Thursday night came with turkey, mashed potatoes, and a Buffalo Bills win over the New Orleans Saints 31-6. The Bills appeared to be the better team throughout the entire game and it didn’t hurt that the Saints were missing an array of starters including most of the players on the injury report ruled out prior to the game.
While it was excellent to get a win on national TV and move to 7-4, regaining the AFC East lead, it came at the expense of injury. There were several issues in the game, but none bigger than the loss of CB Tre’Davious White to a left ACL and meniscus tear. The news broke Friday afternoon, crushing the fan base as White has been a mainstay since the Sean McDermott regime started in 2017.
Below are details on White’s injury along with every other known injury sustained in Thursday’s win over the Saints.
G Cody Ford (Right elbow)
Ford exited the game with 8:42 left in the 2nd quarter due to what the team described as an arm injury. By video, there wasn’t anything specific that happened, including on the last play which was a field goal that put the Bills up 10-0.
He has been wearing a hinged brace on his right elbow all season for an unknown reason. Ford later returned to the game with the brace no longer visible, but what appeared to be a wrap or compression sleeve over the area. While there was not anything on film that suggests what he did, he may have needed some time to fix the bracing to the area if it became dislodged or he hit the area, requiring further examination.
He played in 91 percent of the offensive snaps indicating this was not much of an issue during the game. I don’t have records of when he suffered a right elbow injury and the brace may be more for protection. I do not expect that he is on the injury report this week.
CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL & Meniscus Tear)
As mentioned above, White suffered a left ACL tear with 6:21 left in the 2nd quarter while guarding Saints WR Marquez Callaway. He went down on the field before trainers got out to him to assess the left knee. He was able to walk off under his own power but in obvious distress. He was initially ruled doubtful to return before later ruled out.
Once an MRI confirmed the injury, it was announced that he tore the ACL, ending his season. White’s absence leaves a gaping hole at cornerback that the team will manage, but his quality of play cannot be replaced.
A more detailed piece on his injury was published Saturday that is worth reading if you want to learn more about the injury and his career outlook.
OL Ryan Bates (Undisclosed)
Bates briefly left the game with 4:32 left in the 2nd quarter with trainers under his own power. The TV broadcast did not show what he injured and he was quickly replaced by Jamil Douglas. On the All-22 footage sideline view, the ball is snapped and Bates picks up his block and side shuffles to the left before losing him and then looking down at his feet.
It isn’t clear what he injured looking at the video. He did not get his feet stepped on, he didn’t really get tied up, the only time he really made contact was with his head briefly. Unless the team did a concussion screen while he was out, it was never announced that he had a head injury.
Unless he shows up on the injury report, I don’t expect we will get any more information regarding this injury.
TE/FB Reggie Gilliam (Left Ankle)
Gilliam was announced as out with an ankle injury late in the game in the 4th quarter with the game well in hand. The play that he appeared to be injured on was with 12:12 left in the 4th quarter on a Bills punt. He maintained his block as the ball was snapped and as the pocket closed around Matt Haack, bodies began piling in.
Gilliam had his feet staggered attempting to hold his block off to the left of him with his right shoulder, leaving his left leg exposed. Several bodies came crashing over and landing on his left ankle. Based on how his toe was pointing out and the lateral aspect of his ankle was exposed upward, I do fear a high-ankle sprain based on the possible mechanism.
Video does not show him requiring assistance to get off the field nor the camera panning to him on the turf. There is a possibility that the ankle was simply rolled up on and that the team kept him out knowing that he was not needed. This is an injury that we need more information about and it wouldn’t shock me to see him show up on the injury report Wednesday.
DT Brandin Bryant (Right Shoulder)
Bryant was elevated as a COVID replacement player for this week and for the second time this season. DT Eli Ankou was also elevated as a COVID replacement for this game.
Bryant was elevated but did not play when Star Lotulelei tested positive prior to the Jets game in Week 10. He was observed wearing a shoulder harness on his right shoulder, signifying some type of instability.
There are not any publicly known injuries regarding his shoulder that I could find and since this is his first game action of the year, it’s highly likely that this was suffered in practice. This is worth mentioning if he sticks around longer or begins to have problems with the shoulder. Other than the harness, there is no additional information.
G Jon Feliciano (Calf)
Feliciano missed his 4th game with a calf injury that was likely due to the timing of the game on a Thursday rather than the injury itself. I expect him to be activated to the active roster when they announce the various roster moves including placing Tre’Davious White on injured reserve.
DT Star Lotulelei/OT Spencer Brown (COVID)
Both are still on the COVID list and there is still no timetable for their return. Lotulelei has now missed three games while Brown has missed two.
The Bills have a mini-bye as they rest and prepare to play the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football in Buffalo on December 6th. This game is vitally important as the winner of this game will likely win the AFC East, securing a playoff spot and at least one home playoff game. Buffalo has the horses to beat New England despite the loss of White, but that task just got slightly harder.
There will be plenty of information in the coming days regarding surgeries and roster moves. Stay tuned here for all the latest Bills’ injury information.
Top Photo Credit: James P McCoy/Buffalo News