If I would have told you in August that an injury to Buffalo Bills defensive end Chris Kelsay would be a major blow to the team’s defensive line this year, you probably would have called me a Kelsay homer and asked if I kissed his precious glass-framed jersey every night before catching some Zs.
Well, as the Bills prepare for a pivotal Week 10 matchup with the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Kelsay is injured, and it could very well have a devastating impact on the Bills' chances.
Buffalo’s official Twitter account reported the news:
#Bills Injury Report:Chris Kelsay left practice today with a neck injury and was taken for further evaluation. More known tomorrow.— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) November 8, 2012
While nothing is officially known at this point regarding Kelsay’s official status or the extent of his injury, Bills lead journalist Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com described the 10-year veteran as looking “very stiff” after the injury occurred. If he were to miss time, it would make the Bills’ D-line even thinner, which is something they can ill afford right now.
Fellow defensive end Mark Anderson, whom Buffalo signed to a four-year, $19.5 million contract this offseason, has been out since Week 6 with a knee injury and recently suffered a setback, according to a report from Chris Brown.
Additionally, Shawne Merriman, whom Buffalo re-signed just a couple weeks ago after releasing him in the preseason, was also “added to the injury report Thursday with a chest injury,” per Brown.
Kelsay has received his fair share of criticism during his tenure in Buffalo. Many fans feel he is overpaid and is no more than an average player in this league. Others appreciate his hard work and consistency.
Regardless of your personal opinions toward him as a player, Kelsay has been very durable and dependable for the Bills throughout his 10-year career. Chris Brown notes that he’s only missed six out of 152 total games during that span.
After essentially being demoted in 2012 for more high-profile players like Anderson and Mario Williams, Kelsay has stepped up when the team needed him this year in their absence. In the last three games alone, he’s recorded 11 tackles, two sacks and a safety. That’s one less tackle, one more sack and, well, one more safety than Anderson had in five games to start the season.
The point is: Kelsay isn’t a superstar, but his recent neck injury could really put the team’s defense at a disadvantage. This week’s matchup with New England could very well determine Buffalo’s chances the rest of the season, and being short-handed certainly isn’t going to help against Tom Brady.
Hopefully Kelsay’s injury isn’t anything serious and he can suit up against Bill Belichick’s first-place Pats. If not, it could be another long day for Buffalo’s defense.
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