Securing that first AFC East win of the season sure feels good when the Buffalo Bills convincingly defeated the New England Patriots 24-10 on Thursday. The Bills are able to enjoy a mini-bye and get healthier as they have five games left. This stretch includes four AFC opponents with three divisional games making every extra day of rest crucial.
While the Bills did move to 9-3, they did suffer several notable injuries that could affect their depth once again. Below are the injuries from Thursday night.
CB Tre’Davious White (Stinger)
In his first full game back following his ACL tear last year, White played in 61 percent of snaps. Early in the second quarter, White assisted on a tackle, getting up and shaking out his left hand.
He then went to the blue medical tent for further evaluation and was eventually cleared for a stinger.
While stingers are usually transient, he has had a history of them along with neck and shoulder injuries in the past. This is White’s third publicly reported stinger, but this should not be a problem until it is, similar to the Micah Hyde issue. These all could be isolated incidents or there could be a pattern, only the team knows.
I highlight this out of observation covering the team in the way that I do. Always have to look for patterns, trends, and clues as to what really may be going on. I am taking everything at face value for the time being and hope that this is once again an isolated incident and part of his return to football.
FB Reggie Gilliam (Right ankle)
Gilliam was the only new injury from Thursday that wasn’t apparent during the game. He appeared to injure his right ankle on the second-half kickoff due to friendly fire from Tyrel Dodson. Below is the clip.
The fact that he did not receive any specific type of designation such as “day-to-day” or “week-to-week” is encouraging. The type of ankle injury may determine how severe it is based on
He did not appear to play the rest of the second half but never received an in-game designation. His practice participation this week will be one to watch closely to determine the severity of the injury.
P Sam Martin (Left lower leg/ankle)
What feels like a rare appearance by Martin on the field led to an injury early in the third quarter with 11:43 left. After getting the punt off, Martin’s left ankle was barreled into, causing him to fall over awkwardly.
He was observed limping off the field but was able to return for one more punt later in the game without the quality of his punt seemingly affected. Hopefully, this is more of a pain versus injury, but it is surprising how there wasn’t a penalty called for roughing the kicker.
TE Dawson Knox (Toe)
Knox briefly had to leave the game with 2:54 left in the third quarter after suffering a toe injury on the play below.
Due to the number of bodies around Knox when he fell, it is nearly impossible to identify the type of injury that he suffered. He did require the trainer’s attention and missed several plays, but was able to return.
OT David Quessenberry (Left ankle)
During the same play as Knox, Quessenberry went down with a left ankle injury, initially down on the ground before getting up and limping with his foot pointing outwards. As mentioned above, Quessenberry disappeared into a pile of bodies making determining the exact injury difficult, but in the other videos, you can see that he injured the ankle earlier in the game, requiring a tape job.
This is the same ankle he injured late on special teams against the Detroit Lions last week. He performed admirably in place of Dion Dawkins, but he did struggle due to that left ankle not being able to move effectively in pass protection, frequently getting beat. Hopefully, the extra days off will help him recover and return him back to the bench as a depth option.
As of Monday, Quessenberry and a number of other players are all “improving”.
WR Isaiah McKenzie (Undisclosed)
This one was interesting. During the broadcast view, McKenzie is out of the shot but is seen being escorted by training staff on the sidelines for a brief moment. Then, after the replay, the view of the play below occurs.
McKenzie gets knocked down crossing over the middle of the field before the camera pans away. There was never an official announcement but it’s possible that he was flagged by the ATC’s above and looked at getting a further evaluation.
Considering he had a concussion earlier this season, it was best to quickly assess to ensure he did not have another one. However, there are no confirmed reports of this, so basing this currently on speculation.
DT Jordan Phillips (Right shoulder)
Phillips attempted to tackle Patriots QB Mac Jones with 1:57 left in the fourth quarter as Jones scrambled around, trying to find an open receiver. Regrettably, Phillips fell down in his pursuit of Jones and landed with his arm outstretched onto the right side as seen below.
He was quickly ruled out of the game with a shoulder designation, though his exit didn’t mean much at that point in the game. After the game, he was at his locker and said that he was fine, but he was later seen with a sling as reported below.
By video, the hope is that he suffered an AC joint sprain when the arm went into full flexion, pushing up against the AC joint, jamming, and causing a sprain. However, there is concern that he suffered labrum damage due to a subluxation of the shoulder which is a partial dislocation. This can happen when the arm is placed in full shoulder flexion and a sudden force pushes the joint past its normal limit.
We will have to see how things look during practice this week and if he is wearing a brace, if so, what kind.
DE Von Miller (Right knee lateral meniscus)
Miller was placed on injured reserve several hours prior to Thursday’s kickoff to allow his knee to effectively rehab.
There have not been reports of surgery as of this time. Having the month off to allow his knee to reduce swelling and regain full function will be key for a deep playoff run. This was certainly a possibility as I lined out in the article published shortly after the injury.
The idea of injured reserve does not change my original thoughts other than we know that he will miss four games. This is a crucial stretch of games missing without him, but dispatching the Patriots moves Miller one week closer to return. The Jets and Dolphins games will be the key games to watch out for, but those teams have issues of their own regarding injuries that could even the playing field.
WR Jamison Crowder (Left ankle fracture)
The rumblings are growing louder for Crowder to possibly return later this season after his left ankle fracture in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia outlines the injury in great detail and the expected timeline for him to return after speaking to Crowder directly.
It’s possible, but we will have to see how the ankle responds to rehab and as he ramps up toward running. It’s very possible for the ankle to get angry due to the sudden increase in activity despite rehabbing the entire time shortly after surgery. If he can come back, it’s a welcome addition late in the year.
WR Marquez Stevenson (Left foot fracture)
Stevenson is still in the midst of his 21-day practice window as he returns from his broken left foot suffered early in training camp. He was designated to return on November 17. Based on the information we previously had, it’s possible he suffered a Jones fracture which explains the long timeline. The Bills currently have a roster spot open due to Von Miller going to IR, but they have not made any roster moves following that transaction.
We will see some type of transaction regarding him very soon.
G Ike Boettger (Left Achilles)
Boettger started his 21-day practice window on November 27 as he ramps up from his left Achilles tear in Week 16 last year. He did have a setback at some point, possibly in late May, but he has been diligently working to return to the field.
The Bills are 9-3 despite all the injuries. Just think about that. It is impressive how the team has been able to march forward to the top of the AFC despite everything. They have a key Week 14 matchup with the New York Jets at home on Sunday. With a win, they can avenge the loss from earlier this season and even their division record at 2-2. Every snap, every series, and every quarter matters from here on out.
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