The Buffalo Bills are 8-3 after a Thanksgiving Thriller in the Motor City. Unfortunately, the Bills once again suffered more key injuries and a mysterious illness is still affecting the team. On the bright side, many players will be returning this week and Tre’Davious White was able to make his long-awaited debut on Thanksgiving.
As for players on the reserve lists, G Ike Boettger (PUP list, Achilles) and WR Marquez Stevenson (IR, Foot) have been performing on field drills recently. CB Christian Bendford has now joined WR Jake Kumerow, WR Jamison Crowder, OT Tommy Doyle, and S Micah Hyde on the IR.
As for the New England Patriots, they have a handful of ailments. Notable players on the IR include: DT Christian Barmore, OT Marcus Cannon, WR Ty Montgomery, and P Jake Bailey. RB Damien Harris and OT Isaiah Wynn are OUT for tonight. Meanwhile, WR Jakobi Meyers (shoulder), C David Andrews (thigh), OT Yodny Cajuste (calf), CB Marcus Jones (ankle), CB Jalen Mills (groin), and FS Jabrill Peppers (illness) are all QUESTIONABLE. In my opinion, Meyers and Andrews are the most ailing of the group.
DE Von Miller
Von sustained a lateral meniscal tear to his ‘knee’ against the Lions. There was significant fear that he had torn his ACL, which was luckily avoided. Unfortunately, a lateral meniscal tear is not a walk in the park. His injury will require off-season surgery, but he plans to play through it for the rest of the season.
Von is eyeballing a return for Week 14 against the Jets. He did not practice this entire week, so next week will be very questionable. In my opinion, a Week 15 return is much more reasonable. There should still be concern that Von either cannot return to action or returns in some fashion but ultimately gets shut down for surgery before season’s end.
Two surgical options are available for Von. He may undergo a meniscectomy (trimming) or a meniscal repair. The outcomes and rehab timelines are starkly different, and their explanations can be heard below.
OT Dion Dawkins
Dion sustained an ‘ankle’ sprain late in the first half against the Lions. He did not return to the game but was still on the Bills sideline in the second half. McDermott referred to his injury as day-to-day, but he did not practice this entire week.
Dion’s injury is arguably either a medial ankle sprain or a high ankle sprain. If it is a medial sprain, Dawkins should be able to return next week. However, if it is indeed a high ankle sprain, he can miss another 2-3 games minimum. The mechanism of injury appeared to be a high ankle in nature. However, the Buffalo Bills’ approach to day-to-day leans more towards a medial sprain.
TE Quintin Morris
Morris is listed this week with an ‘illness’. The team has not addressed what the illness is, other than it was non-Covid last week. Likely the flu, Morris was the only player who missed practice twice this week due to illness. He did return as a full participant on Wednesday. Several other Buffalo Bills were listed with an illness as well this week but returned in one day. These players included: S Damar Hamlin, CB Dane Jackson, S Jaquan Johnson, WR Khalil Shakir.
QB Josh Allen
Josh Allen suffered an ‘elbow’ sprain on the third to last play of the Jets game. However, he still threw a 70-yard rope to Gabe Davis two plays later. The injury is widely believed to be a UCL injury, which is the ‘Tommy John’ ligament.
This is the same injury that Allen sustained during his rookie year in 2018. Fortunately, unlike 2018 (when he missed five weeks), Allen was able to return to lineup this time around without missing time. He has appeared mostly himself the past three games, however Tony Romo found it necessary to remind the country Allen is still having pain. Fortunately, Allen was able to have his first week of full participation in practice since the injury, inclining that he is on the mend. The Bills dodged a bullet with this one, and it is just another example of the injury resilience of Josh Allen.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds first landed on the injury list after the Packers game with a ‘heel’ injury. After playing 100% of the snaps against the Packers and Jets, he was listed with a ‘heel’ and a ‘groin’. His groin and/or heel was aggravated the next game against the Vikings, causing Tremaine to miss the second half. He has missed the past two games but is ready to return after being a full participant all week in practice. Tremaine also missed Week 5 with a hamstring injury. Best case scenario, Tremaine is dealing with a minor groin strain and a heel bruise/contusion. However, he could be dealing with more nagging and long-term issues such as plantar fasciitis in the ‘heel’, and possibly a hip labrum/sports hernia for the ‘groin’.
DE Gregory Rousseau
Groot suffered an ‘ankle’ sprain four weeks ago during the Jets game. It was a high-ankle sprain, which cost him to miss the past three games. For context, DT Ed Oliver and WR Jake Kumerow both missed three games for the same injury this season. He was able to return to practice in full this week but look for him to have limited snaps on Thursday. When Ed Oliver returned from his sprain, he played 33% of the snaps his first game back, but now has averaged >60% the past six games.
DE A.J. Epenesa
Epenesa left the Browns game early with an ‘ankle’ injury. He only was able to play an 8% snap share after having his second highest career total the prior week at 60%. There is no noticeable injury available, albeit likely a sprain. He was reportedly in a walking boot after the game and did not practice all last week. He was able to return as a full participant this entire week of practice and will be available Thursday. Due to the benign mechanism of injury that caused him to miss last week, I would be concerned about the fragility of his ankle at this time.
C Mitch Morse
Morse has been dealing with an ‘elbow’ injury all season that he sustained back in Week 2 against the Titans. He subsequently missed the following game against the Dolphins. Since then, Morse has been listed with that ailment each week, but has played in the Buffalo Bills’ last seven games. Unfortunately, Morse sustained an ‘ankle’ injury in the Browns game. It was on the first play, but he was able to play every snap of the game. He was, reportedly, in a walking boot after the game and missed the game last week. He was able to practice in full this week and is ready to bounce back.
CB Cam Lewis
Lewis is still being listed with a ‘forearm’ ailment that has trailed him all year. He continues to practice in full and will be available if activated.
DT Jordan Phillips
Listed with an ‘eye’ injury. Phillips’ injury is unknown, but likely was poked last game. He practiced in full and there is no concern heading into New England.
Sent to IR
CB Christian Benford
The Buffalo Bills’ 2022 sixth round pick was listed with an ‘oblique’ injury and has been sent to the IR list. He will be out for four weeks minimum. It will be interesting to see when he will be able to actually return to the lineup.
Featured Image: Sports Illustrated