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Injury analysis: Buffalo Bills TE Jacob Hollister

Will Allen’s former college teammate be able to provide a spark?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While the rumor mill continually suggested that the Bills would sign Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz, they decided to move in a different direction, signing former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks TE Jacob Hollister Friday afternoon. The former teammate of Josh Allen and Tanner Gentry at Wyoming, Hollister brings some familiarity to the tight end room in the hopes of providing another offensive weapon to an already potent offense. While he may not have the offensive production that Bills fans wish to see, he could help push Dawson Knox as he enters his third year.

Hollister has been relatively durable during his short career in the NFL, but he does bring several injuries with him that are worth noting. Below is Hollister’s publicly known injury history.

Injury History

2017 Patriots

Suffered a chest injury during Week 6, missed zero games. No additional details were available.

2018 Patriots

Hamstring strain, side not identified, prior to Week 1. Noted that this was the first hamstring strain he ever dealt with. Suffered a chest injury resulting in a bruised lung Week 2, missed two games. Suffered a recurrent hamstring strain that ultimately resulted in him missing eight total games including playoffs, getting placed on IR prior to the playoffs. Missed ten total games.

2019 Seahawks

No publicly reported injuries, missed zero games.

2020 Seahawks

No publicly reported injuries, missed zero games.

Bills impact

Outside of the 2018 season, Hollister has been relatively healthy. There are no reports indicating that he suffered any injuries in college. In relation to the hamstring, he reported that it was the first time he suffered a hamstring strain and appeared to aggravate it several times throughout the season before ultimately getting placed on IR prior to the playoffs.

Looking at the chest injury resulting in a bruised lung, there are few details describing how this occurred other than the above-linked article. While that injury is scary in that he was coughing up blood, he only missed two games and was eventually able to return to the field. This appears to be a one-off injury that could happen again, but the previous incidence of the bruised lung does not appear to put him at greater risk for a recurrence.

It is important to note that Hollister suffered the hamstring injury in the preseason but he has not had any further issues since then over the past two seasons. It’s also important to note that over half of hamstring strains during an NFL season occur during the 7-week preseason. He will always be at risk for further hamstring injuries due to playing football, but I do not believe he is at any higher risk to suffer another hamstring injury during his time in Buffalo than over the past two seasons.

Overall, there do not appear to be any concerns for Hollister coming in to hopefully provide a spark to the tight end room. It’s quite possible that his bad luck is behind him and even if he does suffer another hamstring strain, the Bills’ medical staff has demonstrated the ability to bring players back quickly from hamstring injuries. The medical staff also does not have a history of hamstring re-injury with players throughout the season as he saw with the Patriots in 2018.

Hollister may just be another guy in the locker room or he could take the next step in his development as a tight end, rekindling his relationship with Josh Allen. I have no worries moving forward from an injury standpoint based on his previous ailments and he should be able to make a positive contribution in 2021.