The rematch commences Sunday in Orchard Park! The New York Jets head out to face the Buffalo Bills for their second meeting of the season with much at stake.
Buffalo is now without their top pass rusher in Von Miller due to a torn right ACL, the latest in a nonstop battle of injuries. Yet, despite all of that, they are still 9-3.
The Jets, winners of just four games last year, have far exceeded expectations for this season. They are playing meaningful games in December for the first time in nearly the better part of a decade. They too have been hit by injuries, but elite play from young talents and a strong defense help keep them competitive.
This game has all sorts of storylines to look at, but here at Banged Up Bills, we look at the injuries. Read below for all the latest details on each and every injury along with projected inactives and Banged Up Bills Best Bet.
BUFFALO BILLS INJURY REPORT
DT Jordan Phillips (Right shoulder)
Phillips has been ruled out for this week following a right shoulder injury against the New England Patriots in Week 13. This was the result of him trying to chase down QB Mac Jones when he fell with his arm outstretched on his right side.
The hope is that he only suffered an AC joint sprain, but it’s more likely he suffered some type of instability such as subluxation of the shoulder. This could lead to damage to the labrum which helps deepen the socket within the shoulder.
It’s too soon to tell if he can come back next week, but I would expect he is out there with some type of shoulder brace or harness which make indicate which type of shoulder injury he is dealing with.
FB Reggie Gilliam (Right ankle)
Gilliam will miss his first game of the season due to a right ankle injury sustained during the second-half kickoff against the Patriots. He was either hit from behind or the side by fellow teammate Tyrel Dodson as the result of friendly fire.
He was unable to practice all week and his status for next week remains to be seen.
LB Matt Milano (Left knee)
Milano was a surprise addition to the injury report this week with a leg/knee designation on Wednesday.
The injury report later clarified that he was dealing with a knee injury, and not practicing Wednesday or Thursday.
Based on film analysis, it’s possible that this is the play in that he suffered the injury, specifically to the left knee.
By video, it’s hard to see what he injured, the initial guess is a bad contusion. He did state that he was really sore after the game which would be in line with what is observed on video.
On Friday, he was able to return to practice shown in the warmups below. He did appear to have what looked to be some type of brace on his left leg, further supporting the video above.
He looks to be moving well and if this is a pain management issue or to maximize rest, then he has a chance to play. Milano missed the first Jets game with an oblique injury and it would be unfortunate if he missed this game as well. He may be a true game-time decision with how his rest and rehab go over the weekend. I’m willing to bet that he suits up.
OT Dion Dawkins (Right ankle)
Dawkins confirmed that he suffered a right high-ankle sprain against the Detroit Lions late in the second quarter.
He missed the following game against the Patriots but is questionable heading into the Week 14 matchup against the Jets. He was originally told it was a three-week injury but he seems to have beaten the odds having practiced this week.
By video, he looks good in practice and was able to practice in full on Friday, suggesting that he will play. Since this is his right ankle and he plays left tackle, he can get away with using his left leg to control for pass protection. He may feel the effects of the injury if he has to run to his right during the run game, but even an 80 percent Dawkins may be better than any other options.
QB Josh Allen (Right elbow)
Allen continues to work through his right elbow injury still appearing on the injury report despite a full designation.
However, Allen dove into the details of his elbow injury on the Pat McAfee show Thursday, detailing how much time the doctors thought he’d miss originally based on the scans and exam. He also revealed he had a PRP injection and that this is something that he would have to manage for the foreseeable future.
Allen’s revelation was more in line with my original thoughts when he suffered the injury. He also discussed how he dictated his recovery timeline with the doctors which ultimately they signed off on.
As we get farther from the injury, the picture will become clearer with more information such as this.
CB Cam Lewis (Right forearm)
Lewis has been a regular on the injury report due to a chronic bone infection in his right forearm. This dates back to college and he regularly wears a brace on the area.
C Mitch Morse (Right elbow/Vet Rest)
Morse has been working through his right elbow injury sustained in Week 2 against the Titans, missing only the following game because of the injury.
Whatever the specific injury is, whether it’s an injury to the UCL ligament or bone chips, it has become chronic at this point and has been managed well by the team. He has been pretty consistent otherwise considering his right arm is his snapping arm and will play Sunday.
OL David Quessenberry (Left ankle)
Quessenberry will suit up Sunday after struggling through the Patriots game with a left ankle injury. He was injured early in the first quarter and then later in the third quarter as he started for Dion Dawkins. He originally sustained the injury late on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions.
The hope is that Dawkins can play, giving Quessenberry some extra time to rest the ankle for later this season.
