Well, what do you know? Yet another former Carolina Panthers player joins the Buffalo Bills through free agency! With the Bills collecting two playoff appearances in three seasons, the Panthers pipeline has provided a collection of proven winners who could help take a young team to the next level.
Detailed below is Addison’s NFL injury history followed by my assessment concerning his ability to continue playing at a high level into his tenth season.
Addison was an undrafted free agent out of Troy. He signed with the Chicago Bears just prior to training camp and appeared in four games before getting cut to make room on the 53-man roster. He was quickly picked up by the Indianapolis Colts, appearing in three games to finish out the season. According to records, he did not suffer any injuries.
Addison continued to bounce around the league, getting playing time with the Colts coming out of training camp, appearing in three games before getting cut. He was signed by the Washington Redskins, playing five games before getting waived and placed on the practice squad. He was eventually plucked off the practice squad by the Carolina Panthers, appearing in three games to finish out the season. Once again, he did not suffer any recorded injuries.
Addison finally found a home in Carolina, appearing in all 16 games and starting two. For a young player trying to secure a roster spot, he did his part by being available and managed to avoid injury yet again.
Once finding some consistency as a rostered player, Addison appeared in all 16 games but started none. He did suffer a foot injury against the Minnesota Vikings in late November, but it wasn’t serious and he didn’t miss any games as a result.
During the Panthers’ Super Bowl run, the veteran defensive end appeared in 14 games, starting none. As his playing time increased, so did his injuries. He suffered a shoulder injury in October that cost him a game, followed by an ankle injury a month later that cost him yet another game. Despite missing two games, he was still healthy enough to make the deep playoff run that culminated in the loss to the Denver Broncos. The shoulder injury later turned out to be a right torn labrum in the shoulder that eventually required corrective surgery in the offseason.
Appeared in 14 games, starting one. He suffered a groin strain midway through the season that he played through and didn’t have to miss any time. He later suffered a foot injury that cost him two games late in the season. The injury was significant enough that he required a walking boot and crutches. He eventually returned but was not a true difference-maker and the Panthers finished 6-10.
Appeared and started in all 16 games. Addison continued to get banged up with minor injuries here and there and separate knee and hip injuries. But, as observed above, he missed no games.
Appeared and started in all 16 games. As Addison age in the league advanced, so did his continued risk for injury. He suffered a shoulder injury but managed to play through the ailment without missing any time.
Addison appeared in and started 15 games missing only one due to a death in the family. He also suffered groin and chest injuries, for which he was limited at times in practice but did not miss any games.
Despite all the injuries, Addison has been relatively available, never missing more than two games due to injury. He did have a right torn labrum following the Super Bowl run but, considering how long ago that was, i’m not concerned about his risks to re-tear the area.
Addison has had his fair share of groin and foot injuries, though no reported surgeries or offseason concerns from what I can find. Considering the positional demands of a defensive end, bending around the edge and pivoting places a lot of stress on the foot and groin area. Along with the physically punishing tasks of beating the offensive tackle, it’s expected that there are injuries along some point.
Though he turns 33 this offseason, Addison has been quite productive over his past four seasons— he’s managed to rack up 39 sacks over that span. His age and the accumulation of injuries do concern me, but he has remained largely available, playing through most injuries. Addison’s contract indicates the Bills think they can squeeze more production out of him. General manager Brandon Beane has demonstrated more hits than misses during his tenure, but I have a feeling this may be a miss, a la Trent Murphy. I’m ready to be wrong!