Everybody knows that Mondays suck. It’s a trope as American as obesity or gun violence. But this past Monday was especially painful for the Buffalo Bills. The day started with a press release from the team about their first-round draft pick, Shaq Lawson. The defensive end out of Clemson entered the draft with some questions surrounding his right shoulder. When the Buffalo Bills selected him 19th overall, the team was sure that the injury, which he originally suffered in 2013 and has nagged him since, would not prevent him from missing anytime this season. The Bills planned on cleaning up the injury, via surgery, next offseason, and having him start on their defense this year.
Well, they were wrong about that. During rookie minicamp, Lawson re-aggravated the lingering shoulder injury while performing a swim move on a training dummy. Not while making contact with another player, or making a tackle, but rushing past a training dummy. So yesterday the talented defensive end, who was going to play the rush linebacker role in the Rex and Rob Ryan’s 3-4 defense, had surgery on said shoulder. The team said that he could continue to play through it but they don’t want to risk making it worse. It’s said the timetable for Lawson’s return is five to six months, which would get him back on the practice field around October. For a first round pick on a team with some question marks, that is a serious blow. If that’s not a case of the Mondays, I don’t know what is.
But wait, there’s more…
On this very same Monday, the Bills announced that their talented wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, has been dealing with a small broken bone in his foot. Apparently he had surgery three weeks ago to insert a screw and nobody knew about it until now. This is yet another setback for the young wideout who has a ton of potential but has been plagued by injuries for most of his short career.
The timetable for Watkins’ return is much shorter than the one for Lawson, and the team expects him to be ready for training camp, but it’s never good to hear about foot issues at a position that depends on speed and athleticism. It’s been rumored that Watkins may have suffered a Jones fracture, which is the same injury that kept Kevin Durant off the court for an entire season. Even if he is ready for training camp, which seems doubtful, he will not be anywhere near game shape due to the amount of rest that he will need to properly heal his foot.
This was a serious case of the Mondays for the Buffalo Bills and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for them. Two of their most exciting young players got bit hard by the injury bug. Could it have something to do with the fact that both of them played at Clemson? Probably not but it’s definitely an odd coincidence. Either way, if they hope to compete with the Patriots in the AFC East and save Rex Ryan’s job, they are going to need both of them to come back strong from these injuries. If they don’t then there’s a good chance you’ll see me talking about some of their future cases of the Mondays brought on by losses on Sundays.