John Brown

John Brown


Chance of Injury in 2021: question mark 77%
Chance of Injury per Game: question mark 8.8%
Projected Games missed for 2021: question mark 2.3
Durability: question mark 7

Medium Risk


John Brown Player Overview

What You Need To Know:

  • Brown assumed the #1 role for Buffalo last year, helping him rank as the WR22.
  • Following past durability woes, Brown hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2017.
  • The arrival of Stefon Diggs puts a hard cap on Brown’s target upside. Another ~100 looks is possible, though.

Successful debut

Brown’s first year with the Bills unfolded extremely well.

The now 30-year-old rolled up 72-1,069-6, supplying career highs in catches and yards. Brown’s 115 targets amounted to a healthy 23.7% share of the team’s total.

A noted deep threat, Brown did well to post consistent totals. He caught 4+ balls in each of the first 10 games. He simply didn’t see a featured role in critical situations; just 8 of his targets surfaced inside the red zone (6.9%).

Without question, Brown benefited from being in a #1 role. #2 target Cole Beasley saw 106 targets, but the next pass catcher — TE Dawson Knox — tallied only 50 looks. Brown was a badly needed talent for 2nd-year QB Josh Allen.

Set for another go-around in Buffalo, how should we project Brown in the #2 role?

Major arrival, 2020 outlook

There’s no debate: Stefon Diggs’ arrival takes a major bite out of Brown’s upside. Buffalo surrendered a Round 1 pick to land the well-established Viking. Since entering the league in 2015, he sits top-15 among WR in catches, yards and TDs. He’s missed 10 games over that stretch, too.

Across 15 games, we project Diggs for the 115 targets that Brown saw in 2019. That pushes Brown down to 94 — still a fine total and reflective of the Bills’ non-existent depth behind Cole Beasley. There’s just not a ton of upside on that number given Buffalo’s run-first mentality. In 6 seasons as an OC, Brian Daboll’s units have never finished higher than 24th in pass attempts.

So that’ll put the emphasis on Brown remaining relatively efficient after recording a 62.6% catch rate last year. Josh Allen still brings th…

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John Brown Injury History

Date League Injury Details
Sep 27, 2020 NFL Leg Calf Strain Brown was forced out of Week 3's game versus the Rams with a calf injury. He was available for the next game
Nov 19, 2017 NFL Pedal Toe Turf Toe Brown lost 4 games to turf toe. (Not clear which foot.)
Sep 10, 2017 NFL Leg Quad Strain Brown re-injured his bothersome quad from training camp and missed 2 regular-season games.
Jul 28, 2017 NFL Leg Quad Strain Brown was in and out of camp practices with an unspecified quad injury, whose healing was reportedly slowed by his sickle-cell trait. He sat out the 1st 3 of Arizona's 5 preseason games.
Oct 17, 2016 NFL Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1 Brown complained about hamstring issues after the Week 6 game and was diagnosed with the sickle-cell trait. He missed the following game and dealt with the issue for much of the year.
Jul 31, 2016 NFL Head Cranial Concussion Grade 2 Brown suffered a concussion during preseason practice. He missed 3 preseason games and still had headaches 3 weeks later.
Oct 26, 2015 NFL Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1 Brown played through hamstring trouble for 2 weeks before sitting out Week 8. He returned after the bye.