Sometimes clawing back into a game after being down early before winning at the very end gets the job done as we saw on Sunday. Blowing out opponents like we saw the first two weeks of the season also gets the job done. In the end, it all equals that big ‘W’ in the win column.
The Buffalo Bills moved to 3-1 with a game-winning field goal from Tyler Bass to win 23-20 over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday. Taking into consideration all the injuries that have occurred over the past month, including several season-ending ones.
Unfortunately, the Bills didn’t escape without several additional injuries from Sunday. Below are the injuries following the win over the Ravens.
TE Dawson Knox (Undisclosed)
Knox briefly entered the blue medical tent during the Bills’ second offensive drive of the game that resulted in a field goal. Looking back at the game film, there wasn’t any apparent injury and Knox was able to later return to the game, playing in a total of 75 percent of snaps.
Coming into the game, he had been dealing with a right foot injury sustained in Week 2 against the Titans and a back/hip designation prior to this game. Watching the injury report this week for any changes may provide insight as to why he required an assessment. I will admit, it is entirely possible that Knox had to urinate and needed a private area, this is quite common from hearing plenty of athlete’s interviews.
WR Jamison Crowder (Left ankle fracture)
Crowder suffered a left ankle fracture with 14:00 left in the third quarter while attempting to run up the field on a punt return. By video, there was a concern for a high-ankle sprain in how he got caught from behind and from the outside. Regrettably, Crowder suffered a worse fate, requiring an aircast and the cart to get to the locker room.
He likely suffered a high-ankle sprain with fracture/dislocation. This is the result of the foot being pushed up and getting twisted outward for the high-ankle mechanism. When the foot gets twisted out, the foot complex pushes on the lateral malleolus, and with another force pinning the fibula from above such as the tackle, the bone breaks. This commonly leads to dislocation in the ankle complex as well.
These are unfortunately common in football and are often season-ending. Crowder does not have a timeline to return at this moment. Currently, Crowder is looking at about a four-to-six-month recovery. I will note, that even with a timeline such as that, NFL players usually need longer to get fully back to their prior level of function. To read more about his injury, check out the article I did at Buffalo Rumblings when Matt Milano fractured his ankle.
If everything goes perfectly, Crowder could hypothetically return for the playoffs. However, this is on an accelerated rehab schedule and rehab would have to be absolutely no complications. He would still need to get back into cardiovascular shape and be able to sprint, cut, and jump without hesitation off that left leg, something that I don’t believe will return quickly. On top of that, Crowder at less than 100 percent would still have to be a better option than what’s on the roster.
On average, NFL players who have suffered a distal fibula fracture (broken ankle) missed a total of 123.8 days (4 months). Even if he suffered an isolated fibula fracture without any associated damage that required surgery, he would miss 117.1 days (3.8 months). 90 percent of players who suffer this injury return to play the following season. The four-month mark from his surgery date would be the divisional playoffs.
In the best-case scenario, I would consider a return similar to what former Alabama and now Dolphins WR Jaylen Waddle went through in 2020, returning in 11 weeks to play in the National Championship game. Even then, he wasn’t much of a factor and was visibly limited in his abilities. Unfortunately, Crowder is nowhere near as talented as Waddle.
If Crowder starts to show notable progress late in the season, then we can revisit this discussion. The team also has to consider other players on IR at that point when using their allotted 8 return-to-play designations. Taking this all into account, his season is effectively over.
WR Isaiah McKenzie (Concussion)
McKenzie got hit over the middle with 4:54 left in the third quarter for an 8-yard gain. He remained down on the field for several moments while the training staff tended to him. Fortunately, he was able to get up and jog to the locker room for a full concussion evaluation.
He was later ruled out with a concussion and is now in the concussion protocol. He is required to pass through the five-stage protocol before he is cleared to return. According to what I have found, this is McKenzie’s second concussion, the first one dating back to high school. Hopefully, he is able to pass through the protocol quickly to return to his role as the starting slot receiver.
S Jordan Poyer (Undisclosed)
Jordan Poyer required x-rays following the game after landing hard on his back while securing an interception in the endzone that set up the game-winning field goal. Looking back at the video, Poyer collides with the Ravens player in the air, hitting his left shoulder before hitting the left side of his back on the ground.
He was seen talking to training staff down on one knee on the sidelines before talking to others on the bench.
He did not have to return to the game as the offense marched down the field and ran out the time. Multiple reports indicated that Poyer went for x-rays briefly before he later stated that he got the wind knocked out of him.
If Poyer does show up on the injury report this week, it’s possible it would be for a rib or shoulder injury. He may also avoid it altogether if the issue was not serious.
S Micah Hyde (Neck)
Hyde underwent surgery for his herniated cervical disc early last week according to the broadcast. To read more about the procedure, check out the tweet below.
WR Marquez Stevenson (Right foot)
Stevenson is eligible to return to practice following his four-game stay on IR, though it is not known what procedure he underwent in early August. At this point, he is eight weeks out from the surgery and it may be some time before we see him on the field.
G Ike Boettger (Left Achilles)
Boettger is eligible to return from PUP following his left Achilles tear in Week 16 of the 2021 season. He did have a setback during his recovery at some point, clouding his timeline to return. I don’t expect him to begin practicing, but he is eligible if the team needs him. I don’t expect to see him until later this season and if other injuries occur.
CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL tear)
White is also eligible to return from PUP beginning this week, though the team is mum on his return timeline.
He could come back for Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers with a three-week ramp-up timeframe if he starts practicing this week. They could also delay activating him knowing the bye is coming up and the team is performing well without him. They are certainly being more conservative with his return so that there are not any complications once he begins playing.
Ideally, the injury report starts to thin out a little bit, it can be dizzying to look at the report and figure out who will play and who won’t. The Bills are favored -14 at the time of publication over the Pittsburgh Steelers which could allow Buffalo to get some of their starters off the field early if they get a big lead.
Top Photo Credit: Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports