Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals Divisional Round Injury Recap

Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals Divisional Round Injury Recap
Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer (21) and cornerback Tre'Davious White (27) break up a pass intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins (85) during the fourth quarter of an NFL division round football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

The 20220 NFL season is over with the Buffalo Bills losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 in the divisional round of the playoffs. 

Another season of high expectations ended in disappointing fashion. There were a lot of what if’s and if only, but at the end of the day, they didn’t get it done. 

To add to it, the injuries sustained in Sunday’s game would have made next week more difficult to overcome. Below are the injuries from Sunday’s loss. 

In-game injuries

S Dean Marlowe (Groin)

Marlowe suffered a groin injury with the third to last play in the first half on the Joe Burrow scramble as seen below. 

While the injury isn’t available on the broadcast, you can see him motioning to his groin and pubic area as he slowly gets up and walks off the field. The All-22 shows him fall down shortly after flipping his hips at the 40-yard line before falling down at around the 30-yard line. 

He was quickly ruled out and had the Bills won, it would have been difficult for him to be ready next week. This isn’t an injury that should linger unless he suffered a core muscle injury at that moment, but that won’t be known unless he undergoes any type of surgery. 

WR Stefon Diggs (Left hand/finger)

Diggs went into the blue medical tent briefly after crashing with a sideline reporter midway through the third quarter, appearing to strike his left hand as he crashed into the wall. 

As you can see in the video above, he appears to look at his left hand and then later kneeled down as trainers tended to him. It’s difficult to identify if he jammed it or even dislocated it, but after further assessment, he was able to return. Finger injuries are unfortunately common in football but this likely would not have caused him any issues if they played next week. 

S Jordan Poyer/CB Tre’Davious White (Head injuries)

Both secondary players had to leave the game due to head injuries as a result of colliding with each other early in the fourth quarter as seen below. 

White’s face mask hits the back of Poyer’s helmet, necessitating the need for further assessment in the blue medical tent followed by more testing in the locker room. 

White was able to return, clearing the concussion testing while Poyer was ruled out with a head injury. I want to highlight the wording as usually when they are ruled out, they have used the word ‘concussion’. 

If Poyer did indeed suffer a concussion, this would be his first documented one from what I initially had. However, he was evaluated for a concussion back when he suffered his lacerated kidney when he was with the Browns in 2016. It’s not clear if he was diagnosed with a concussion or only examined for one. 

That info was secondary at the time as the kidney was the bigger issue and what placed him on injured reserve, causing him to miss the rest of the season.

It would have been challenging but not impossible to have been cleared to play next week, but that would have been a lot of pressure to be ready. 

QB Josh Allen 

There really isn’t a body part designation for the hit below, but Allen got crunched between two Bengals defenders and got his forearm hit as he attempted to throw midway through the fourth quarter.

He had to briefly leave the game due to one of the independent ATCs above buzzing down to get him assessed. He did not miss any snaps, but this was the reason he had to briefly leave the game. It appeared that it was more pain than injury, but still difficult to see QB1 go down in such an important game. 

Other observations

WR Jamison Crowder (Left ankle)

Crowder came out and said that he felt that he could have played in the divisional round of the playoffs if he was active. I don’t believe he was 100 percent prior to the injury, but he could have gone out there and at least been a body. 

The issue with Crowder was that who do you cut to put him on the roster? He wasn’t exponentially better than anyone else already on the roster and he was coming back from injury. I commend him for wanting to return and he was close, but there wasn’t room or an immediate need for his skill set.

S Micah Hyde (Neck)

As a fan, this might be the most crushing news to have gotten during locker cleanouts. 

He was on a super aggressive timeline that would have seen him return from a neck fusion in just over four months instead of the normal 6-to-9-month recovery originally stated. 

Despite being cleared late last week, he had not taken any contact in practice to further prepare himself for game action. I expect this would have taken place in practice next week, but that clearance was likely so that he could take on that contact. 

What this does mean is that he continues to heal well and with more rehab in the off-season, he can return fully healthy in 2023.

Final thoughts

It always hurts. Every season is in some way a disappointment until the Buffalo Bills win it all. It’s incredibly fun to watch this team play, and be competitive and gives the fan base something to root for. 

They have a legitimate shot at winning the Super Bowl every year and they have the talent to get over the hump. When they do it is another question altogether. 

Be sure to stay tuned in the coming days and weeks as news is released on various updates on injuries and surgeries.

Rehab and recharge will be the motto of the off-season for both the team and the fan base.

Here’s to a better 2023 Buffalo Bills season.