1:09pm: Enemkpali has indeed torn his ACL and will be out for the season, Rapoport tweets.
9:32am: The Bills’ defense received yet another blow yesterday, when outside linebacker IK Enemkpali suffered what head coach Rex Ryan called a “major injury” during Buffalo’s first preseason contest against the Colts (Twitter link via Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News). Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Enemkpali likely tore his ACL and will be out for the season, though an impending MRI will be needed to confirm.
Enemkpali, of course, made headlines for all the wrong reasons last season as a member of the Jets, when he punched then-teammate Geno Smith in the face and broke his jaw, which prompted Gang Green to waive Enemkpali. The former sixth-round pick out of Louisiana Tech was immediately claimed by the Bills–Ryan, of course, was the Jets’ head coach when Enemkpali was drafted–and appeared in 11 games for Buffalo in 2015.
As Roster Resource shows, Enemkpali at least figured to be an important piece of the team’s OLB rotation, and may have even landed a starting gig to open the season. After all, Enemkpali did impress during spring workouts, and he garnered some reps with the first-team defense. Ryan indicated that the Bills could look to sign a free agent OLB to replace Enemkpali, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes, though of course the pickings are pretty slim at this point in the year.
The news concerning Enemkpali is especially unwelcome in light of the Bills’ recent spate of injuries on the defensive side of the ball. Just a few days ago, the team learned that inside linebacker Reggie Ragland, this year’s second-round pick, would miss the entirety of his rookie season with a torn ACL, and that prized first-round selection Shaq Lawson would not be able to suit up until at least Week 6.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images