We knew this day would come. The dud game. The game where we just get beat like a drum. This is the game where the boo birds came out and the luster of a 5-1 start dulled following Sunday’s loss. Despite the Bills sitting at 5-2 with the 2nd best record in the AFC along with a firm lock on the 5th seed in the playoffs, visions of 2008 still dance in our heads. Until the Bills lock up the playoff spot, we all have realized we cannot get ahead of ourselves.
Fortunately, the Bills are heading into the 3rd game of their homestand against the lowly Washington Redskins with a chance to bounce back to 6-2. The team also suffered minimal injury compared to the past few games in which it appeared that half the team was injured in some way. One big surprise Sunday was the return of LB Matt Milano (left hamstring) suffered in the win over the Titans. He missed last week & appeared to be in danger of missing this week due to the poor weather & how the team approaches hamstring injuries. Luckily, he was able to play, keeping the Philly tight ends to 5 yards, 42 yards, and 1 TD. As bad as the overall team was, he led the defense with 13 tackles, 10 solo, making his presence known in his return.
Below are the injuries following the Bills loss Sunday & what they mean for next week.
CB Levi Wallace (left shoulder)
Wallace injured his left shoulder on the TD run by Eagles RB Boston Scott with 5:43 left in the 3rd quarter. He came from the right side inward to attempt to tackle the ball carrier and got blasted as Scott entered the end zone. Wallace’s shoulder absorbed nearly the entire force of Scott’s helmet/shoulder, forcing Wallace to spin around and land on his back.
Up to that point, Wallace simply wasn’t having a good game and that blow may have been the death knell for him. He was not ruled out of the game or even really made mention of again afterward.
Following Monday’s presser, Wallace was noted as having a shoulder injury with a day-to-day designation. This fits more of a general contusion that was viewed on film. He may be limited Wednesday but could possibly practice in full later & not miss Sunday.
OT Cody Ford (left elbow)
Ford suffered a left elbow injury with 6:06 left in the 4th quarter on an incomplete pass to TE Dawson Knox. Unfortunately, the video angle is incredibly poor with the TV broadcast panning away from the offensive line play just before it appears the injury occurred. The camera comes back on Ford with his left elbow extended & trainers quickly rushing to him. Shots after that show him being assessed on the sidelines, rotating his left hand between pronation & supination before squeezing the training staff’s hand with what appears to be a firm grip.
Until we get further information, it’s hard to identify the exact nature of the injury. All-22 footage when available should assist in identifying the specifics of the injury. Just prior to the camera panning away, there was a flurry of bodies in the area around Ford, indicating that he may have struck his medial epicondyle of the elbow. Same injury as hitting the funny bone. The ulnar nerve passes by the medial epicondyle, which is the inside portion of the elbow. When this area is struck, pain/weakness is elicited down the 4th and 5th digits of the hand with numbness in the area.
Extending the elbow following the play which would put slack on the nerve to prevent compression of the nerve with elbow flexion. Assessing the grip strength on the sidelines is further assessing the ulnar nerve as 40% of the grip strength comes from the ulnar innervated muscles in the hand. So if the ulnar nerve is injured, grip strength would be decreased.
Like Wallace, Ford has also been listed day-to-day following Monday’s presser. Most of us would say a few choice swear words & shake off the injury. However, getting your elbow hit by an NFL lineman would hurt slightly more with some temporary loss of range of motion with possible swelling present. He shouldn’t have any long term issues, more limitations secondary to pain.
Hopefully, he just hit his funny bone and this is not something that he needs to worry about next week. If he is unable to go, then veteran OT Ty Nsekhe would get the start.
CB Kevin Johnson (unknown)
Johnson was able to play Sunday in relief for the injured CB Levi Wallace. This comes following an injury last week where he suffered a stinger at the end of the game. He was limited all week but was cleared to play Sunday, performing admirably in the loss. Unfortunately, Johnson dealt with some type of injury following the game, necessitating a trip to the X-ray room according to ESPN reporter Marcel-Louis Jacques.
It is unknown what he had x-rays on or if it is related to last week’s stinger. He was in the game until the very end & nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. This may be nothing & doesn’t appear on the injury report, but I do my best to follow every lead & report to give the most thorough assessment. If there is something to it, we will get much more information with the ability to explain in detail.
Overall, this is one game that just needs to be taken out back & put out of its misery. There is a lot to take from this game, the players know this, the coaching staff knows this. But as fans, we can’t lament on this; if they’re going to lose a game, let it be to an NFC opponent who really doesn’t count in tiebreakers for playoffs. The Eagles won the Super Bowl two years ago; they weren’t going to just roll over & die for us to win. Let’s move forward to Week 9 against the Redskins, a very winnable game & get back on track towards the march towards the playoffs.
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