The city of Buffalo has Rex Ryan feels this week, because feet are the talk of the town. Lost amid the referees’ sabotaging of our wagon circling this past Sunday, Josh Allen sprained his foot. The injury occurred midway through the fourth quarter, when he was tackled from behind by LB Devin White.
At this time, McDermott has stated that Josh is day-to-day with a ‘foot sprain’. However, other national media outlets have reported it is more specifically a minor ‘turf toe’ injury.
The play is marvelous, because Josh goes through three different foot/ankle sprain mechanisms throughout the process of the tackle. He very well might be dealing with pain in two or more areas of the foot. It is important to note that McDermott specifically said ‘foot sprain’, so it should be assumed the main injury is likely a midfoot injury.
With Josh’s foot pointed downward (plantar flexed), LB Devin White’s weight comes directly down on the back on his ankle (axial load). Josh is very lucky this didn’t cause a fracture/dislocation of his midfoot, which would have required a nearly year-long recovery for a ‘Lisfranc Surgery’. Regardless, midfoot sprains are a little slow to recover, and need some immediate protection and rest. This would make sense as he was in a walking boot right after the game.
Lateral Ankle Sprain
After the initial injury, Josh’s foot gets pinned down to the ground. This puts his ankle in the textbook positions for a lateral ankle sprain, which is very common and needs minimal recovery time.
Commonly referred to as ‘turf toe’, Josh has his toe jammed up undeath LB Devin White at the end of the tackle again. When mild, the return to play is fast. However, it is limiting and easily aggravated.
All signs point to this being mild. This is factoring in the day-to-day designation, as well as reports of Josh out on the town without his boot on Tuesday.
In this assumed case of a grade 1 midfoot sprain, Josh can be expected back within a week of the injury (1). Even if he is dealing with a grade 1 turf toe, Josh would also be expected back within a week of the injury as well (2). The caveat is, if he is dealing with both at the same time, he ideally would benefit from missing a game. However, with playoffs on the line, I would expect Josh back regardless. Look for him to be limited against the Panthers, but unleashed against the Patriots in Week 16.
Once again, Josh Allen has dodged the jaws of serious injury. It shouldn’t come as a surprise because looking good in shorts has always been a predictor of avoiding injury. I just wouldn’t expect too much thigh dancing on Chippewa Street.
- Osbahr DC, O’Loughlin PF, Drakos MC, Barnes RP, Kennedy JG, Warren RF. Midfoot sprains in the National Football League. Am J Orthop (Belle Mead NJ). 2014 Dec;43(12):557-61. PMID: 25490010.
- Vopat ML, Hassan M, Poppe T, et al. Return to Sport After Turf Toe Injuries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Orthop J Sports Med. 2019;7(10):2325967119875133. Published 2019 Oct 14. doi:10.1177/2325967119875133