphia and saw Doctor Myers and had the procedure this off season. They are working back, they are hard at work and our training staff has done a nice job with them. They’ve worked hard and we will get them back as soon as we can here.
Q: You didn’t mention Matt Milano on that injury list, does that mean he’s good to go and if so, what does getting him back mean for you?
A: Continuity, again as John mentioned. We have got a lot of the guys back off of the defense from a year ago which doesn’t mean anything other than continuity. We got a lot of work to do and Matt is knocking some rust off as he would say himself and yesterday was a good step in the right direction in terms of him getting back in the fold and going full go.
Q: How do all of these injuries impact what you’re trying to do this spring, in terms of getting a lot of new faces ready to go?
A: Yeah, as I mentioned from the outset, that’s a challenge. When you talk about availability, now when we’re not available, it’s not ideal. Is it going to stop us? No. We are going to continue to work and that’s where the trust I have, Brandon, myself, and our medical staff, that’s what they’re here for as well.
Q: Is there anything you would change, in terms of what you would do on the field, in terms of wanting to get through healthy, like maybe scaling things back or anything like that?
A: You know, we always evaluate and you hate to see guys get hurt. In some cases, these guys haven’t been on the field and so that’s where free agency is free agency, as they say. We just have to continue to work and build a mentally and physically tough football team, and sometimes you’re going to get some dings. Don’t get me wrong that’s part of it as well. I would much rather develop a physically and mentally tough football team than go play golf every day and everyone’s healthy. There is a delicate balance there.
Q: Is the foot injury from Tyler Kroft the same as last year?
A: I’m not going to get into specifics, definitely the same foot.
Q: Coach, with [Mitch] Morse and [Russell] Bodine not available, I mean you’re already doing some shuffling there up front, who is working at center?
A: Spencer [Long] and Jeremiah [Sirles] has been in there as well. It gives us an opportunity for some young guys to step up and some other guys, like Jeremiah, who has played some center before to develop some position flexibility as well.
QB Josh Allen
Q: There is something new at center, probably not the guy you were expecting—you were expecting to work with Mitch [Morse], he’s on the shelf for now. How are things going here with Jon [Feliciano] there, just the communication and chemistry that you guys need to have?
A: It’s gone really well. Whether it’s Jon or Spencer [Long], getting snaps from those guys doesn’t really take long to get a good feel for being under center. They both know their stuff really well. It’s fun to go out there and, with them being new, kind of finding out what types of players they are, what types of attitudes they have. Talking with them in the locker room, off the field, outside of the facility and stuff like that and getting to know them. They are two really great guys and obviously Mitch, when he comes back, he’ll be thrown in that mix too and I’m super excited for that. I know Mitch isn’t really going out, well he has been out there and I’ve been able to get some snaps from him but it hasn’t been those live reps, if you will. We can still develop that relationship and that camaraderie off the field. He’s been playing, he’s played in the league for multiple years now, this isn’t anything new to him. We’re happy to have him and to develop that relationship off the field.
Q: How much are you looking forward to building forward with Cole and [Tyler] Kroft and to not have them on the field?
A: This is a time where I think relationships are being made. They’ve played football before. I’ve seen plenty of tape on them and it’s different from in-game reps or in-practice reps but just kind of talking with them and understanding what they are thinking. Cole is very communicative and that’s kind of the first thing he said to me when we first talked to each other. He’s like “I am going to let you know what I see and I expect you to do the same,” and that’s the type of level our relationship needs to be on so I think we got a really good start even though he’s not on the field. I know he wishes he was and I know that Tyler had a little injury yesterday and I am praying for a speedy recovery for him but like I said, we got these relationships off the field that are bonding already and obviously as much as we want him on the field, it’s just not going to happen until probably training camp.