G Rodger Saffold (Knee/Vet Rest)
Saffold appeared on the injury report with a knee designation Wednesday along with his veteran rest day. He was able to return to practice the rest of the week, practicing in full. Considering his age, it’s not surprising to see that he needs some extra recovery time along with specific destinations.
DE Von Miller (Right ACL tear)
Miller is done for the season following exploratory surgery that found a torn ACL. For more information, make sure to check out the article I wrote Friday regarding the injury and the timeline to return.
WR Jamison Crowder (Left fibula fracture)
Crowder began running off to the side this week after fracturing his fibula in Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens. After undergoing surgery and rehab, he is on track to return but has not started his 21-day practice window.
So far, it seems like he has had an excellent rehab and avoided many of the pitfalls seen with lower leg injuries such as his. The team will still need to be cautious in not ramping him up too quickly to ensure he does not irritate things, causing a setback.
DT Eli Ankou (Undisclosed)
Ankou was placed on the practice squad injured list Thursday with an undisclosed injury. He did have a calf injury early in training camp followed by a left hamstring strain that led to an injury settlement on cut-down day.
Keep in mind, if Ankou were to return, he would count against the eight designated slots to return from IR. They have used two on Xavier Rhodes and Marquez Stevenson so far. Those that could still possibly return include Jamison Crowder, Christian Benford, Jake Kumerow, and though unlikely, Micah Hyde.
NEW YORK JETS INJURY REPORT
DE Michael Clemons (Illness)
Clemons was unable to practice all week due to illness that appears to be hitting each team in waves this season. Not practicing all week and not being able to ask the body to perform effectively may be a tall order. It may be best to sit this one out on a cold, rainy day.
OT Duane Brown (Left shoulder)
Brown continues to work through a left rotator cuff tear suffered shortly after signing with the team prior to Week 1. He has not missed a snap since returning and has done a fine job despite the injuries.
S Ashtyn Davis (Hamstring)
Davis missed last week’s game with a hamstring injury suffered in the Week 12 win over the Chicago Bears. His role is mainly on special teams this season and he will be able to return to the field without a designation.
OT George Fant (Knee)
After missing eight games due to a stint on IR, Fant returned last week to play in 71 percent of snaps. He is on the long list of offensive linemen the Jets have had to cycle through this season due to injury.
He did have knee surgery that ended his season early last year by a game or two that I believe is still giving him problems nearly a year later.
S LaMarcus Joyner (Hip)
There isn’t any information on Joyner’s hip from what I can find. What’s interesting is that he also appeared on the injury report with a hip ailment prior to the Week 9 matchup against the Bills this season. This may be a chronic issue at this point, but a point worth noting.
CB DJ Reed/WR Corey Davis (Illness)
Both were limited by illness earlier in the week but were able to return to practice and have no gameday designation.
NON-FOOTBALL INJURY LIST
OT Max Mitchell (Blood clots)
Mitchell is forced to miss the remainder of the season due to blood clots found in his calves and lungs. This unfortunately was the result of Factor V Leiden, a genetic mutation of the clotting factors in his body.
It is hereditary and managed with blood thinners once clots are present. Due to the risk of a clot dislodging or bleeding out if he gets hit in a way that causes a wound, the risk is far too great for him to play.
However, he is expected to resume playing next season.
BUFFALO BILLS PROJECTED INACTIVES
DT Jordan Phillips
FB Reggie Gilliam
LB Baylon Spector
CB Cam Lewis
TE Tommy Sweeney
NEW YORK JETS PROJECTED INACTIVES
DE Michael Clemons
TE Jeremy Ruckert
WR Jeff Smith
S Tony Adams
QB Zach Wilson
Banged Up Bills Best Bet
Record: 5-3 +2.00 units
The Bills can control more variables at home this week and are favored by -10. However, the Jets are fighting for their playoff lives at 7-5, playing meaningful December games for the first time in forever. Despite the cold and rain, I could see this game still being close as these teams know each other too well. Those uncertainties make it questionable to pick the spread and picking the Moneyline on the Bills won’t net much.
Due to those questions, the points seem like a palatable bet if the Bills look to come out guns blazing and the Jets try to keep up. This makes my bet 1 unit on the Over 43.0 (-110) at BetMGM.
The Jets have something to play for and can really throw the AFC East into chaos with a win over the Bills on Sunday. But the Bills know that December football is where great teams begin to ramp up as they get ready for the playoffs. This game has huge implications for seeding and divisional crowns which could determine reasonable or impossible paths toward the Super Bowl.
I don’t think the Bills leave anything to chance and go stomp on the Jets early and often. But the Jets have shown to be resilient and fight to the very end, especially when they’re playing an opponent that has imposed its will on others the past few years. I’m looking forward to a good game and praying for no more injuries.
Top Photo Credit: Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images