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2022 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills WR Khalil Shakir injury analysis

Still incredibly productive despite several injuries

Mountain West Football Championship - Boise State v San Jose State Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills started off Day 3 of the NFL draft by selecting Boise State WR Khalil Shakir in the fifth round with the 148th overall pick.

The small, yet speedy wideout from Boise was one of the most prolific receivers in the school’s history and has the ability to play anywhere, including special teams. However, due to his smaller frame, he has suffered several injuries that regrettably forced him to miss some time.

Below is Khalil Shakir’s publicly reported injury history.

Khalil Shakir Injury History

2018 - Left Knee Sprain - 11/9 vs Fresno State. Shakir missed the final three games of his freshman season with this injury.

2020 - Left Hamstring Strain - 12/19 vs San Jose State. Shakir was injured in the Mountain West Championship game, limping off, favoring his left leg.

2021 - Foot Fracture, fifth metatarsal (surgery) - Spring. Shakir played through a foot injury originally suffered in Week 2, side not specified, before opting to have surgery in the spring to address it. He missed a portion of spring practices.

2021 - Leg Injury - 9/2 vs University of Central Florida. Shakir hurt his leg and was seen working on the sideline when he wasn’t playing. He played through the pain and missed zero games.

Left knee sprain

Shakir suffered the left knee injury while hauling in a deep pass in the end zone to score a touchdown. He got up and celebrated with his teammates, reporting that something didn’t feel right.

He missed the following three games after the injury, which is interesting as he was celebrating with his teammates afterward and makes me believe that this wasn’t a traditional MCL sprain. It’s very possible that he suffered a posterolateral capsular sprain either hyperextending his knee or pivoting while trying to track the deep ball.

These are unfortunately common injuries and the knee likely didn’t respond to rehabilitation, forcing him out of the remainder of the season. If this was a posterolateral capsular strain, they don’t affect games played or started, leaving this injury as a relative non-factor.

Hamstring strain

Shakir suffered a left hamstring strain in the Mountain West Championship game, not returning. Other than noting the hamstring injury, he didn’t appear to have a recurrence of the injury in later seasons, especially since it happened in the final game.

Foot fracture

While he suffered the hamstring strain late in the season, he actually played through a fifth metatarsal fracture dating back to Week 2 that he taped up to get through the season.

Based on the wording of the tweet, he appeared to fracture more of the shaft that was non-displaced, allowing him to play through the injury. He later had surgery to repair the fracture in the offseason, missing offseason workouts. Fortunately, those with a fracture in the fifth metatarsal have no change in outcomes of getting drafted or playing once reaching the NFL.

Bills Injury Impact

Shakir was banged up during his time at Boise State with his most notable injuries being his knee sprain and foot fracture. Both injuries really have no impact on future performance and are fairly routine injuries that the training staff has to deal with. Shakir appeared in 43 games over his career, missing only three games due to a knee injury during his freshman season.

There certainly is some concern for further injuries but nothing really puts him at an increased risk other than the hamstring strain nearly two years ago. Even that appears to be pretty minimal.

Shakir will be in a fight to find reps on special teams and in the slot, competing against Isaiah McKenzie and Jamison Crowder. He should make the roster as a draft pick, but he still needs to show he is a better option than at least either McKenzie or Crowder.

He will need a strong training camp and to avoid injury to increase his chances of having notable playing time, but having this type of depth on a cost-controlled is an excellent problem to have.