The Buffalo Bills return to Orchard Park to kick off their home opener Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders. Coming off a difficult 22-16 loss to the Jets on Monday night, the Bills are angry and healthy as they host the Raiders. However, the Raiders come in with a 1-0 record as they beat the Denver Broncos 17-16 to take sole possession of the AFC West lead.
The Bills are as healthy as they have been in some time whereas the Raiders could be missing several key players. This is not ideal for a Raiders team that has top-end talent but lacks a lot of depth after that. The Raiders can’t be counted out but also can’t be dismissed as an inferior opponent either.
Below are the injury reports for both teams, projected inactives, Banged Up Bills Best Bet, and final thoughts.
Buffalo Bills Injury Report
C Mitch Morse (Left finger)
Morse suffered a left index or middle finger injury late in the third quarter as seen below. It’s possible that he suffered some type of hyperextension or jammed finger on the block, but it’s not seen as his back is to the camera.
Considering this is his non-snapping hand, this injury is of little consequence. While he did say he injured it prior, it’s unknown when that occurred. He was able to practice in full every day this week and has no gameday designation heading into the game.
Las Vegas Raiders Injury Report
DE Chandler Jones (Personal)
Jones continues to stay away from the team as he works through a personal issue that has been present for the last few weeks.
WR Jakobi Meyers (Concussion)
Late in the fourth quarter, Meyers got rocked on a play over the middle where he was unable to defend himself as he tried to go down as seen below.
The fencing posture and assistance to get off the field was certainly worrisome enough from a human standpoint. He was placed in the NFL concussion protocol and was unable to practice Wednesday or Thursday.
Considering he was unable to practice all week, Meyers was not expected to play due to the fact that he was unable to pass through the concussion protocol in time.
WR DeVante Adams (Foot)
Adams was unable to practice Wednesday due to a foot injury but practiced in full Thursday and Friday, leaving him with no gameday designation. There wasn’t any prior known issue regarding his foot or any in-game designation which suggests this is more of a maintenance issue to get through the long season. I do not expect him to be limited significantly by this and will still be the number one weapon in the offense.
WR DeAndre Carter (Knee)
Carter is working through a knee issue that was present prior to Week 1. He was limited all week during practice and was initially questionable before suiting up. He only saw 10 snaps on offense with one catch and an additional seven on special teams. He was unable to participate Wednesday but upgraded to limited on Thursday and Full on Friday.
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (Ankle)
Garoppolo also appeared to have a maintenance day on Wednesday despite an ankle designation according to team reports below. There were not any instances where the play-by-play report noted an ankle injury and none of the team reporters highlighted in the game if he went down. He is not the most mobile quarterback, but this injury should not hamper him come Sunday. He was able to practice in full the remainder of the week.
He did have the foot surgery in the off-season which could possibly have contributed to this, but it’s not clear if this is the same side or even related.
G Jordan Meredith (Calf)
There doesn’t appear to be any notable reports on Meredith as he worked through a calf injury during the week.
S Tre’von Moehrig (Thumb)
Moehrig was initially deemed questionable to return to the game due to a thumb injury. He possibly suffered sometime late in the third quarter or fourth quarter based on the tweet timestamp below.
While a thumb injury isn’t overly concerning for a defensive player, he was unable to participate in practice on Wednesday but in full on Thursday and Friday.
While he does not have a gameday designation, he may still have difficulty catching interceptions and hand-fighting effectively. This could also limit his ability to wrap up tackles in the open field. It’s unknown which side the thumb injury is on, but targeting routes to that side could lead to the need to compensate to stay with the play. This could lead to interference calls or opportunities for YAC if he can’t grab/tackle should his thumb be in a split or cast.
G/T Jermaine Eluemunor (Ankle)
Eluemunor was a new addition to the injury report with an ankle injury, limited on Thursday suggesting he suffered the injury during practice. He did not have a gameday designation.
Projected Bills Inactives
OT Alec Anderson
DE Kingsley Johnathan
G Germain Ifedi
S Cam Lewis
CB Kaiir Elam
Projected Raiders Inactives
QB Aiden O’Connell
WR Jakobi Meyers
DT Nesta Jade Silvera
DE Chandler Jones
LB Amari Burney
S Chris Smith II
Banged Up Bills Best Bet
The Bills are coming out angry in this one, especially being their home opener. While the Raiders have talent on both sides but not a lot of depth. I’d like to think the Raiders could keep it close, but I expect the Bills to come out and impose their will all Sunday. This makes my bet 1 unit on the Bills to cover the spread -8.5 (-110) at BetMGM.
Season Record: 1-0, +.91
Always hoping for no injuries, the Bills are off to a good start so far this season. They can also not take the Raiders lightly because this is a talented team that is looking to take that next step forward and contend for a playoff spot in the AFC.
The Bills should take care of business, but everyone has to do their 1/11th.
Top Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey/AP