The Buffalo Bills are 4-1 after a blowout of the Steelers last week. The current injury list remains lengthy, but most players will be available on Sunday. Also, to note, CB Tre’Davious White was activated from the PUP list. This past week was his first eligible week to be removed from the list. He now has a 21-day window to be activated to the 53-man roster. If he is not activated, he will need to go to season ending IR. Fortunately, he looks primed to return to the team soon, based on his performance in practice. Look for him to return in Week 8 or 9.
Still on the PUP list is G Ike Boettger. He will need to start his 21-day practice window next week, or he will be moved to season ending IR. Also, to note, WR Jamison Crowder was added to the IR, joining S Micah Hyde, OT Tommy Doyle, and CB Xavier Rhodes (Practice Squad IR).
As for the Kansas City Chiefs, they are dealing with some injuries, especially in the secondary. They don’t have any notable players on IR. However, starting CB Rashad Fenton and backups S Bryan Cook and DT Tershawn Wharton have been ruled out. (Starting LB Willie Gay Jr. will also miss the game due to suspension.) The Chiefs have not listed anyone as ‘questionable’, but their first-round pick and projected starting CB Trent McDuffie was activated from the IR this week. He is in a 21-day practice window to return, and reports are leaning towards him being inactive this week with his hamstring injury that was sustained Week 1.
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 2-6 weeks. He has not practiced in any capacity the past three weeks. The Packers game, after the bye week, will be five weeks post-injury. Look for Kumerow to return then.
DT Jordan Phillips
Phillips was off to a strong start in his reunion tour with the Bills. However, he strained his ‘hamstring’ during the Milano pick-6 during the Bills-Titans game. He was unable to practice the following two weeks. Last week, he was a limited participant for all three practices and played against the Steelers. He only played 28% of the snaps against the Steelers, compared to his 52% average in Weeks 1-2. This is due to his likely reaggravation of his hamstring injury in the first half. Fortunately, Phillips was able to return to practice all week, again in a limited fashion. I think he pushes it and plays this week, especially with the benefit of a bye next week. If he plays, having DT Brandon Bryant will be keen, in case he reinjures himself again.
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-changing INT on the defense’s last play of the day. Poyer did not practice all last week and missed the Bills-Steelers game. He has potentially suffered a Costochondral separation or Chondral Rib Fracture, which can take up to 2-4 weeks to return (1). Fortunately, it is likely mild as he was able to return to practice this week. He will be on the field Sunday.
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). Benford came back to practice this week in a limited fashion. He will be available to play, but likely be limited with extra padding or a club on his hand. Fortunately, looks like he can catch.
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 Weeks 2-4 it dipped to 72%. For comparison, in Weeks 11-16 in 2021 he averaged a 95% snap count.
Knox missed Week 5 against the Steelers. He is likely dealing with a mild foot sprain, and now a hamstring strain from the Bills-Ravens game. Knox was limited in practice all week. However, he was out at the Sabres game on Thursday and will be active on Sunday.
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 put him back in the Rams game, but not all high ankle sprains are equal. These injuries can range from 2-6 weeks. The key ligament is the anterior tibiofibular ligament. The amount of trauma to this ligament will impact the return to play significantly (3). Oliver returned last week, playing a 33% snap count. He was able to practice in full all week and looks to be healthy now. Look for Oliver to return to his usual 58% snap count that he averaged in 2021.
WR Isaiah McKenzie
McKenzie suffered a ‘concussion’ during the Bills-Ravens game and never returned. He progressed though the concussion protocol, but still sat out the Steelers game. He will be active this Sunday after practicing in full all week and making his appearance on Dion Dawkins’ IG live thirst trap.
LB Tremaine Edmunds
Edmunds surprisingly landed on the injury report with a ‘hamstring’ last week after playing in 100% of the snaps against the Ravens. He missed the Steelers game after not practicing all week. Fortunately, he ramped up from limited to full this week and will be playing on Sunday. He likely has a very minor strain that he played though at some point in the Ravens game. Oddly, Edmunds did miss a game last year for a ‘hamstring’ after playing 100% of the prior week’s snaps.
C Mitch Morse
Morse was injured on the first series of the Bills-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 returned 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 the past two weeks. Morse finished this practice week in full on Thursday and Friday and appears to be virtually fully recovered.
CB Cam Lewis
Lewis has been listed with ‘forearm’ and ‘knee’ injuries all season, even before playing in his first game. After playing in his first defensive snaps last week (20%), Cam practiced in full on Wednesday. On Thursday, he was downgraded to limited and a ‘quad’ injury was added to his existing ‘forearm’ ailment. Rumor has it he thigh danced himself back to health, as he finished Friday’s practice as a full participant. He will be available to play Sunday.
DT DaQuan Jones
Jones was a surprise addition to the injury report this week with a ‘hip’ injury. After averaging a 73% snap count in Weeks 3 and 4, his snap count dropped to 49% vs the Steelers. He was limited in practice on Wednesday but finished in full on Thursday and Friday. This is likely a minor issue and he will be active Sunday.
CB Kaiir Elam
Elam was also a surprise addition to the injury report. He played in 100% of the snaps last week and has averaged 99% over the past three games. Regardless, he was listed with a ‘foot’ injury that limited him on Wednesday. Fortunately, he practiced in full on Thursday and Friday. This should be a minor issue and he will be active on Sunday too.
RB Taiwan Jones
Jones has been playing 71% of special team snaps this year. He has a length injury history, and he is listed with a ‘knee’ this week. He was DNP on Wednesday/Thursday and returned in a limited fashion on Friday. Without a game status denotation, Jones will be available Sunday, and is likely dealing with a chronic issue.
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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