The AFC East may be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL this season, but the Bills were bound to lose some divisional games. However, moving to 0-2 in the division and losing to the New York Jets 20-17 on Sunday isn’t a great feeling.
On top of that, the Bills suffered several notable injuries at various positions that will not only affect the depth of both sides of the ball but potentially the win-loss column. Below are the injuries from Sunday’s loss.
CB Taron Johnson (Right thigh)
Johnson had to briefly leave the game due to a right thigh contusion with 4:20 left in the second quarter. He was quickly replaced by Siran Neal who proceeded to get burned but Johnson was able to quickly return to the field.
He ultimately played 98 percent of snaps and while there may be a pain in the area, he could realistically play through this without compensation next week.
DE AJ Epenesa (Left Ankle)
Epenesa briefly dealt with a left ankle injury with 2:20 left in the second quarter when he fell through the line and came up grabbing his left ankle. He, fortunately, missed only one play, but the camera angle does not show us what exactly happened. It appears as though he was either stepped on or kicked at the line of scrimmage.
His injury may be more pain related but it doesn’t appear as though this will even cause him to miss time in the defensive rotation come Sunday.
CB Dane Jackson (Stinger)
Jackson left Sunday’s contest with 4:10 left in the fourth quarter following a tackle that caused him to fall and hit his right shoulder on the ground. He rolled to his back in pain and was holding his wrist before the training staff came out to assess him.
He had to briefly leave, putting the already injured Kaiir Elam back out there before Jackson was cleared to play. While stingers are transient in nature, I’m at the point where something is lingering from his hit in Week 2.
He did also have a stinger from last year looking back at my records, but this may be something the team needs to assess in the off-season.
CB Kaiir Elam (Left ankle)
Elam left the game limping to the sidelines following what appeared to be a left ankle injury. This occurred as the result of Elam trying to slow down to avoid running into the play where Jets WR Garrett Wilson fumbled his own catch with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
While slowing down, he appeared to roll his ankle inward and potentially also jam his ankle trying to stop suddenly. It’s possible there is a mild bone bruise due to the deceleration and stepping awkwardly, but the injury appears overall minor.
He may be limited in practice this week, but with the potential return of Tre’Davious White, this may allow Elam to reduce his snaps but be active or miss altogether.
DE Gregory Rousseau (Left high-ankle sprain)
Rousseau is slated to miss several games with a week-to-week designation due to a left high-ankle sprain suffered late in the second quarter.
By video, you can see Tyler Conklin roll on the outside portion of the ankle and Rousseau slow to get up. He is able to play the next six snaps though is frequently seen limping and unable to push off the left foot effectively.
He was able to stay in the game for as long as he did because the swelling did not set in quite yet. Once he was rotated out or taken off, I’m not sure which at this point but he had his ankle taped up on the sidelines and helmet on ready to go. Unfortunately, he did not re-enter the game having played only 14 snaps.
To recall, a high-ankle sprain is a sprain to the syndesmosis which holds the tibia and fibula together. These bones sit over the top of the talus which is part of the foot. Normally, this complex works in harmony to allow for all the movements of the ankle. When a high-ankle sprain occurs, the foot is placed into eversion and dorsiflexion, pushed outward and up, this places stress on the lateral malleolus which is part of the fibula. The more the foot turns, the more the syndesmosis is damaged. These happen often when a player gets rolled up and pins the foot against the ground.
These can take a while to heal, anywhere from four-to-six weeks but players can return sooner. For comparison, we saw Ed Oliver miss three games following his ankle injury in Week 1 against the Rams. Depending on the severity, it can’t be ruled out that the team isn’t considering injured reserve, though I believe the reports would have reflected that as such.
I could see him returning in Week 13 or 14, depending on how they handle the injury with regards to Thanksgiving, and then playing on Thursday the following week.
QB Josh Allen (Right UCL sprain)
To read about Josh Allen’s right elbow injury, please click the link here for further information.
The big concern is Josh Allen’s elbow. That’s it.
Once the team knows what they want to do and his timeline, then concerns can be alleviated. Greg Rousseau’s injury will affect the defensive line depth, but the team does have Mike Love to elevate to the active roster if needed.
Top Photo Credit: ESPN.com