Coach Sean McDermott says Benjamin has looked healthy throughout OTAs, appearing leaner, stronger and faster than in 2017, when he was injured for much of the campaign, Dominic LoVallo of the Bills' official site reports.
Benjamin burst onto the scene as a first-round rookie in 2014, catching 73 balls for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns, but it's been one injury after another since then. Even though he showed signs of promise following his trade from the Panthers last season, Benjamin struggled to gain separation from cornerbacks and only hit the 70-yard mark once in seven games with the Bills, including the team's playoff loss, where he was held to just nine yards. Benjamin's size and strength are right up there with any receiver in the league, so it'll be worth watching to see if he truly does have a burst back. While the Bills have a new offense without much talent and a major question mark as to who will be the starting quarterback, Benjamin will be the clear No. 1 wideout and could prove to be a sneaky source of value if the rest of your league is too spooked by his recent disappointments.
Though he suited up for 14 games between the Panthers and Bills in 2017, Benjamin battled knee issues for a large portion of the campaign, limiting him to 48 receptions for 692 yards and three scores. Shortly after the Bills were eliminated in the wild-card round, Benjamin underwent surgery to repair his meniscus, a procedure that required only a couple months for the wideout to make a full recovery. It's an encouraging sign that Benjamin is facing no limitations this early in the offseason program, but the Bills could still opt to manage his reps carefully once training camp rolls around in order to keep the 27-year-old at full strength entering his first full season in Buffalo. Assuming the knee issues are a thing of the past, Benjamin could have some bounce-back appeal as the clear No. 1 target in a Buffalo passing game.
The news continues to be all positive on Benjamin after the receiver had issues with his knee for much of the 2017 season, Dominic LoVallo of the Bills' official site reports. "I definitely want to come in and make this one of my best OTA's, you know, since I've been in the league," said Benjamin. "It's the right weight in the right places. I just leaned up around the waist, the abs are back out, stronger in my legs, you know and I'm stronger in my knees."
Benjamin has been given a clean bill of health following offseason surgery and also plans to play this season a bit leaner. He'll enter the season as the team's clear-cut No. 1 receiver, though he'll have clouds hanging over his fantasy value, given that this team operates more as a run-based offense, and currently doesn't even know which quarterback will be throwing most of its passes in 2018.
Benjamin (knee) was a full participant Monday as the Bills began their offseason workout program, Chris Brown of the team's official website reports. "Kelvin came in and it looks like he's ready to go," said Bills coach Sean McDermott. "Like the rest of our offensive players he was here today and getting used to a new scheme and a new system."
Benjamin tore his meniscus in his second game with the Bills and missed the following two weeks, but he returned for the final four regular-season contests and a playoff loss, catching 13 of 22 targets for 164 yards and a touchdown over the five-week stretch. He seems to have made a quick recovery from January surgery, allowing for full participation as Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll implements a new scheme. Benjamin profiles as the likely top option in an undermanned receiving corps, though it's unclear if he'll be catching passes from A.J. McCarron, Nathan Peterman or a rookie when Week 1 rolls around.
Benjamin is coming off surgery on his meniscus and appears to be almost through the 4-to-6 week recovery period. In 14 games (eight with Carolina and six with Buffalo) in 2017, Benjamin posted 48 catches on 78 targets for 692 yards and three TDs, but he was clearly hobbled by the knee down the stretch. With better health and a full offseason with his new team, all to go with a new offensive coordinator in Brian Daboll who should open things up a bit more, Benjamin could be a good bounce-back guy for 2018. After all, he's still a relatively young 27 and his size and strength combo can be unstoppable when put in the right situation. The one concern we continue to have is Benjamin has had trouble gaining any sort of separation in recent seasons, a troublesome issue if he still can't do so on a fully repaired knee.
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