Week 15: Buffalo Bills vs Denver Broncos injury report and game day predictions

We are so healthy and so close to an AFC East title for the first time in a quarter-century within our gasps…  The ominous cloud of 2020 hovering over us on our best season since the Hubble Telescope launched.  Can we #cancelfoxworth– can we get, Nick Wright, to sit right?  Fantasy semifinals week, Josh Allen, I need you.  Read on about Josh Allen ‘shaking it off’ like Taylor Swift circa 2014…

QUESTIONABLE

TE Lee Smith: Popping up limited all week long, Lee is listed with a ‘knee’.  However, let’s first discuss an early Christmas gift we received.  The whole chain of events of this injury was epic beyond your imagination—

Set the stage; we’re just shy of the two-minute warning on the Steelers’ 31.  Josh just started heating up for the first time all night, connecting with Diggs on his last two passing attempts.  On this play, we have an illegal formation and a roughing the passer, and Josh Allen put his durability on display!  Let’s remember that he is still braced up for his MCL sprain sustained two weeks prior.  Thank god that was on his back leg.  Back to the game–the play was another completion to Diggs for an 18 yard gain, but look the fuck out, undrafted and unheralded, Henry Mondeaux, from Oregon gets a shot on Josh.  Although an absolutely clean hit, Josh sold it well.  We are very lucky the hit came above the waist, but Josh’s knee actually starts to medial rotate (cough*ACL mechanism*cough).  Now, for as much as I think Josh can use a more defined thigh muscle, whatever this kid is eating, bon appetit baby.

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That wasn’t even the bad part.  As Josh gets taken to the ground—Lee Smith’s right knee delivers a viscous blow Josh’s left earhole.  Although Josh was ‘flopping’ from the initial hit from Mondeaux, he did go motionless for a half a second when he was down on the ground.

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Don’t worry.  Josh shakes it off, and Lee bounced around and came back.  He throws three straight incompletions, we settle for a FG, and then you know how the rest went.  However, holy shit.  Josh has been dodging mental brain injury all 2020.  Remember this wicked shot in the Texans’ playoff game?

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Anyways, Lee almost looked like an MCL sprain, but based his initial reaction, which predominantly showed him doing knee bends to loosen up and then came back in the game, he most likely has a contusion or bursitis around the knee.  Either or, these bruises can swell, stiffen up, and make the knee feel weak and boggy making it tough to play 100%.  I think he sits, and we get a double dose of Tyler Kroft.  I’m also feeling Air Raid all day now baby, 57 and high altitude sun!

OUT

S Jaquan Johnson:  He left late in the 49ers game the previous week when he got rolled up on while covering a punt.  He is isted with an ‘ankle’, and has been DNP for three straight weeks.  He might land on the IR if he’s not at least limited next week.  Based on the limited camera angle to show the exact mechanism, I’d assume he is dealing with a medial ankle sprain or high ankle. 

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ALSO LISTED

QB Josh Allen: Still listed as ‘knee/ankle’ from a Joey Bosa reverse takedown, Josh is still practicing in full and ready to go.  He’s pretty amazing.  He’s about three weeks from a suspected grade 1 MCL knee and medial ankle sprains.  My guess is that the brace stays on anywhere from 1-3 more weeks, respecting the full 4-6 tissue healing process.

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LB Tremaine Edmunds: Without veering off his usual 100% snap count performance, Edmunds actually got two limited practices in before going full at the end of the week.  With no known cause, I think the team just wanted to let his body rest as has a little case of the nothing.  We will see… 

CB Taron Johnson: Fresh off his pick 6,  the first play of the second half for the Steelers’ had Taron get a concussion via friendly fire when his head collided with Poyer during a tackle.  Taron actually blazed through the protocol and is cleared to play the Broncos.  Food for thought, the Bills did clear Morse quicker than I thought they would and then sat him the whole game.  I wonder if they take the same approach here?

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Milano Update:

Entering his second game off the IR, Milano’s snap share jumped to 47%, which was an increase from his 31% the week prior.  Matt also averaged just shy of 30% snap counts in his two games prior to going on IR; those two games were his only two after the initial pec injury in Week 4.  So was the snap share increased because Pitt was throwing it a lot, or is he trending up legitimately?  We saw him with a few pass rushes up the middle, so I think that shows in itself.  I was envisioning Milano’s market bare, but I am pleasantly surprised.  This bodes well to see him fully entrenched in the defense come playoff time.

Activated from the IR:

WR John Brown:  Smoke was on his last week of minimal requirement on IR.  He was practicing, but we don’t know how much.  Maybe activating for gamesmanship?  It is a good day for Brown to rest.  Aside from the altitude risks, he had a gnarly high ankle sprain in the Cardinals’ game, so by the end of next week, he will be six weeks post-injury.  High ankle sprains generally take 4-6 weeks, so delaying his return for the Patriots’ game pays great respect to the healing process.  Trust it, baby!

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