Welcome to Week 9, Bills Mafia! Here is the Buffalo Bills vs Seattle Seahawks injury report with some game day predictions.
Stretching your mind, thighs, and souls …
TE Dawson Knox: Fresh off the COVID-19 list, Dawson has still been recovering from a calf strain sustained in the Titans’ game in Week 5. Dawson missed Week 6, and, subsequently, 7 and 8 on the COVID-19 list. Luckily, calf strains will take 2-6 weeks to recover, and this Sunday marks four weeks since the time of injury. Dawson will also be dealing with the potential effects of COVID-19 in addition to his limited calf. He was able to participate in a limited fashion on Thursday and Friday this week, so I see this as a 50/50 toss-up. He is a young buck and has a lot to prove. I think he’s active with a pitch count. Since week one, in which he saw 64% of snaps, Dawson has only played one other full game. That game was in Week 4 when he came back from a concussion and played 48% of snaps. Look for an output of 20-40% of snaps this week but hopefully with an impact. Also, big thumbs up to the organization for mitigating the spread of the virus, as no other positive tests ever presented themselves over the past two weeks.
G Cody Ford: Cody got rolled up on in the Chiefs’ game at the start of the fourth quarter. He actually stayed on the field for the subsequent play, but his knee gave out again. The injury looks like a textbook MCL sprain. Fortunately, the MCL heals quickly compared to other knee sprains. After mising the past two weeks, Cody had two limited practices and then fully participated on Friday. I expect him braced up and playing LG next to Feliciano.
LB Vernon Butler: Butler sat out last week with a ‘groin’ after he matched his season-high, 49% of snaps during the Bills’ Week 7 win vs the Jets. Most likely a groin strain, which commonly lasts 2-6 weeks, I believe this is a very mild strain. Due to the fact he was ‘limited’ on Wednesday and fully practicing on Thursday and Friday, you can expect the big V to be strapping it up this weekend.
DE Darryl Johnson: Coming off his second-best snap share of this season, 20%, Darryl landed on the injury report with a ‘knee’. No known cause of injury, I’m sure Darryl is dealing with a minor tweak or swollen contusion of the knee. Darryl missed two days of practice but returned in full on Friday. I don’t think they push it and use this as another week to assess Epenesa’s development. Expect Darryl back next week, especially if Epenesa struggles.
C Mitch Morse: Suffering a concussion at the opening of last week’s game, Mitch was out all but three plays. This is his fifth documented concussion in the NFL. He has missed roughly five weeks for each of his last two documented concussions. However, he did do some sideline drills, thus leading to a ‘limited’ participant this past Friday. Also, no IR as of yet, so we may see Mitch back sooner than later. I’d expect him to miss next week, add another week of rest from the bye, and see him return Week 12 vs the Chargers.
CB Josh Norman: Norman re-injured his hamstring during practice leading up to the Week 7 matchup vs the Jets. Norman missed the first three weeks of the season for the same hamstring. We probably will not see him until after the bye week, as he was a flat out DNP for the second straight week. Luckily, Levi Wallace returned last week and played in 100% of the snaps.
RB TJ Yeldon: TJ landing on the injury report with a ‘back’ and a DNP the whole week in practice. This comes at an odd time, as TJ has not been on the injury report prior, and he has been inactive for the last three games. Wondering if he’s unhappy Moss is back for good?
ADDED TO IR
LB Matt Milano: Milano has had a pair of soft tissue injuries this year: hamstring and pec strains. He was able to bounce back and only miss one game for the former and two missed games for the latter. However, when Milano returned to action after his hamstring strain vs the Rams’ in Week 3, he was able to play a 100% snap count. Returning from the pec strain in Week 7, Milano only played a 33% snap count. I predicted his snap count would increase for the Pats’ game, but it actually dipped down to 23% during Week 8’s game. Milano either re-strained it or everyone said “enough is enough”, as he was seen pulling back his injured arm on several key missed tackles last week. From the start, I have prognosticated that pec strains usually take 4-6 weeks to fully recover. This is due to their sheer mass and the torque they enure during live action. It is a smart idea to send Milano to IR right now. He was able to participate in two AFC East matchups, and now he will sit out at least two NFC opponents, a bye week, and then the Chargers. If he returns for the MNF matchup vs the 49ers in Week 13, he will be nine weeks since the time of the initial injury, and five if he is dealing with a re-strain.
S Micah Hyde: Micah finished Week 7 but missed Week 8 for a concussion. This was most likely postgame symptoms and was generated from his explosive hit on Breshad Perriman with about two minutes left in the fourth quarter. I predicted he would be good for this week, and he is.
DT Quinton Jefferson: Q landed on the injury report for a ‘knee’ ailment the past two weeks. Here’s an interesting to note: Q averaged 64% of snaps weeks 1-3. Leading up to Week 4, he was listed with a ‘foot’ injury, and has only averaged 56% of snaps during weeks 4-7. I predicted last week he would see a <50% snap share due to a second injury, and he did, only playing 29% of snaps week 8 vs the Patriots. Expect Q to play another week <50%, as he only was able to get one day of full participation in practice again this week.
G Brian Winters: Winters is still having limitations from a knee injury sustained in Week 4. Again, a potential contusion or mild sprain, Brian was able to practice in Full again at the end of the week.
DE Jerry Hughes: Playing in his usual capacity last week, 62%, Jerry has back to back production. He was listed as Questionable with the foot last week, but it did not slow him down. He did need an extra day of rest during the practice week, but he was a full participant Thursday and Friday. The type of injury is unknown, but Jerry will be back for his 141st consecutive game.
QB Josh Allen: Allen is still listed on report for his ‘shoulder’. It was sustained in Week 4, 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.
WR John Brown: Brown has been nagged by several ailments this season, which included foot, calf, and knee. After missing two games out of the last three games, John returned Week 8 with 81% of snap share. Normally, a >90% snap count player, we will see if he can return to form this week.
Activated from IR
LB Del’Shawn Phillips: Phillips returned from the IR for a ‘quad’ strain. If we remember, he was a FULL participant in practice all week and then landed on the IR prior to the Titans’ game. If he is active on the gameday roster this week, Del’Shawn will see his first action since week 1 and should boost the special teams’ units.