Week 9 of the NFL season kicks off Sunday with a key divisional matchup between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Buffalo comes in with the potential to be without several key starters and the potential return of their superstar cornerback in Tre’Davious White. The Jets will only be without their starting wide receiver, but the previous season-ending injuries are starting to take their toll.
The Miami Dolphins travel to the Chicago Bears with a long injury list but slowly improving their health as they look to stack together another three-game winning streak. Finally, the New England Patriots host the Indianapolis Colts as the Patriots look to climb out of the AFC East cellar and move back over .500.
Below are the detailed injury reports for each AFC East team heading into Week 9.
Note: With the AFC East injury reports, not every injury on the report will have a detailed analysis. While I do want to highlight every injury, some don’t have any context. For those that do have context, there will be as much medical analysis as I can provide.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
C David Andrews (Concussion)
Andrews continues to work through the concussion suffered in Week 6 due to a blindside block against the Bears, missing last week. He was unable to practice Wednesday all week, ruled out prior to the game. As a result, James Ferentz will get his second straight start at center.
WR DeVante Parker (Right MCL sprain)
Parker left Sunday’s contest against the Jets with an MCL sprain on the first play of the game. He injured the right knee at 14:05 in the first quarter running towards the middle of the field and appeared to step awkwardly and he tried to turn for the ball.
According to reports, he managed to avoid a more serious injury, but it would be quite difficult for Parker to run half of his route tree, trying to push off the right leg. He has been known to play through injuries including hamstrings, but it was smart that he has already been ruled out.
OT Marcus Cannon (Concussion)
Cannon appeared on the injury report Thursday with a concussion, suggesting he suffered the injury in practice. It would have been nearly impossible to get through the protocol by Sunday, ruling him out. Expect to see Isaiah Wynn get the majority of snaps.
Update: Cannon has been placed on IR and will miss the next four games.
DL Christian Barmore (Knee)
Barmore has missed the last two games with a knee injury he originally picked up in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns. He also appeared to tweak the knee at some point during practice prior to Week 7.
He hasn’t been able to practice much since then but the specifics of the injury are not clear, unable to find the injury on film.
RB Damien Harris (Illness)
Harris is working through an illness that kept him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday before returning on Friday without a game designation. Seeing him not being able to practice much this week dealing with an illness may come down to how much he knows of the game plan and his ability to perform.
CB Jack Jones (Illness)
Jones appeared on the injury report Friday with a DNP due to illness. His availability may come down to how he feels on Sunday and whether he can perform on defense.
S Kyle Dugger (Right Ankle)
Dugger missed the Week 8 matchup against the New York Jets after suffering a right ankle injury against the Chicago Bears in Week 7.
He had his legs knocked out from under him near the sidelines, suggesting an ankle sprain. Considering he practiced this week, there is a good chance he plays.
RB Pierre Strong (Hamstring)
Other than the injury designation, there isn’t much information available on Strong’s injury. Considering Rhomondre Stevenson is healthy, he will likely get the start. We may see Strong have to play if Damien Harris is not better by Sunday from his illness.
LB Josh Uche (Hamstring)
Uche has been dealing with his hamstring injury originally suffered in practice prior to Week 6. He missed the following two games before returning to play in 37 percent of snaps in Week 8.
DE Dietrich Wise (Ankle)
Besides the injury designation, there are no specifics on the injury, which has been par for the course for Patriots injuries this season and in years past.
S Jordan Poyer (Left Elbow)
There has been a ton of concern regarding the health of Jordan Poyer after his latest injury on Sunday. By video, it looks to be a medial elbow sprain, specifically the UCL. This ligament is more commonly injured in baseball players and overhead-throwing athletes. So while the letters UCL does strike fear into someone, Poyer does not have to throw, minimizing the impact of the injury.
It’s interesting that the team says that he’s day-to-day but national reporters such as Ian Rapoport indicate that he’s week-to-week. Brandon Beane did state that Poyer is day-to-day, but used the words “or something like that” in his wording suggesting that there may be some credence to what Rapoport indicated.
While Poyer did injure the same elbow as before in training camp, this was a different mechanism of injury. This suggests similar structures such as the UCL could have been damaged, but additionally, other structures are not yet known.
Poyer did not practice all week and was ruled out Friday morning due to the acuity of the injury. The best-case scenario is that he misses one game but do not be shocked if there is more to this injury.
OT Spencer Brown (Right ankle)
Brown continues to work back from a right low ankle sprain originally suffered in the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6. He had the benefit of the bye to get right but still missed last week after not practicing.
He was limited all week and simply did not look good on film. He’s not fully healthy yet and getting him back out there won’t do him any good. He may be best served in a reserve role and let David Quessenberry get another start.
LB Matt Milano (Oblique)
Milano was deemed day-to-day dealing with an oblique injury suffered against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. This injury is present despite playing in 100 percent of snaps.
