When offensive lineman Tommy Doyle fell to the ground clutching his newly repaired right knee, it looked as though the Bills could possibly be headed for another season of musical positions along the front line.
However, good news came the next day when head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that Doyle was dealing with a contusion to his right knee. The 6’8”, 25-year-old lineman underwent surgery after tearing his ACL in Buffalo’s Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins a year ago.
While the collision that sent Doyle to the locker room on Saturday did not appear to be of the ACL variety — having players fall on him from behind and falling forward onto his knee — getting news that the tackle is only dealing with bruising and soreness rather than tears, sprains, or other structural damage, is a positive sign for a Buffalo offensive that struggled to keep linemen healthy last season.
Another look at the #Bills Tommy Doyle R knee inj.— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) August 12, 2023
Hit directly from behind, fell directly onto knee. Finished series.
Possible contusion or MCL sprain.
Other considerations include PCL sprain or patellar sublux.
Surprised no high-ankle.
Looks like ACL is spared. pic.twitter.com/tWHjacPiw6
On the other side of the ball, DJ Dale, the Bills’ rookie tackle out of Alabama, also had a scary-looking moment on Saturday.
On a sack of Indianapolis quarterback Sam Ehlinger, Dale ended up on the bottom of a pile that included both Ehlinger and Bills defensive end Kameron Cline. That meant that a total of 508 pounds collapsed on top of the rookie and sent him to the sidelines with what was originally called a ribs injury.
#Bills DJ Dale rib/back injury.— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) August 12, 2023
Dale falls down, then has 225 lb QB Sam Ehlinger + 283 lb DE Kameron Cline land on his mid-back.
Went for x-rays, returned to sideline.
Hopefully no fractures, but that weight & the force of both guys falling on him, he’s going to be sore. pic.twitter.com/ok3Yt33CBd
But on Sunday, McDermott confirmed that Dale, like Doyle, isn’t facing anything serious in regard to injury or recovery.
“More contusions than anything,” McDermott said about the pair in his meeting with media before the team’s practice on Sunday.
Getting a little banged up during the preseason is to be expected. Keeping those injuries both to a minimal number of players and minor in nature will be a major boost for the Bills, who spent most of last season missing key players on both sides of the ball.