The Buffalo Bills added Rodger Saffold to their offensive line in the early stages of free agency.
Not knowing what his future held over the past few weeks, Saffold took a different approach to his health and fitness than he ever has as a professional athlete.
The 33-year-old did nothing.
The trick for him to feeling better was to not work out, period, for a few weeks.
“I took a month off from everything. From working out. From football. Everything,” Saffold said via video conference. “I feel a lot better.”
The injury Saffold is specifically trying to heal is a shoulder problem.
The guard said it caused problems all throughout last season, but as far as he can see now, it feels better already.
“We’ll know once we start playing again,” Saffold said.
Once he is on the field, the Bills will want him healthy — but right off the bat, head coach Sean McDermott said he covets Saffold’s experience.
“When he was leaving the Rams to go to Tennessee, he’s a guy we had our eyes on,” McDermott said via video conference. “Brings a veteran presence to an offensive line that we already feel pretty good about.”
Saffold said he expects to start with the Bills at left guard.
Evidently, Saffold’s shoulder hurt his ability as a pass protector most.
Pro Football Focus gave Saffold a 68.8 overall grade in 2021. However, he was carried by a 76.1 run-blocking grade. His 44.8 pass protection grade was considered very low.
That pass blocking grade must improve in a big way, but Buffalo is probably leaning on that veteran mindset McDermott mentioned.
Plus, the Bills are very familiar with Saffold. Buffalo’s offensive line coach, Aaron Kromer, coached him from 2018-19 with the Los Angeles Rams.
Saffold’s signing could be a big difference-maker.