The Buffalo Bills just made the franchise’s deepest playoff run in nearly a quarter century, but a new report reveals that two of the key offensive players were hobbled for the entirety of it.
The Bills were banged up going into the playoffs, with wide receiver Cole Beasley nursing an injured leg that kept him out of the season finale. It was later revealed that the injury was more serious than had been initially revealed, and a new report says that a fellow receiver was also playing through a previously undisclosed injury as well. The revelation is leading to some criticism from some insiders who believe that the team could have avoided the injuries.
Bills Receivers Played Hurt
This week, wide receiver Stefon Diggs took to Twitter to praise Beasley for playing through what was later revealed to be a broken fibula, which he suffered late in the season. In doing so, Diggs revealed that he too was playing hurt, with an oblique injury suffered in a different late-season win.
Though Beasley was noticeably hobbled throughout the playoffs, the injury to Diggs was not as evident. The All-Pro receiver managed 20 catches for 311 yards through three games, catching two touchdowns. He was a key driver of the Bills offense, making first downs on 18 of his 20 catches. Beasley had 14 catches for 145 yards in the playoffs, having sat out the final week of the regular season and finishing just 33 yards shy of what would have been his first career 1,000-yard season.
But as Nick Veronica Buffalo’s WIVB noted, both Diggs and Beasley suffered their injuries during what were late-season blowouts, when they instead could have been on the bench. Beasley was hurt in the fourth quarter of the Bills Week 16 win over the New England Patriots, with the Bills leading by 31 points. Diggs was hurt in the Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins, a game where the Bills had little on the line.
The #Bills had the second most snaps with 4 WR on the field in 2020.
Scary quartet in Buffalo for more of “01 personnel” in 2021.
Josh Allen is smiling somewhere. https://t.co/T81HPKafBe pic.twitter.com/mjZyX5u3cM
— Jeff Kerr (@JeffKerrCBS) May 7, 2021
As Veronica noted, Diggs spoke about the injury before the team’s Wild Card round game against the Indianapolis Colts, saying it wasn’t a big deal.
“I’m cool, no major issues. Don’t believe everything you read,” he said, via a post shared by the team on Twitter. “I’m just messing. I’m all right though, big guy. Thanks for asking. … It’s only been around for a little while but I’m fine. I’ll be all right.”
Bills Look to 2021
While it was not clear how much the injuries to Diggs and Beasley may have hurt the team in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game — where the Bills struggled both on offense and defense — the team has taken measures to improves holes on offense and bring in new weapons. The Bills replaced outgoing wideout John Brown with veteran Emmanuel Sanders, and brought in new competition in the tight end position with the signing of Jacob Hollister.
Stefon Diggs says he played through oblique injury during Bills postseasonhttps://t.co/Y2Rg0Rpej6
— TheBillsWire (@TheBillsWire) May 8, 2021
And despite the late-season injuries, the Bills remained largely healthy throughout the season. As the Buffalo News reported, the Bills were among the NFL’s healthiest teams in 2020, with starters losing the fifth-fewest amount of snaps in the league.
READ NEXT: Analyst Predicts Monstrous Year for Bills’ Josh Allen, Makes New Prediction