The obliques help with trunk flexion and rotation, key movements at the linebacker position. There isn’t a ton of great research on time missed, but looking back at how the Bills have handled the injury is telling. In 2018, G John Miller missed one game with an oblique injury, in 2020, Stefon Diggs did not miss any games with an oblique injury during the playoffs but let’s face it, it was the playoffs.
While the Jets are not the pushovers they once were, this is a game that Milano can sit out knowing there is strong depth behind him. The team can certainly give him a week off to prepare for the Minnesota Vikings next week.
LB Tremaine Edmunds (Heel)
Edmunds appeared in 100 percent of snaps on Sunday, making determining what his heel issue is difficult. My initial idea is that it’s bruised from it getting stepped on or hit when tackling. He could also be dealing with an Achilles issue as the heel is where the tendon inserts into.
He was limited on Wednesday and Thursday before a full practice on Friday, suggesting that this may be a pain issue. Edmunds does not have a game designation and will look to play on Sunday.
RB Taiwan Jones (Right knee)
Jones continues to be working through what appears to be chronic knee issues, most notably on his right knee. He is limited during the week and at times not practicing, but with his role on special teams and veteran status, he doesn’t need a lot of practice time to get ready. He will play and continue to perform on special teams.
CB Cam Lewis (Right forearm)
Lewis has been working through chronic bone infection dating to his time in college, practicing in full. How this is affecting his ability to play or his concerns isn’t clear at this moment.
C Mitch Morse (Right elbow)
Morse continues to be on the injury report with a right elbow injury originally sustained in the Week 2 matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Originally, I believed him to have a contusion for which he missed Week 3 against the Dolphins.
However, this injury has been lingering on the report over the past six weeks suggesting that this is a chronic issue. He has been able to snap the ball without error, but I’m sure there is still pain in the elbow. Considering the elbow was forced into the valgus, it’s possible he suffered some type of damage to the ulnar collateral ligament, resulting in a sprain. There could also be bone chips in there due to all the repeated hits to the area. Keeping the elbows in extension and blocking every play could lead to triceps issues.
Morse has been available and playing well suggesting that the issue is managed, but this injury is more than what it initially appeared to be in Week 2.
DE Von Miller (Right ankle)
Miller was a surprise addition to the injury report Thursday with an ankle designation. This comes after missing Wednesday’s practice with a vet rest day. Below are the details on when the injury likely happened.
He doesn’t have a gameday designation which means he will suit up but I could see him staying exclusively rushing from the right side to minimize pushing off the right ankle and bending the edge.
CB Tre’Davious White (Left ACL)
White was finally activated to the 53-man roster Tuesday following several roster moves as he returned to practice with the starting defense.
In past weeks, Sean McDermott would rule out White early in the week whereas this week he did not. He is not on the injury report as he is not officially dealing with an injury. However, I don’t believe he will play Sunday.
I would expect him to get one more week in the starting defense in practice and hit before we see game action. He also is going to an away stadium on a field known to have had an influx of lower extremity injuries over the past several years. The team will also want to control for any variables and are less able to do that at an away stadium.
Making your return to the home crowd would be so much sweeter anyway in my opinion. While the Jets are a divisional opponent, I believe the team can get by one more week without him and then work him in slowly.
S Dean Marlowe
RB Nyheim Hines
WR River Carcraft (Illness)
Carcraft is still working through an illness that forced him to be a late scratch prior to Week 8. He has been unable to practice this week and has already been ruled out for Sunday.
OT Austin Jackson (Ankle/Calf)
After missing six games due to a Week 1 ankle injury that required an IR stay, Jackson was activated for his 21-day window but has been unable to practice this week with an additional calf designation. It’s not clear if the calf is the reason why he hasn’t been practicing or if the ankle still isn’t healthy. I’m leaning towards the calf.
As he has a doubtful designation, it simply doesn’t make sense if he has a 25 percent chance of playing. He clearly isn’t ready and shouldn’t be out there unless he can adequately perform.
OT Terron Armstead (Right toe/Achilles)
Armstead continues to work through a right toe injury suffered in Week 1 and aggravating it, missing the Week 6 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
While I believe this is either a bad case of turf toe or plantar plate tear, he still appears to be a better option at tackle than others on the team.
TE Tanner Conner (Knee)
Conner continues to be on the injury report, dealing with a knee injury since training camp. With this designation, it’s possible he had an aggravation at some point.
S Eric Rowe (Hip)
First appearing in the injury report on Thursday, Rowe appeared to have injured his hip in practice, leaving him limited on Thursday.
He practiced in full on Friday, but still questionable suggesting this may be a muscle issue. Having another day to rehab may allow him to get right just enough to play Sunday.
DE Jaelan Phillips (Quad)
Phillips was a late addition to the injury report with a quadriceps injury that left him limited Friday. This appears to be a truly questionable designation as we don’t know the severity or how it happened.
Smart money would be to sit, but he could be activated and not used as the Dolphins recently acquired DE Bradley Chubb. They could sub Phillips in for certain packages as needed but put both on a pitch count to keep them fresh.
