Welcome to Week 7, Bills Mafia! Stretching your mind, thighs, and souls …
TE Dawson Knox: Dawson tested positive for COVID on Saturday, 10/24/20, and most likely his sample was drawn the day before. He was placed on the COVID-IR List. Several teammates were also placed on the COVID-IR list via NFL contact tracing but have not tested positive yet, which include: TE Sweeney (already on PUP list), TE Smith, TE Becker (practice squad).
There are several issues and questions here. Obviously, most of the TE room is on the COVID-IR list. So why not TE’s Kroft and Gilliam? Several beat reporters have stated Kroft is ‘OK’ because he was not in the meeting room Friday with the TE group; instead, he was with his wife who was delivering their child. Congrats to Kroft, but does that really mean he’s in the clear? Also, how about Gilliam? Maybe Gilliam sits in the RB meetings since he is a TE/FB? Obviously, this should be alarming because the team just traveled to NYC via airplane.
In regards to COVID, as per CDC and NIH, incubation is between 2-14 days. Most people become ill between 5-6 days, and this is about the same time people will see a true positive test. MIT research has said people are most contagious 1-2 days prior to feeling ill. So let’s do some math: Knox tests positive about 5.5 days after exposure, and he is most contagious 1-2 days prior to that. We really need to know who his close contacts were not from Friday but from Wednesday and Thursday! Time will tell if this is isolated or not, but let’s hope for the best. Best wishes to Dawson on a healthy and speedy recovery.
For added information on the NFL’s process for allowing a return to play after COVID, see the treatment rubric below. To note, the earliest a player can return in the best case scenario is 5 days. Worst case it is > 14 days. Also, see more info here.
CB Tre’Davious White: After Tre’ White popped up with a ‘back’ injury after playing 100% of snaps in week four, rumors were swirling it might have been a Covid conspiracy as to why Tre’ missed week five vs the Titans. Then, he bounced back and played 100% of the snaps in week six vs the Chiefs. Enter Jets’ week, and Tre’ is not listed on the injury report for Wednesday. Then it spirals, with Tre’ going ‘limited’ on Thursday and ‘DNP’ on Friday. What might be going on? We’ve heard the term ‘back spasms’ being thrown around. Well, back spasms usually are a result of a deeper pathology. Possibilities include a mechanical problem, bone bruise, or a nerve/disc issue. I would like to think the Buffalo Bills’ upgraded training facility and highly respected health professionals would have a simple muscle issue under control. That’s why I think this is more serious and is going to nag him for a while. Fortunately, in regards to predicting his activation for this week’s game, the Bills’ only called up Dane Jackson for the game this week. If Tre’ was out, they only would have 3 CBs active, and that’s with a banged-up Cam Lewis. Maybe Siran Neal is considered their CB4? I would think Tre’ was out based on the practice downgrade on Friday, but I am more optimistic due to the numbers the team has left available here at CB.
LB Matt Milano: Matt suffered a pectoral strain in week four vs the Raiders. He has been out of the lineup for the past two weeks. Matt was able to get one ‘full’ participation in practice last week but was ‘limited’ all three days this week. A little background on the pec muscle … it is large and powerful. It usually takes a full 4-6 weeks to recover, but NFL players have been seen returning in 2-3 weeks in certain cases. As for Matt, here is a little mental gymnastics for a prognosis. I originally predicted he would be out 4-6 weeks. When Matt had a ‘full’ participation last week, I was overly excited and thought he was one of the unicorn healers and would be back for the Chiefs’ game. However, he looked to favor it on the tackling sled last week, so that should have been a red flag. This week, Matt was never able to ramp up to a full participation, and for that reason, I think that means he is likely letting this rest another week. Look for a return for the Patriots’ game next week, which would put him at four weeks post injury.
CB Cam Lewis: Lewis left the game after only 10 snaps due to injuring his wrist on this tackle below. In the video, it appears Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s knee blows right through Cam’s left forearm/wrist. It’s a little bit of an odd wrist injury, as they will usually occur when falling on an outstretched arm. Regardless, Cam was ‘limited’ all week in practice with a wrist injury and was wearing a club. This screams he likely sustained a fracture here. However, because he was at practice, it appears he has a shot at being active. It was called a ‘week to week’ injury by Coach McDermott, but based on the rash of injuries to the CB depth, Cam might just end up playing with a huge club on his hand in a reserve/emergency role. The ‘week to week’ description by the coach is accurate in terms of bone healing time, generally 4-8 weeks.
G Cody Ford: Cody got rolled up on in the Chiefs’ game at the start of the 4th quarter. He actually stayed on the field for the subsequent play, but you can see his knee give out again. He was out for the rest of the game and was DNP this entire week. This looks like a textbook MCL sprain. Foruntately, the MCL heals quickly compared to other knee sprains. He will likely be out two weeks and return to the trenches with a brace. Cody has had a rash of injuries, ala John Brown, and hopefully, the rest will improve his shoulder and groin ailments.
TE Dawson Knox: Dawson exited week five with a ‘calf’ injury. He missed week six and was a ‘DNP’ for all practices this week. The fact he didn’t even get out to practice in a limited fashion this week makes me assume he has virtually no shot at next week either. Calf injuries are tricky, they are tough because they can commonly feel better in two weeks and then easily be re-injured. A calf strain timeline is generally 2-6 weeks. (see COVID list below)
WR John Brown: Brown has been hobbled all season with foot, calf, and knee trouble. He was seen struggling through the Chiefs’ game after he already missed the previous week’s game. Brown was DNP all week in practice, which again will already cast doubt on next week’s game.
CB Josh Norman: Josh struggled with a hamstring issue at the end of 2019 with the Washington Football Team, then he re-injured his hamstring during training camp. This put him on the IR to start the season. Josh played the past three games heavily but was reported to have tweaked his hamstring in practice this week, likely on Thursday. He went from full Wednesday to limited Thursday to DNP on Friday. We are probably looking at a couple of weeks here, 2-3, which will be fine as long as Levi Wallace returns from the IR next week.
Added to IR:
LB Tyrel Dodson: Dodson pulled up with a hamstring strain against the Chiefs and exited the game in the 3rd quarter. He was DNP all week for practice as well. Once again, 2-6 weeks on the soft tissue injuries. Because he is now on the IR, he will be out at least three weeks.
QB Josh Allen: Allen is listed on the report for his ‘shoulder’. It was sustained in week four, but he never missed a play. I still believe it is an AC joint sprain. The injury is to his non-throwing shoulder and should be close to fully healed at this time.
TE Dawson Knox: Dawson tested positive for COVID on Saturday, 10/24/20. He was placed on the COVID-IR List. Several teammates were also placed on the COVID-IR list but have not tested positive yet, which include TE Sweeney (already on PUP list), TE Smith, TE Becker (practice squad).
Activated from IR
G Jon Feliciano: Jon had a pectoral surgery right as camp started. Although, in my opinion, it is odd to show up to camp with a torn pectoral muscle, Jon was probably doing his best to train hard for the season, and it was an unfortunate consequence. At this time, he is 12 weeks post-surgery. He will need to be activated after this week’s game, or he will go back on IR for at least three more weeks. JJ Watt and Kwon Alexander came back in limited roles for the playoffs last year at 9/10 weeks post-op. If Jon returns next week, he may be thrust into the lineup due to Ford’s injury and Spain’s surprising release from the team. He most likely is still weak in that arm, as it usually takes 5-6 months to fully return to peak condition.