Not surprising, more news coming out of One Bills Drive after today’s press conference and practice. The Bills aren’t quite shutting it down for the season, but after that loss to the Patriots to leave them at 6-6 and 8th in the AFC, the playoffs are becoming less and less of a possibility. It is quite disappointing after that great 5-2 start, but this team had shades of 2011 all over it and at this point, the team is playing for pride and to hopefully build a stronger foundation for next year.
Breaking down the injury report, WR Jordan Matthews and DE Shaq Lawson have been placed on IR, ending their respective seasons. Not much is known at the moment regarding what is hampering Matthews besides a knee issue. I had suspected a recurrence of tendonitis that he was dealing with during training camp, but more may be released as time passes. Lawson injured his ankle during a goal line stand against the Patriots on Sunday and based on what I was able to see, it appeared to be a high ankle sprain. This is supported by the mechanism of injury and the fact that he is on IR.
Those not practicing today are: RB Travaris Cadet (concussion), TE Charles Clay (knee), G John Miller (ankle), QB Tyrod Taylor (knee), DE Eddie Yarbrough (chest), DT Kyle Williams (groin). There is no surprise with Cadet not practicing as he is still in concussion protocol. Miller is still not practicing due to an ankle injury that has sidelined him for the past several weeks and nothing is really known; he has been dealing with this since November 16th. He may also have suffered a high ankle sprain considering his timeline and add in the fact that he has not been able to participate in practice.
Yarbrough is not practicing secondary to what appears to be the same chest injury that he was dealing with last week. Looking back at film, he did not appear to be limited and was able to play through the entire game. This may be a pulled chest muscle that he continues to play through knowing that depth is thin at his position. Taylor is dealing with his patellar tendon contusion which was detailed in my previous article. Time will tell whether he will be ready for Sunday, otherwise QB Nathan Peterman may get the start. Finally, DT Kyle Williams is dealing with a groin injury. He was able to play the entire game and while there were some instances where he could have pulled his groin, he did not have to leave the game. The only time he was off the field was when certain defensive packages allowed him rest. I do not anticipate that he will miss next game.
Those limited in practice are: WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), CB Tre’Davious White (concussion), CB Leonard Johnson (knee), RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring), and OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle). It is very promising to see that Benjamin is out and running on the field during practice today. Typically, in the general population these types of injuries do require a lengthier rehabilitation to return to full function. Benjamin is may be still dealing with some minor pain and swelling, but can at this point be expected to play through some discomfort. It helps that Benjamin has access to rehabilitation daily and expert medical advice. I expect him to be able to play Sunday but be on a possible snap count so as not to create further damage. It does help that the field conditions will be poor which in turn will reduce the likelihood of injury with inability for the feet to stick in the ground.
White returning to practice after the hit he took is quite amazing but every concussion is different in how they respond. As long as he does not have any recurrence of symptoms, he should be able to play Sunday. Johnson’s knee was of little concern as he took a helmet to the knee but he should be able return to play. Tolbert and Glenn continue dealing with their respective injuries which may allow them to return to play Sunday. However, I believe Tolbert is nearly out of the woods with his hamstring injury but Glenn will continue to be hampered with his issue as I still maintain he has chronic instability.
Those able to fully participate are OT Seantrel Henderson (back) and RB LeSean McCoy (knee). Henderson only participated in one offensive play and one special team play so its interesting that he has a back injury despite such little playing time. McCoy continues to be the engine that drives the offense and with the amount of abuse that his body goes through weekly, it is expected that he would have some type of week-to-week ailment. As he is a full participant, there should be no limitation.
Interesting to note, after FB Patrick DiMarco and TE Nick O’Leary were listed on the injury report last week with their respective ankle and back injuries. Despite O’Leary missing the Patriots game, they are not present which indicates that their issues must have been minor and should not limit them going into next week’s game against the Colts.
As the injury list gets longer along with the schedule getting shorter, this is expected at this time of the year. It is impressive that the Bills have not lost anyone significant to injury reserve which could have derailed their season. Unfortunately, poor play derailed this season and a chance to end the long suffering playoff drought. Ideally, depending on how these last 4 games play out, this should allow the season to end and everyone to get healthy to come back next year.
Hopefully the Bills get another win against the lowly Colts and continue have something to play for despite the disappointment that ends nearly every season in Buffalo. This is a very winnable game at New Era Field; they should be able to move to 5-2 and at least be respectable at home. These weather conditions are suitable to Buffalo football, the Bills should take advantage of the inclement weather and use the run game that’s worked for them so well in the past.
Continue to check back for the latest updates and articles regarding Bills injuries. Follow me on Twitter at @kyletrimble88 for the latest updates and breaking news. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!