August 18, 2022
Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Rodger Saffold missed the start of the team's training camp after suffering a rib injury in a car accident.

The Buffalo Bills were shorthanded at the start of training camp after a veteran offensive lineman was injured in a car accident.

As camp opened on July 24, Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced that guard Rodger Saffold was being placed on the non-football injury list after injuring his ribs in a car crash. The injury will deplete depth at a key position where the Bills had made some upgrades over the course of the offseason.

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Saffold Out

While Saffold was at the team’s opening session on Sunday at St. John Fisher University near Rochester, his injury forced him to the sidelines. McDermott did not give an exact timeline for Saffold’s return, but did say that the veteran was expected to be back before too long.

Fellow offensive lineman Ike Boettger was also placed on the physically unable to perform list, allowing free-agent acquisition David Quessenberry to play with the starting unit at Sunday’s practice.

 

The Bills are dealing with a number of other injuries, including All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White who continues to rehab from a torn ACL. McDermott said that White is “on schedule” with his rehab, but did not have more details.

“He’s on schedule with what the trainers are telling me he’s on schedule,” McDermott said. “I think he’s got a great look in his eye. I know what he’s working back towards. And really other than that, that’s all I can say.”

McDermott added that White has been working hard on his rehab, though it remains unclear how much of the season he could miss. The average recovery from an ACL tear is roughly a year, though some players have been able to return much sooner. Clemson wide receiver Amari Rogers suffered a torn ACL in March 2019, but was able to return for the team’s second game the next season, just 173 days later.


Upgrades at Offensive Line

The Bills made some investments into the offensive line in the offseason, with general manager Brandon Beane saying that protecting quarterback Josh Allen was a top priority.

“First thing, I’m going to try and protect him,” Beane said of Allen. “As I said earlier, I have to make sure the o-line is set and that we’re confident in them. But beyond that, always looking for the various pieces.”

Saffold was one of the biggest upgrades to the unit. The 13-year veteran had spent the last three seasons with the Tennessee Titans, and over his career appeared in 160 games with 157 starts. He earned a spot in the Pro Bowl last season.

Saffold has some built-in familiarity in Buffalo, having worked with offensive line coach Aaron Kromer when they were both with the Los Angeles Rams. Saffold said he has high hopes for the Bills in the upcoming season.

“I think it’s just because of how close I feel they are to a championship,” Saffold said. “This is a real Super Bowl caliber team, as well as just a great situation for me to be with one of the coaches. I played in L.A., and we had an unbelievable O-line under Aaron Kromer.”

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