MOBILE, Ala. – The Buffalo Bills don’t have any major concern about the three players who underwent surgery in a two-day span last week, General Manager Brandon Beane told reporters at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday.
It was the first time a team official commented publicly on the status of defensive tackle Ed Oliver, right offensive tackle Cody Ford and right guard Jon Feliciano.
On Jan. 15, Oliver announced via Twitter he had undergone surgery that was later revealed to be a core-muscle procedure. On Jan. 16, Ford tweeted that he had undergone surgery that was later revealed to be a shoulder repair. Soon thereafter, Feliciano posted on his Twitter account that he had surgery for what was later reported to be a torn rotator cuff with which he had played for the entire 2019 season.
Beane wouldn’t commit to the exact time when the three would be medically cleared to practice. However, he did say the team was expecting to have Oliver, Ford and Feliciano on the field by the start of training camp in late July.
“We never try to put too big of timelines on it, but some of these guys will be in those red (noncontact) jerseys in the spring, when you see them in May (for offseason workouts),” Beane said between South and North squad college all-star team practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. “But the way we have it planned now, as long as nobody has a setback, everybody that I’m aware of would be at camp ready to roll. Again, barring a setback or anything like that.”
The GM said it wasn’t unusual for the players to wait until right after the Bills’ Jan. 4 wild-card playoff loss against the Houston Texans to have the procedures.
“I think, like anything, guys play through things all over the league,” Beane said. “If you look across the league, this is now the teams that are out of (the playoffs), you go get second opinions. Our doctors, after the season, we’ll take X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, whatever needs to be done.
“And then a lot of times, their agents will have them go to get a second opinion somewhere and see if we can agree on what needs to be done. Sometimes, it’s elective. It may be the doctor says, ‘You can get it cleaned up and you’re done with it or you can brace it and continue to play the way you did in-season.’
“So sometimes it’s elective on the player, but we also, for certain players, do recommend they get whatever procedure done to clean it up.”
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Beane said the Bills are “really excited” to have Eric Washington as their new defensive line coach. The Bills hired Washington to replace Bill Teerlinck, who left the Bills to take the same position with Virginia Tech’s football program.
Washington, who had been the Carolina Panthers’ defensive coordinator, became available after the Panthers fired coach Ron Rivera and replaced him with Matt Rhule. Washington had been the Panthers’ defensive line coach from 2011 to 2017. During most of that stretch, Beane was Carolina’s assistant GM and Bills coach Sean McDermott was the Panthers’ defensive coordinator.
“He’s one of the best D-line coaches I’ve been around,” Beane said. “He will bring a toughness, an edge. He’s a big-time leader. I think when you guys meet Eric, you’ll be very impressed.
“Obviously, he’s done well, if you look at Carolina’s D-line since he came in in 2011. He’s a good man, a good family guy. He fits what Sean and I are trying to do, and I think he’s going to be a big asset for (defensive coordinator Leslie) Frazier.”
Brandon Beane puts Senior Bowl into massive draft-prep perspective