There’s always the notion that a team needs a “get-right game” after either a tough loss or in the midst of a losing streak. The Buffalo Bills certainly qualified with a tough loss against the Steelers in Week 1 with a thumping of the Miami Dolphins 35-0 in Week 2. While on paper it was a beat down, the offense was at times still inconsistent until they found their rhythm late in the game to lay on a few extra scores for good measure.
Fortunately in the game, all the reported injuries were on Miami’s side with the most notable being QB Tua Tagovailoa’s bruised ribs courtesy of DE AJ Epenesa. Below are observations from the game and early concerns heading into Week 3.
CB Levi Wallace and LB Tremaine Edmunds (cramping)
Both left at various times during the game due to cramping and did not return. Wallace was down on the field requiring assistance from trainers stretching the right calf and hamstring before being assisted off into the blue medical tent briefly. CB Dane Jackson filled in well in Wallace’s absence which likely prevented further issues for Wallace including sustaining an injury.
It was also noted in Monday’s press conference that holding Wallace out was precautionary following the cramping.
Edmunds wasn’t on the sidelines after halftime with reports later indicating that he was requiring IV fluids in the locker room. LB AJ Klein filled in for Edmunds for the remainder of the game. As noted in my previous article, it was predicted to be very hot which led me to believe that DT Star Lotulelei would not suit up as a precaution. He did play but the cramping and potential muscle strains are more than enough of a reason to be wary of injuries.
Gatorade has a really detailed read regarding the effects of dehydration and its effects on performance and recovery you can read here. Basically, your body doesn’t recover as well leading to delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and exercised-induced muscle damage (EIMD). This can cause damage at a microscopic level and forces a slower recovery. These players already have to work through recovery and injuries from simply playing. Staying hydrated is one relatively easy way to bounce back faster.. There may be a little bit of bias coming from Gatorade, but it’s still information that is relevant.
WR Gabriel Davis (right ankle)
Davis suited up despite being questionable with an ankle injury coming into the game but not receiving any targets and being largely ineffective, only appearing in 21 offensive snaps without any special teams contributions. The team has done this in the past where guys were active but had little to no impact on the game. The team had noted how the timing in the season does factor into injury decisions.
It’s not clear whether this was by design or scheme dependent, but hopefully another week off can help address whatever specific injury is ailing Davis.
G Jon Feliciano (right knee)
Feliciano went down briefly holding his right knee with 4:53 left in the 2nd quarter. This was the result of getting up near the end of the play and having several falling bodies hit his knee either from the front or side, but outside of appearing to have some initial pain, he did not miss any plays until the very end during kneel downs. If he shows up on the injury report with a knee, this is a likely culprit.
The Bills are very healthy right now as they head home to host Washington in Week 3 and Houston in Week 4. Washington is down to their second-string quarterback in QB Taylor Heinicke due to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick’s right hip subluxation in Week 1. Houston is set to start rookie QB Davis Mills due to former Bills QB Tyrod Taylor out with a hamstring strain. This is in despite of QB Deshaun Watson currently in legal limbo as his sexual misconduct case proceeds.
Both appear to be very winnable games and as long as the Bills stay healthy, they can go to Kansas City in Week 5 to attempt to slay the giant that is the Chiefs. These next two weeks will be important to get in a rhythm offensively and stay out of the training room.
Top Photo Credit: Syracuse.com