What a game, what a game, what a game! The Buffalo Bills have slayed the giant that is the Kansas City Chiefs 38-20 in front of the nation Sunday night. They demolished the Chiefs despite Matt Milano ultimately sitting out due to a right hamstring strain after coming into the game with a questionable designation. However, both Taiwan Jones and AJ Epenesa played despite dealing with a hamstring strain and foot injury, respectively.
Across the board, the Bills dominated the game and clearly made it known who the better team was Sunday night. This is a team that continues to evolve, finding new ways to control the game and silence all critics. In addition, there were few injury concerns noted below.
CB Taron Johnson (left leg cramping)
Johnson went down with 4:55 left in the 3rd quarter with left leg cramping. Training staff rushed out to assess him and quickly stretch him to relieve the tightness. He was briefly out on the sidelines with his helmet on before returning to finish the game.
CB Levi Wallace (right leg cramping)
Wallace went down with cramping shortly after Johnson, requiring stretching and returning later in the game while Dane Jackson played in his place. I did notice that he had K-tape on the back of his right knee/thigh area. I note that because he was questionable heading into Week 3 against Washington but ultimately played. This may have been the knee that was bothering him, but worth mentioning.
G Jon Feliciano (right shoulder)
After missing Week 4 with a concussion suffered in practice, Feliciano returned to the starting lineup. However, he was sporting a brace on his right shoulder that he hadn’t worn previously this season. It’s not clear what it is for; he did suffer a right shoulder injury getting twisted around back on August 2nd, but returned back to practice after missing one day.
This is also the same side that he suffered his pectoral tear on last year, but this brace doesn’t appear to be the same style that he had last year. It’s also important to note that this right shoulder observation is not related to last year’s injury. If Feliciano shows up on the injury report later, this could be a clue as to what is going on.
LB Matt Milano & RB Taiwan Jones (hamstring)
Milano followed historical trends in how the training staff has managed strains which made it of little surprise that he ultimately sat, especially considering the rain. Sean McDermott noted that they wanted to be a little bit conservative dealing with Milano, noting they did not want to be two or three games that he missed. They were right to take the player’s health and what he meant to the team over what he meant to the game, especially early in the season.
What’s interesting is that Taiwan Jones bucked that historical trend and suited up, becoming only the second player in the past three seasons I have found to have a hamstring strain and either have multiple DNP’s or limited practices in the week leading up to the game and play. He ultimately played in 19 special teams snaps and did not appear limited. The severity of the hamstring injuries likely differed, but the impact of each player is notable. Ultimately, the Bills made smart moves on the injury management front.
On the Chiefs front, they dealt with several injuries, losing their top back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for up to 3 weeks with a left MCL sprain and others noted below. Not only were they beat, but they got to regroup injury-wise to play the Washington Football Team in Week 6.
The Bills have an extra day to recover from this win as they face the Tennessee Titans on Monday night next week. They will potentially be facing Julio Jones coming off a hamstring strain, having missed the last two games. AJ Brown is also coming off a hamstring injury but played in Week 5. The Titans have been an up and down team this year with 3 wins but a loss to the undefeated Arizona Cardinals and overtime loss to the New York Jets.
Coming off such an emotional win could put the Bills on a hangover, but Sean McDermott appears to have this team focused, never getting too high and never too low. The Bills could have Matt Milano back next game and hopefully improve their health with having 10 guys dealing with varying levels of injuries this past week.
I expect several guys to still be on the injury report with an occasional new injury, but most, if not all, of the players appear to be trending upwards as they head towards Week 6. Fortunately following Monday night, they have their bye week which will help them regroup and address any injury issues before they gear up for the second half of the regular season and playoffs.
Top Photo Credit: John Munson/AP