Hey Bills Mafia! I hope you all enjoyed Sunday’s game as much as I did. That was a huge win for this team for many reasons including their confidence, progression, and in the standings with Miami creeping up. I won’t give you guys any sort of recap, as many other of my buddies here at Buffalo Fanatics will hook you up with some great content. However, I had a non-injury related piece drop on Friday about Josh Allen’s progression and why he has been even better than you think. I hope you gave it a read, as it was GREAT timing with his performance on Sunday. If you didn’t have a chance to check it out, I suggest you do it!
Let’s stick with Josh Allen here, as I want to talk about his shoulder. If you remember, Physical Therapist and fellow Buffalo fanatics contributor, Alex Lucci, put together a very informative piece hours after the Bills game in Vegas, when Allen suffered his shoulder injury. Alex is a lot more knowledgeable than I am when it comes to mechanisms of sports injuries, as this is his specialty. Alex and I text each other during and/or after games about injuries and picking each other’s brains. When Allen left that game, all of Western New York and displaced Bills fans all over held their breath. This season has seen QBs go down with similar shoulder injuries already in Drew Lock and Sam Darnold. When Allen returned to the game, he was spotted with a brace on his left shoulder/arm. Alex Lucci watched the film immediately looking for what injury was sustained and believed that Allen had suffered a grade 1 AC joint sprain in his left shoulder. This injury had the chance to linger for 3-4 weeks (important to remember), but we were unsure of how much this would impact him. Let’s take a look at the stats:
Before the injury: 105/148 (70% completion percentage), 1,326 yards, 12 TDs, 1 INT (should not have counted), 83 rush yards, 3 rush TDs.
After the injury: 81/129 (62% completion percentage), 846 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs, 144 rush yards, 1 rush TD.
Quite the drop off here for Josh Allen after suffering his shoulder injury. This begs the question: did this injury impact his play more than we anticipated? Was the injury, pain, and brace he had to wear restricting his ability? On Sunday morning, ESPN’s former Seahawks QB, Matt Hasselbeck, provided some interesting information to the audience. Hasselbeck informed everyone that he suffered the same injury in his career and that it affected his ability to play and accuracy. He stated, “You don’t feel like yourself … this injury causes you to miss throws high.” This is interesting for a few reasons. Over the 2nd quarter of the season, I felt many factors played into the struggles of the offense: changing of schedules, the not knowing if they were going to have a game in Tennessee, the weather in the KC and New England games, etc. I never sat and thought about the fact this injury could be affecting him this badly. Hasselbeck then added the timeframe for this injury, and that Allen should feel like himself again for Sunday’s game vs. Seattle.
On Sunday, Allen was able to play without the brace, which is a sign that Allen is either back to 100% or very close to it. How did Allen perform in his first game at full health since the injury and without having to wear the brace? He had a decent game to the tune of 31/38 (81% completion percentage), 415 yards, 3 TDs. 14 rush yards, and 1 rushing TD. He finished with a passer rating of 138.5. Allen looked confident; he was patient in the pocket and was accurate. He also threw with anticipation like the TD to Kroft or the pass to Gabe Davis that looked like a TD on replay. If you ask me, this was Allen’s best game of his career. I’ll listen to arguments about his Week 2 performance in Miami, but I think this last game gets the nod.
Now, Allen has to continue to perform like this over the remainder of the season and continue to improve, and there is no reason to believe he won’t do that. This upcoming game in Arizona is going to be very interesting, and I cannot wait. I also can’t wait for the BYE week because this team sure as hell needs it and deserves it.
Other notable injuries suffered on Sunday:
- Cody Ford – Ford left the game early with an ankle injury. Ford appears to be snake-bitten or something, as this was his first game back from a multiple-week absence from a previous knee injury. It appeared he had his ankle stepped on during a play, and it was reported he had to be carted off from the sideline. Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic reported that Ford did walk back to the sideline from the tunnel but did not return to the game, although he was in full pads still.
- Brian Winters – Winters left the game early as well with (what looked like) a knee injury. Winters has been dealing with a knee injury for the past few weeks and has been limited in practices for the most part recently but has been playing through it. My guess is he has some sort of MCL injury and has been wearing a brace. On Sunday, it looked like it was the opposite knee this time that was injured. He did return to the game, however, so it’s safe to say he should be okay.
