The Buffalo Bills are 10-3 and on a four-game winning streak. The news of the week has been dominated by the return of Cole Beasley, and oh yeah, it’s going to be chilly Saturday night.
The injury bug has been unpleasant to the Bills this season. Von Miller, fresh off ACL surgery, is on the IR along with CB Christian Bendford, WR Jake Kumerow, WR Jamison Crowder, OT Tommy Doyle, and S Micah Hyde. This week marks the end of G Ike Boettger’s 21-day practice window as he was recently removed from the PUP list. The team will need to either activate him or place him on season-ending IR. There is a chance he is activated and replaces the injured Ryan Bates on Saturday.
As for the Miami Dolphins, they are missing several key players, especially at OL and secondary. The following Dolphins are on the IR: TE Adam Shaheen, DB Trill Williams, DE Emmanuel Ogbah, SS Brandon Jones, OT Austin Jackson, LB Trey Flowers, OT Liam Eichenberg, and CB Byron Jones (PUP). Starting S Eric Rowe and his backup Elijah Campbell are both out for tomorrow night. Meanwhile, depth WR River Cracraft is ‘doubtful’. Rounding out their injury report is the profoundly battered OT Terron Armstead, RB Jeff Wilson, and backup QB Teddy Bridgewater.
OG Ryan Bates
Bates was the recipient of friendly fire when Dion Dawkins pancaked a Jets defender into his legs on Josh Allen’s rushing TD. He never returned and has been DNP all week. The injury has been reported as a low ‘ankle’ sprain, but it had the mechanism of a high ankle sprain written all over it. Potentially, Bates only suffered a medial ankle sprain, which could allow him to return next week. Ironically, Dawkins returned from a similar mechanism of injury in 17 days for Week 14.
DT Jordan Phillips
Phillips suffered his ‘shoulder’ injury late in Patriots game. He fell on an outstretched arm when pursuing Mac Jones. Phillips has missed every practice the past two weeks. In my opinion, Phillips appeared to suffer a dislocation. The average return to play is three weeks (1) which, for Phillips, would be Week 16. Look for Phillips to wear a harness moving forward and will be susceptible to future subluxations/dislocations.
FB Reggie Gilliam
Gilliam exited the Patriots game with an ‘ankle’ injury, when he got rolled up on during the second half’s opening kick return. The mechanism of injury looked like a high ankle or medial sprain. Reggie missed the game last week but was able to ramp up to full participation in practice this week. His availability will be crucial for a potential snow game.
LB Matt Milano
Milano was a surprise addition to the injury report with a ‘knee’ injury last week. It was odd, as he played a 100% snap share against Patriots in Week 13. He was then able to play a 100% snap share against the Jets in Week 14, even after going ‘DNP-DNP-Limited’ during that week’s practices. This week followed suit, as Milano went ‘DNP-DNP-Limited’ in practice. In my opinion, he likely has a minor meniscal tear. Other possibilities would be a chronic cartilage or overuse injury such as tendonitis.
DT Ed Oliver
Oliver quietly exited the Jets game late with a ‘pectoral’ injury. He likely suffered a very minor strain. He was limited most of the week of practice but did ramp up to full participation on Thursday. Oliver has been wearing a harness for support, and I am personally worried about further injury.
QB Josh Allen
Josh Allen suffered an ‘elbow’ sprain on the third to last play of the Jets game. However, Allen returned to the lineup without missing any time. Fortunately, Allen has stacked three weeks of full participation, 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.
- Okoroha KR, Taylor KA, Marshall NE, Keller RA, Fidai M, Mahan MC, Varma V, Moutzouros V. Return to play after shoulder instability in National Football League athletes. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2018 Jan; 27(1): 17-22. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2017.07.027. Epub 2017 Sep 20. PMID: 28941971.
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