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Buffalo Bills’ Jake Kumerow underwent back surgery recently

It was a back injury, not the ankle sprain, that landed the WR on the IR this season

NFL: SEP 25 Bills at Dolphins Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Jake Kumerow told The Buffalo News earlier this week that he had back surgery just a few weeks ago, and it would appear that that injury is what really kept the special teams staple on the team’s injured reserve since Week 10.

Kumerow suffered a sprained ankle — something that plagued a number of names of the Bills’ roster this past season — in Buffalo’s Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Kumerow missed a month of play (if you include the Bills’ Week 7 bye), and then two and a half games after his return, he re-injured his ankle.

When Buffalo announced that the receiver, who sees most of his snaps on special teams, was being placed on IR, most people thought it had to do with the ankle injuries. But Kumerow never made it back to the active roster. Now, it seems he has told us why.

“My back hurt worse than my ankle,” he said, via The Buffalo News.

According to Kumerow, he started experiencing pain in his back in the team’s OTAs in May, and then had the pain come and go through training camp. The fifth-year player said that it got progressively worse throughout the season, until it was to the point where he couldn’t sleep, and getting out of bed was a task in itself.

“Every breath (hurt),” he said when talking about just going through every-day tasks.

The result is that on January 10, Kumerow underwent a microdiscectomy to trim the disc that was making contact with nerves in his back, a procedure that involves the surgeon making a small incision, and then reducing the disc.

“It’s a back surgery, so it’s significant,” Kumerow said on Monday when he met with media in the Bills’ locker room, adding that there was no need for surgeons to re-attach anything while performing the surgery. “But it’s the easiest back surgery you can get, because it’s a reduction and not a repair.”

Before exiting the season for good, Kumerow was able to record 92 offensive snaps, with four catches for 64 yards. He had an additional 69 snaps on special teams.

Kumerow, who spent the first two years of his career with the Green Bay Packers before coming over to Buffalo in 2020, will be an unrestricted free agent this year, and said that he hopes he will be back in Orchard Park, NY next season.

“I’ve just tried to work hard, and hope they like me. I like to think it was the injuries that took me out, not my play,” he said. “I assume when I’m healthy, I can pick up where I left off.”