DT Raekwon Davis (Left knee)
Davis injured his knee yet again with 14:19 left in the second quarter on a Lions 4-yard gain up the middle. By video, he looked to suffer a left knee injury, potentially an MCL sprain. He engaged his block and had his left knee bent and pivoted inward, possibly causing the injury before the post moved to his right and bodies came crashing down onto the left, adding insult to injury.
Regrettably, Davis has been dealing with a knee injury off and on all season since getting rolled up prior to Week 1. However, it was his right knee that was injured prior to Week 1. He was limited most of the week.
LB Jerome Baker (Hip)
Baker reappears on the injury report again with a hip injury originally sustained in Week 7. He played in 100 percent of snaps, suggesting that this is a minor issue.
S Clayton Fejedelem (Groin)
Fejedelem has been banged up all year, starting off the season on IR with an undisclosed injury. After returning, he has been dealing with groin and ankle injuries. He has begun to see some defensive snaps at safety but continues to see the bulk of his playing time on special teams.
OL Brandon Shell (Groin)
Shell was limited all week until Friday with a groin injury making any lateral movements while blocking potentially difficult to perform. He does not have a game designation meaning he will play.
TE Durham Smythe (Hamstring)
Smythe continues to work through a hamstring strain suffered in Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed Week 6 before returning to play in the last two games, though not receiving any targets or any work on special teams, suggesting the injury is still lingering or his role has changed to more of a blocking tight end.
LB Andrew Van Ginkel (Chest/Ribs)
Van Ginkel was limited all week with a chest/ribs injury until Friday suggesting this may be a pain tolerance issue. Whether this is cracked ribs or cartilage, limiting the hits during the week and then taking an injection and getting padding around the area will help him get through the game.
S Jevon Holland (Wrist)
Holland appeared on the injury report with a wrist designation but practiced in full this week.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah (Back)
Ogbah has been working through a back injury over the past several weeks that forced him to miss one game. Fortunately, he was able to practice in full this week and will have no designation for Sunday.
WR Jaylen Waddle (Left shoulder)
After suffering a left shoulder injury late in Week 6, Waddle has not missed any time and by video, appears to have suffered an AC joint sprain.
He has still been able to perform at a high level, collecting 12 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns since the injury. He may still be dealing with pain local to the area, but this has not affected his production. Practicing in full all week, he will play Sunday.
DT Christian Wilkins (Hand)
After appearing on the injury report two weeks ago with a hand injury, Wilkins is still on the report, practicing in full this week, and will play Sunday.
DL Zack Seiler (Hand)
Seiler continues to work through a hand issue originally picked up in Week 4, not missing any games. He was able to practice in full, ready for Sunday.
G Liam Eichenburg (Left knee MCL sprain)
Eichenberg suffered what looked to be a left MCL sprain on the final Miami touchdown of the game. I suspect the left side is based on how he fell and that his left leg was extended when lying on the field. He will be on IR for at least the next four games as he recovers, indicating this is at least a Grade 2 sprain.
NEW YORK JETS
WR Corey Davis (MCL Sprain)
Davis missed last week’s game against the New England Patriots after suffering an injury in Week 7 against the Denver Broncos.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network stated specifically that Davis was dealing with an MCL sprain. It’s not clear which knee it is, but he will have difficulty in pushing off that affected side with cutting and landing after jumping in his routes.
Most MCL sprains are able to be played through after some rest and rehab, but coming back before there is medial stability may welcome additional injury to the area which could cost him more time. He was unable to practice Wednesday and Thursday, indicating that he would not play Sunday.
The loss of Davis against the Bills isn’t ideal, but with a team that has raced out to a fast start as they’ve dealt with several major injuries, they can’t afford to lose key contributors as they fight for playoff positioning.
RB James Robinson (Knee)
Robinson was placed on the injury report Saturday with a knee designation, making him questionable for the game. At the time, details of the injury are not known.
TE CJ Uzomah (Shoulder)
Uzomah is working through a shoulder injury sustained at some point in the loss to the Patriots on Sunday. He caught only one pass and has had only two over the last two weeks, not making him a primary target in the offense.
According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Uzomah is expected to play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.
OT Duane Brown (Left shoulder)
Brown continues to work through his left rotator cuff tear in his shoulder shortly after he signed with the team. He has not missed a snap since returning in Week 4 and while he is not fully healthy, he has proven to be an anchor on the line, preventing him from being an easy target for defensive ends despite the shoulder.
G Nate Herbig (Hand)
Herbig is working through a hand injury picked up in Sunday’s game against the Patriots. It’s not clear what he is dealing with, but if he has any difficulty in keeping his block inside losing the ability to keep his hands on the pads may make him a liability on the interior offensive line.
He is expected to play per reports but could be a target for the Bills’ defensive line.
LB Larmarcus Joyner (Hip)
Joyner is dealing with a hip injury that there really isn’t any information on. He is expected to play according to ESPN’s Rich Cimini as he was limited in practice all week.
Top Photo Credit: Phinsider.com