The Bills are still in the hunt! With a 4-7 record, they still manage to stave off playoff elimination for another week with a thrilling 24-21 win over the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars. While 4-7 doesn’t sound like things are going well, there are positives to take away from this game and so far, the season. I do not believe that the Bills will make the playoffs even with the possibility that they win out. Having a strong finish to the season along with the development of QB Josh Allen, LB Tremaine Edmunds, and the improving offensive play calling allows the Bills to head into 2019 with lots of tools at their disposal and allows them to take that next step forward. However, as with every post, we will review the injuries sustained during Sunday’s win.
First up is CB Lafayette Pitts (concussion). The veteran corner suffered a concussion early in the 1st quarter on a punt return. He collided with WR Dede Westbrook and began stumbling off the field, initially ruled questionable, eventually downgraded to out before being placed in the concussion protocol. Like QB Derek Anderson, LB’s Matt Milano & Tremaine Edmunds, Pitts must pass through the protocol in order to be cleared for Sunday. The only information we have is that he is in protocol but not how severe this injury is. As always, we are unable to assess severity by video alone. This week’s practice will identify whether he will be available come Sunday.
Next up is G John Miller (oblique). The veteran O-lineman suffered what has since been described as an oblique strain. Quick reminder, a strain is an injury to the muscle itself which in turn affects movement. He was injured late in the 2nd quarter and was unable to return. There was not one particular play which identifies the strain which makes it difficult to diagnose severity.
As this is his oblique, this is a part of his abdominal muscles positioned on the outside portion next to the “six pack” we are all know. They are positioned on both sides connecting to the xiphoid process which is the pointed bottom portion of the sternum and connect down to the upper portions of the hip including the iliac crest, the bony portion of where our waists are located and about where most people’s pants sit. There are internal and external obliques but we would not really be able to identify which obliques he injured nor is it important to this discussion. Due to not identifying which play he suffered this injury on also limits knowing which side is ailing.
All these abdominal muscles make up what is known as the core. These muscles provide protection to the inner organs and function to flex and rotate the trunk. As he is on the offensive line, bending forward, twisting his upper body, and pushing against large humans while staying upright takes an immense amount of strength. Having an injury to this area would make his position very difficult to perform. It is also too soon to tell how severe this injury is and whether he will be available Sunday until he goes through this week of practice.
Finally, WR Robert Foster (head/neck). The rookie receiver suffered a brutal hit to his head/neck region catching a key pass to move the chains. He was forced to leave the game briefly but was able to return later. While he was able to return, this does not mean he’s totally clear from injury. He did get a hard hit up on the head/left shoulder area hauling in the catch. He could have lingering neck pain from this hit but according to media reports, he is not limited nor appearing on the injury report at this time.
Others coming off injury included: QB Josh Allen (elbow), DE Shaq Lawson (elbow), DE Trent Murphy (knee), and C Russell Bodine (shoulder). All appeared to play effective despite their recent injuries. Allen did not appear to be limited in any fashion, though still wearing a protective brace on his right elbow. We all saw how Lawson fought off RB Leonard Fournette indicating his elbow injury did not appear to hamper his abilities to fight or play. Finally, Bodine was observed to wear some type of neoprene compression sleeve up on his right shoulder which may indicate the side of his injury but without further information, we can only speculate that this appears to be minor such as a mild AC joint sprain or rotator cuff contusion. To note, this is not an item that he appears to have been wearing in previous games which further supports which shoulder is injured and the type of injury.
Those still working back from injury include TE Charles Clay (hamstring), QB Derek Anderson (concussion), and CB Taron Johnson (shoulder). All of these injuries have been well documented in past articles if you would like to read further.
Regrettably, as the season begins winding down, we will see injuries that are not that severe but could cause players to miss several weeks go straight to IR rather than try to return so that the front office can get guys who they like on a longer tryout in preparation for next season. Expect that after each game, injured players begin moving to IR rather than clogging up the injury report and roster spots.
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