The Buffalo Bills are 10-3 on the season. Doesn’t matter how the wins are achieved. The more W’s than L’s you can get, the more good things happen. Thankfully, the Bills defeated the New York Jets 20-12 on Sunday with a performance that left fans wanting more, but a win is a win.
In addition to remaining on top of the AFC, the Bills also managed to avoid a ton more injuries but didn’t escape them altogether.
Below are the injuries from Sunday’s game.
G Ryan Bates (Right ankle)
Bates suffered a right ankle injury with 7:06 left in the third quarter on the Josh Allen touchdown run seen below.
Initial views appeared to see the left ankle get caught from behind on replay, but the Madden angle shows the right ankle gets caught.
There was an initial worry for a high-ankle sprain based on the view above, but ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler stated that Bates suffered a low ankle sprain. If Bates managed to avoid the high-ankle sprain, then the rare medial ankle sprain could be in play which is an injury to the deltoid ligament.
He is considered day-to-day and it remains to be seen if he will play Saturday. Watching his practice participation will be key this week as it may come down to a pain management issue. The deltoid ligament is much stronger and more stable than the lateral ligaments, but it doesn’t mean that the injury doesn’t exist either.
DT Ed Oliver (Chest)
This was a subtle injury coming out of the game Sunday. Several people on Twitter noted how Oliver was not in the game in the fourth quarter and they were correct. In the tweet below, you can see Oliver’s last play and in the second clip, Oliver can be seen getting hit in the chest on the right side rather hard as he was blocked.
For the last two defensive series, Boogie Basham rotated inside and helped close out the game. The team also did not announce that there was an injury to Oliver at the time.
The team officially announced that Oliver is dealing with a chest injury and is day-to-day. Below are all the possibilities that he could be dealing with.
If it is a rib or chondral (costal) cartilage issue, pain-relieving injections can be provided to help numb the area before play, but it won’t last all game or make him invincible. Depending on the issue, this will not only dictate his practice availability but whether he plays on a short week. He will be the player to watch this week heading into Week 15.
FB Reggie Gilliam (Right ankle) & DT Jordan Phillips (Right shoulder)
Both are improving as noted above but missed the last game. Gilliam is working through a right ankle sprain suffered against the Patriots in Week 13 on the second-half kickoff. This was the result of getting his ankle hit from the outside or from behind by friendly fire from Tyrel Dodson. It’s not clear whether he’s dealing with a high-ankle sprain or something else as the video was not clear on the broadcast angle.
Phillips injured his right shoulder trying to chase down Mac Jones in the backfield with under two minutes in the Patriots game. When he fell, he landed on an outstretched arm which caused concern for an AC joint sprain or some type of shoulder instability, leading to potential injury to his labrum.
Ideally, an AC joint sprain would be better but see how he does in practice and if he requires some type of bracing or shoulder harness.
It remains to be seen how much each will be available in practice this week.
WR Cole Beasley
By now, everyone is aware that Cole Beasley is back in Buffalo according to the tweet below. He will sign to the practice squad, providing depth to an already thin position.
He appeared in two games with Tampa Bay earlier this year, getting called up from the practice squad in Weeks 3 and 4 before retiring. Since he was on the practice squad, his injury status would not have been known during the week, making it impossible to see whether he was dealing with anything this year.
During his time in Buffalo, he did have his share of injuries including a partially broken fibular head, fractured ribs along with foot and thumb sprains. There is some level of concern about his durability at his stage in his career after the injuries he suffered the last two seasons. But he does play a very punishing position which brings with it a level of accepted risk.
I have no issues with his health coming in since he hasn’t played most of this season, giving his body time to recover. All of his injuries should be fully healed from last season and it may come down to how productive he can be when called upon.
This is a far less risk to take than signing Odell Beckham coming off his ACL tear. This also doesn’t prevent the Bills from going after OBJ later, but this provides trusted depth that knows the playbook.
Top Photo Credit: Bryan M. Bennett | Credit: Getty Images