Week 5 Injury Report: Bills vs. Steelers
The Buffalo Bills are 3-1 after a wet comeback last week. The current injury list remains robust, with numerous key players out or questionable.
Also, to note, CB Tre’Davious White was not activated from the PUP list. This past week was his first eligible week to be removed from the list. The team can delay up to one more week before Tre must start practicing, or he will miss the season. When activated off the list, the team will likely utilize a 21-day practice window before being activated to the 53-man roster. In this likely scenario, we are looking at Tre’s return either Week 9 or 10. Also on the PUP list is G Ike Boettger. On Saturday, WR Jamison Crowder will likely be added to the IR list, joining S Micah Hyde and OT Tommy Doyle.
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they are dealing with some injuries especially in the secondary. The Steelers will be without star OLB TJ Watt, who is currently on the IR. Starting CB Ahkello Witherspoon is ‘out’. Their other starting CB Cameron Sutton (hamstring) and starting SS Terrell Edmunds (concussion) are listed as ‘questionable’.
S Jordan Poyer
Poyer missed Week 3 with a ‘foot injury’. His presence was felt in Baltimore though, as he had 2 INTs. Unfortunately, he suffered a ‘rib’ injury on the game defining INT on the defense’s last play of the day. Poyer did not practice all week though and will miss Sunday’s action. He potentially suffered a Costochondral separation or Chondral Rib Fracture, which can take up to 2-4 weeks to return (1).
CB Christian Benford
After a promising start to the year for the sixth round draft pick, Benford broke his hand during the Miami game. He was able to come back in the second half for special teams with a club on his hand, but he still required surgery to fix. The specifics are unknown, but he likely fractured a metacarpal. If this is the case, he can return to play as early as two weeks (2). Look for Benford to return as early as the Week 6 matchup vs. Kansas City, or Week 8 after the Bye.
WR Jamison Crowder
Crowder joined the Bills with a lengthy injury history. The injury bug has struck again, as he has been reported to have a broken ‘ankle’.
The injury came on a punt return during the Ravens game. He had his ankle twisted and rolled up on. Crowder likely has a broken fibula, with potential for a high-ankle sprain as well. He likely will require season ending surgery, but details will need to emerge. For now, Crowder is out and likely headed to the IR on Saturday.
TE Dawson Knox
Knox is off to a rough start. He has been dealing with foot, back/hip, and now a ‘foot/hamstring’ issue. He is likely still dealing with his foot pain that began after Week 2. Knox saw an 86% snap count in Week 1. In Week’s 2-4 it has dipped to 72%. For comparison, in Week’s 11-16 in 2021 he averaged a 95% snap count.
Regardless, Knox will miss this matchup after being DNP all week in practice. He likely has a mild foot sprain, and now a hamstring strain. It is likely minor and was suffered late in the game on his 3rd & 3 conversion on the last drive. Look for Knox to return next week, but he may still be limited.
WR Jake Kumerow
Touchdown Jesus left the Miami game early with an ‘ankle’ sprain. Unfortunately, it was the dreaded high-ankle type. This type of sprain can have a lot of variability on return to play, but generally they range from 2-4 weeks. Look for Kumerow to return as early as next week, or after the Bye.
DT Jordan Phillips
Phillips was off to a strong start in his reunion tour with the Bills. However, he suffered a ‘hamstring’ strain during the Milano pick-6 during the Titans game. He was unable to practice the following two weeks. This week, he was participating in a limited fashion for all three practices. Without a full participation, Phillips will likely sit out one more week.
DT Ed Oliver
Ed Oliver exited the season opener early with an ‘ankle’ sprain.He appeared to sustain a medial ankle sprain, but reports are surfacing that it was a high-ankle sprain.
It is odd the team would put him back in the Rams game, but not all high ankle sprains are equal. These injuries can range from 2-4 weeks. The key ligament is the anterior tibiofibular ligament. Depending on the amount of trauma to this ligament will impact the return to play significantly (3). At this point, Oliver is four weeks post-injury. He has been practicing in a limited fashion the past three weeks. I cannot imagine him missing another game, unless the team is saving him for the Chiefs.
WR Isaiah McKenzie
McKenzie suffered a ‘concussion’ during the Ravens game and never returned. He appears to have progressed though the concussion protocol, as he was not wearing his non-contact jersey on Friday. After a DNP on Wednesday, McKenzie was limited on Thursday and Friday. Based on his IG Live, he should be active on Sunday.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds surprisingly landed on the injury report with a ‘hamstring’ after playing in 100% of the snaps last week. He was a DNP all week. While he might still play, I don’t see this happening. He likely has a very minor strain that he played though at some point in the game. Look for him to return next week, unless something odd is going on. Important to note, Edmunds did miss a game last year for a ‘hamstring’ after he played 100% of the prior week’s snaps.
WR Gabe Davis
Davis sprained his ‘ankle’ in practice on the Saturday before the MNF game. He subsequently missed the Titans game. Davis returned for the Miami game and played a 96% snap share but looked to be favoring his ankle at times. Enter last week, and Davis sprained his ankle in practice again.
He was able to play last week, but still had some limitations. Fortunately, Davis was a full participant all week and looks back to form.
C Mitch Morse
Morse was injured on the first series of the Titans game. He appeared to get his ‘elbow’ hyperextended as he was engaged with a defender and Knox’s helmet hit the back of his elbow. He was able to return to the game but was unable to play at Miami. Morse likely has an elbow sprain in some nature, and he was able to play last week vs the Ravens. This week he was limited on Wednesday but returned to full on Thursday and Friday. He is on the mend.
OL Justin Murray
The Buffalo Bills are out signing injured players too. Murray was released from the Cardinals with an injury settlement for an ‘ankle’ injury at the end of August. He was signed by Buffalo this week and is listed with a ‘foot’ injury after he was limited in practice all his first two weeks. Not clear on what he is dealing with but likely best he sits this week out.
CB Cam Lewis
Lewis was listed with a ‘forearm/knee’ on the injury reportbefore he even dressed for a game. Possibly a practice injury, he was able to practice in full all week and will be available for Sunday.
Not Listed (but still hurt)
CB Xavier Rhodes
The Bills just signed Rhodes to the practice squad last week. He managed to strain his ‘hamstring’ in his second practice. He is on the Practice Squad IR, which is a thing, and will be out for at least three more weeks.
1. McAdams TR, Deimel JF, Ferguson J, Beamer BS, Beaulieu CF. Chondral Rib Fractures in Professional American Football: Two Cases and Current Practice Patterns Among NFL Team Physicians. Orthop J Sports Med. 2016 Feb 9; 4(2): 2325967115627623. doi: 10.1177/2325967115627623. PMID: 26925425; PMCID: PMC4753355.
2. Fufa DT, Goldfarb CA. Fractures of the thumb and finger metacarpals in athletes. Hand Clin. 2012; 3: 379–88. doi: 10.1016/j.hcl.2012.05.028.
3. Miller BS, Downie BK, Johnson PD, Schmidt PW, Nordwall SJ, Kijek TG, Jacobson JA, Carpenter JE. Time to return to play after high ankle sprains in collegiate football players: a prediction model. Sports Health. 2012 Nov; 4(6): 504-9. doi: 10.1177/1941738111434916. PMID: 24179590; PMCID: PMC3497944.
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