“You play to win the game!”
That’s the first statement that comes to mind when reflecting on Monday night’s 34-31 loss to the Titans. Those words were spoken by Herm Edwards, former New York Jets coach. In a twist of irony, this coming from a man who played not to lose.
Anyway, Sean McDermott epitomized that exact statement by going for it on 4th & 1 with the game on the line. Losses suck, but to have the game on the line with a chance to win, sign me up. Punch that ball though and the game is potentially over. Far better than playing in overtime and still potentially having the same result.
While the fan base chews on this loss through the bye, the Bills have to work through several injuries that are detailed below.
OL Ryan Bates (Undisclosed)
Bates was spotted going to the injury tent early in the game by Alaina Getzenberg of ESPN. The best assessment based on what time the tweet was sent and match it up when Bates plays, it’s possible he was injured in the 2nd quarter with 7:54 left following the Stefon Diggs TD.
He appeared to get pushed backwards and stumbles, though the end zone view pans away from the line and doesn’t fully show what happened to Bates. It wasn’t clear what he went in the tent for and he did not receive an injury designation from the team.
He did come into the game with an ankle injury that did not have a game day designation. He only played in 1 offensive snap and 5 special teams plays which took place on field goals. This will be something to note if he shows up again on the injury report next week.
WR Stefon Diggs (Right knee/ankle)
Diggs was observed wincing in pain briefly getting knocked out of bounds in the 2nd quarter with 5:00 left on the clock. This occurred during the Josh Allen interception caught by Kevin Byard. He appears to get clipped on his right leg/ankle area as he goes out of bounds, hopping up and grabbing at his right knee briefly as seen below.
He never really left the game, though he did have some brief interaction with the training staff during the Bills defensive series. From the broadcast angle, it’s very difficult to make out what he injured, but considering that he was able to play out the remainder of the game, it’s something worth noting, but not worrying about unless more information is known.
TE Dawson Knox (Right hand fracture)
Knox suffered a fracture in his right hand, but finished out the series for several more plays prior to Tommy Sweeney’s first NFL touchdown. Based on the video, the injury occurred with 1:26 left in the 3rd quarter on the play where Cole Beasley almost scored. During the play, Knox crossed over to the left and fell over, landing on his right hand.
He appeared to look towards his right hand briefly when he was on the ground before getting back up. He looked to favor his right hand further throughout the remaining plays before throwing the two-point conversion to Josh Allen in the end zone.
He was later observed on the sideline with trainers assessing his right hand before exiting to the locker room where he was initially ruled questionable to return before being downgraded to out.
Reports later confirmed that he broke his hand Tuesday, but past that, no additional information is known. Normally, having a timeline, some pictures on social media, reports of surgery could further identify how long he will be out for and whether he will have to go to injured reserve. Based on the mechanism of injury which is falling on an outstretched hand, there are several bones he could have broken with several possible timelines.
It’s also possible that he got his hand stepped on, but it’s very difficult to determine that as Knox is wearing red gloves and the Titans defensive player is wearing red cleats. It looks as though the defensive player steps short, but it’s not clear.
Based on the bone broken will dictate the return-to-play timeline and determine how this will affect his play once he returns. More information must be known in order to identify the specifics, otherwise I would simply be listing off a multitude of injuries with timelines anywhere from 4-to-12 weeks which is far too wide to attempt to be accurate.
Update: Knox has since had successful surgery to stabilize the fracture. No timeline has been established, but the knowledge of surgery helps narrow things down.
Once the team or reporters make any sort of announcement regarding an update, then things can be significantly narrowed down. Expect an update by the end of the week with hopefully more details.
G Jon Feliciano (Left elbow)
Feliciano was on the injury report with an elbow injury during the week but it wasn’t clear when it occurred or what side. Based on the film, he suffered a left elbow injury based on the hinge brace and compression sleeve around the elbow. He didn’t appear limited, but he is clearly dealing with something. This will be something to monitor later following the bye week.
The team gets a well-deserved break from the first 6 weeks of the season to regroup especially after this tough loss with what will hopefully be an easy slate of games with the Miami Dolphins, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and Indianapolis Colts before a Thanksgiving game with the New Orleans Saints.
Continue to check back for updates on Dawson Knox and others over at @BangedUpBills on Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook.
Top Photo Credit: NFL