The Buffalo Bills took care of business Sunday afternoon. That’s a nice way of saying it.
Buffalo shellacked the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-3, continuing to miss a variety of starters due to injuries but showing that it is truly next man up.
In addition to the absolute beatdown, the Bills managed to walk away with minimal in-game injuries, a positive note as compared to previous games.
Below are the in-game injury notes and observations from Sunday’s win.
DE Von Miller/CB Taron Johnson (Cramps)
Miller briefly left in the first quarter at 5:29 in the first quarter due to a leg cramp before returning to continue in the defensive rotation.
Johnson left with 26 seconds left in the third quarter following a tackle on Steelers TE Zach Gentry before he was slow to get up, trying to stretch out his right leg. The training staff had to stretch him out and then he was able to walk off under his own power. He did not return to the game, but considering the score, he was not needed.
From a gamesmanship standpoint, it would not surprise me if Johnson did show up on the injury report.
DT Jordan Phillips (Left hamstring)
Phillips exited the game with a left hamstring strain at 3:55 in the second quarter, coming up lame on a routine play. He was assessed on the field before coming off, and initially listed as questionable.
However, he did return in the third quarter for two plays as seen in the tweet below.
He knew he didn’t have it and pulled himself before he caused further damage. I had thought he would have done well to sit one more week but if Phillips felt that he could play and practice without pain, then I understand why he suited up.
Practice reports this week will dictate if he plays, but it may be best to sit this one out and use the bye to get healthy.
WR Isaiah McKenzie (Concussion)
McKenzie remains in the concussion protocol following limited practices Thursday and Friday with Friday’s practice in a regular jersey.
While initiating contact is one of the steps to return to football, it appears that he had some symptom reproduction, preventing clearance. Hopefully, he is able to progress further this week and get cleared for Sunday.
UPDATE: On the Isaiah McKenzie show, Isaiah revealed that he had to do some more testing and that he knew on Saturday that he would not play.
He was practicing as though he would but the doctors told him that he would not. For more information, check out the latest show.
CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL tear)
The Bills are still taking it one day at a time with White. I simply don’t have a good reason why he hasn’t even begun practicing. Possibly they want to wait until after the bye? Maybe they want to give him three full weeks to practice not including the bye week? Did he have a setback?
While the position does require more agility, it’s reasonable to expect that he would get that back by ramping up his workload. Even if he does practice this week, there simply isn’t enough time for him to be ready for Week 6. It would go against what the team said in the preseason, needing him to prepare his body with a “ramp-up.”
We do not have all the information on this one at this point. Until then, it’s difficult to say when he will be back.
Jordan Poyer (Ribs)
The tweet below says it all. The Bills are 4-1 because they can do this for their players.
Hopefully, more players begin to fall off the injury report including Gabe Davis, Mitch Morse, Justin Murray, and Cam Lewis. Players to watch this week’s return include Christian Benford, Tremaine Edmunds, and Dawson Knox.
The only one I am hesitant about is Benford due to his broken hand, but if he can practice and play with a club, then there’s no reason he can’t be out there. I had thought that he would return in Week 8 without one, but if all hands on deck are needed (pun intended), then get Benford out there.
The Bills also made this roster move below which leaves them at 52 player
We will see what they do regarding the roster position later this week. Andre Smith does come off his six-game suspension after this week which could explain the move, but that appears to be premature at the time.
Update: the Bills have re-signed DT Brandin Bryant.
Fortunately, the Bills have the bye after this game so whatever happens or guys that try to play through an injury can rest up for the second half of the season. The practice reports will be one to watch this week.
Top Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America/Getty Images