The Buffalo Bills knew how to live up to the hype, easily covering the -17 point spread, dominating the Houston Texans 40-0 on Sunday. This moves the Bills to 3-1 and a two-game lead in the AFC East. While the rain naturally soaked everyone in attendance, it actually was beneficial as it appeared to limit the amount and severity of injuries. Below are the known injuries from Sunday’s win and potential impact on Week 5’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs.
LB Matt Milano (Hamstring)
Milano suffered a hamstring strain with 12:59 left in the 2nd quarter following a prolonged block from Texans OL Laremy Tunsil well after the play. Milano attempts to stay on his feet before what seems like he jumped out of the view of the camera and didn’t return.
It’s not clear what side he injured nor is it clear the severity of the injury. The injury likely occurred due to the fact that Milano was trying to slow down or stop himself but Tunsil kept pushing, forcing the hamstrings to further lengthen under tension, also known as an eccentric contraction. This is unfortunately a common way to injure a hamstring and this appears to be the case for Milano.
Sean McDermott noted that he would be day-to-day which has historically meant that this could be a 0-2 week injury. Milano has had a history of hamstring strains dating back to his rookie year as seen in the tweet below with now 5 separate occurrences. You can also click on his injury profile to view this and others.
The team has been historically conservative with hamstring strains, sitting most players out at least one game before returning them to the field. The exception I have seen is when this occurred in the playoffs last year when Tremaine Edmunds suited up against the Ravens, though we don’t know the severity, other than the designation. It’s important to note he was not questionable going into that game.
Each time Milano has suffered a hamstring strain, he has missed the following game other than his first hamstring injury. It’s also important he has not had a recurrence of the hamstring strain within that season after each episode.
Considering his history, his impact on the field when healthy, the use of the phrase “day-to-day”, and the team’s season-long aspirations, it may make sense to rest him.
While this article is being published Tuesday, we don’t know yet what his practice availability will be this week. Right now, it is too early to tell definitively tell what his status will be for Sunday.
RB Taiwan Jones (Undisclosed)
Jones played exclusively on special teams and only appeared in 9 snaps before exiting the game without a designation from the team. He did go into the blue medical tent twice, first with 12:59 left in the 2nd quarter, right after kickoff as noted by Alaina Getzenberg.
The second instance was with 5:28 left in the 2nd quarter. This could not be seen on broadcast, but noted through the excellent work of various reporters on the beat.
The last play where Joe Buscaglia noted Jones runs down the field and flips his hips multiple times and crosses over the field but then is out of the view of the camera which makes determining what happened impossible. By my count, there were several plays following where he appeared, but not clearly visible on broadcast.
We need more information or another angle to determine why he was assessed twice in the tent during the game.
OT Dion Dawkins (Undisclosed)
Dawkins left for one play after going down late in the 3rd quarter, requiring the attention of the trainers. He left for one play and then returned to finish the game without incident.
Above is the play where he required medical attention, but based on the video angle, it’s possible that he had the wind knocked out of him, requiring a moment to gather himself. I’ll be surprised if he shows up on the injury report this week, but a designation would shed light on what exactly happened.
S Jordan Poyer (Left ankle)
Poyer remains day-to-day with a left ankle injury that did not allow him to practice all last week and forced him out of his first game since 2017. He appears to be trending in the right direction but may be questionable this week to maintain some level of competitive advantage.
CB Taron Johnson (Groin)
Johnson missed Sunday’s contest due to a groin strain likely suffered in practice last week. Even if he had been alright to play, the slick field could have only aggravated the injury. He will need several full practices in order to play Sunday.
G Jon Feliciano (Concussion)
Feliciano will be working through the concussion protocol this week, potentially even cleared to practice by Wednesday. He will have to be cleared for contact in practice and get through symptom free in order to exit the protocol to play Sunday.
DE Efe Obada (Ankle)
Obada appeared to injure his ankle in practice last week but practiced in full Friday, though was questionable and ultimately inactive. With the play of Boogie Basham, Obada may continue to find himself inactive on game days unless injuries occur.
This game was perfect to watch in every way but will be soon forgotten as Buffalo has an incredibly challenging matchup against Kansas City where the Chiefs are favored (-3). Buffalo is in better health than they were last year at this time, but several key players need to get healthy this week in order to take down the class of the American Football Conference.
Top Photo Credit: WIVB