Nothing like a month of the Patriots and Tom Brady for the Holidays. Injuries and losses are mounting for the Buffalo Bills. The Mafia is preoccupied with a spiraling meltdown. However, a unique phenomenon is being lost in the shuffle. This is likely Buffalo’s final showdown with Tom. Can Josh Allen and the Bills circle the wagons, or shall we lay victim to the GOAT one last time?
The Buccaneers enter this matchup with minimal ailing players, but they do have some holes in their deep secondary. Due to suspension, they will be without WR Antonio Brown and FS Mike Edwards. Listed as OUT for this week is S Jordan Whitehead, with two notable players as QUESTIONABLE, DL William Gholston and C Ryan Jensen. Expected to return from the IR is CB Richard Sherman, who is rumored to be platooning in the safety position.
DT Star Lotulelei
The Bills placed Star on the COVID list prior to the Week 10 matchup with the Jets. This caused him to miss three games, but he was able to return for last week’s Patriots game for a 53% snap share. The 53% snap share was the exact average from his previous six games. There was no report of an injury after the game, but he showed up on the injury reports as limited with a ‘toe’ injury on Wednesday. He subsequently was downgraded to a DNP on Thursday and Friday and is now going to miss his fifth game of the season.
It is unknown if the injury was sustained from the game or at practice. Usually, toe injuries are sprains (aka ‘turf toe’) and they vary with their recovery times. They can take 1-3 weeks to recover, if mild, but can be easily aggravated. Another theory is he could be dealing with ‘COVID Toe’. If this is the case, his toe is likely swollen and painful. The recovery time is a big unknown. Usually, it will clear up in two weeks, but can last up to 2-6 months in extreme cases.
TE Tommy Sweeney
Sweeney was listed with a ‘hip’ injury on Wednesday and was a limited participant. He was subsequently downgraded to DNP for Thursday and Friday and will also miss this week’s game. His injury is also mysterious as it is unknown if he was injured in the game or in practice on Wednesday. He played 22% of Buffalo’s offensive snaps last week, which was has been his norm over the past three games.
FB Reggie Gilliam
Reggie left the Week 12 game with an ‘ankle’ injury in the fourth quarter. He appears to get rolled up on during punt protection. The film is tough to decipher, but he likely has a low-grade medial ankle sprain. These can take 1-2 weeks to heal. He missed the Patriots game, but was able to ramp up to a full participant in practice this week. He is likely to play and Buffalo will need him to replace Sweeney.
DE Efe Obada
Efe popped up on the Bills’ injury report last Saturday before the Patriots game. He subsequently missed the game. It seems he injured himself in practice that day, so specifics are unknown. He was limited early in the week, but finished Friday’s practice as a full participant. He should give it a go, especially with Star out.
DT Ed Oliver
Ed was listed in the middle of the week with a ‘chest’ injury. He was limited on Thursday, but practiced in full on Friday. This also looks like an injury sustained in practice, but he will play Sunday. His snap share will be interesting to monitor. He was averaging a 58% snap share entering last week, but only played 45% of snaps against the Patriots.
RETURNING FROM IR
OG Jon Feliciano
The Bills announced today that they have activated Jon Feliciano from IR and is now back on the 53-man roster. Feliciano was placed on the IR five weeks ago, but was activated to return last week. I would expect that Feliciano will start for the Bills on Sunday.
Unvaccinated players are out a minimum of 10 days, while vaccinated players can return as soon as they have two negative tests 24 hours apart.
- OT Tommy Doyle was placed on 11/30/21, activated 12/7/21
- LB AJ Klein was placed on 12/6/21