- Darryl Williams – This marked the 3rd injury to the Bills offensive line in this game. At this point, I had my face in my palm asking what we did to deserve this. Luckily, Williams was able to walk off under his own power and return to action relatively quickly. The replay wasn’t really clear enough to see exactly what happened, but thankfully he’s fine.
- Tre’Davious White – This one scared me big time, and it was a weird injury. When watching the play, you see White down on the turf and immediately call for the trainers while holding his lower leg/ankle area. At first thought, I was terrified it was his Achilles because of how quickly he called for the training staff and looked to be in serious pain. The replay didn’t show anything crazy either. I didn’t see a weird plant of his foot or ankle, and I didn’t see any twisting of the ankle either. White quickly went on the table and the cameras showed the trainers re-taping his ankle. He was reported as questionable to return with an ankle injury by the Bills PR Twitter account. Joe Buscaglia reported he was walking around on the sideline with his helmet on, but he never did return to the game, and that’s probably because they didn’t need him to at that point. White appeared in good spirits and was celebrating on the sideline with the team as time was expiring. It’ll be interesting to see his practice designation as the week goes on, but it appears White has some sort of mild sprain and shouldn’t miss much time if any at all.
Wednesday Practice Report:
- CB Tre White – DNP – ankle. No surprise here since it’s Wednesday, and the majority of players with injuries will sit out for these practices. His designations for Thursday and Friday will be telling. It makes sense to shut him down until after the BYE, honestly. I won’t be surprised either way whether he plays or sits.
- WR John Brown – DNP – knee/vet rest. Brown appears to be at 100% or pretty close. This may be a trend for Brown to sit out Wednesday’s for the remainder of the season. Since it’s a rest day, he should be good to go for Sunday.
- LG Cody Ford – DNP – ankle. No surprise here either, and he is a key one to watch for on Thursday and Friday as well. If he can practice that would be great. My gut tells me he doesn’t suit up for Sunday.
- DE Jerry Hughes – DNP – foot/vet rest. Hughes will be taking Wednesdays off with John Brown for the rest of the season. Hughes has been on fire this season, and rest days on hump day have not been impacting his production on game days.
- LB Del’Shawn Phillips – DNP – quad. He was recently activated from IR but not ready to return just yet. He should be back after the BYE, however.
- RB Taiwan Jones – DNP – Hamstring. Suffered Week 8 vs New England, Jones will probably be out until after the BYE. Nothing new here.
- OG Brian Winters – DNP – knee. No surprise here, Winters has been dealing with knee issues for a few weeks now and left Sunday’s game for a little bit before returning due to a knee injury. He should be back in a limited fashion this week.
- Mitch Morse – FULL – concussion. HUGE! Mitch Morse was cleared from concussion protocol and should be ready to roll back into the lineup for this Sunday. So happy to see him back already, especially with his concussion history! The Bills OL and Josh Allen will surely be happy to have their top five Center back in the lineup. Also, this gives the Bills the ability to move Jon Feliciano back to Guard. Rejoice!
- OG Jon Feliciano – Limited – back. This is a new injury designation for Feliciano. It could be something like general back soreness, though. He was able to practice in a limited capacity, so no reason to think he won’t be able to suit up on Sunday barring any setbacks.
- CB Josh Norman – Limited – hamstring. Norman suffered the second setback of his lingering hamstring injury a few weeks ago. Wednesday was the first time he returned to practice in a limited form. While he may be able to make it through the rest of the week just fine, I think the team will continue with their conservative ways and hold him out until after the BYE. There’s no reason to rush him back and increase the chance of another setback.
- RB TJ Yeldon – FULL – back. Yeldon missed the past couple of games with this injury, but he appears to be good to go being back on a Wednesday in a full participation.
Reminder: never look at Wednesday’s report too seriously. Between veteran rest days, load management, and injury management, most of these guys will be back by Thursday or Friday. Football is a tough and physical sport, and most of these guys are banged up in some fashion. The BYE week will do them wonders next week!
Thanks for reading, everyone!