The Buffalo Bills head down to the nation’s capital to face the upstart Washington Commanders at 2-0 Sunday. The weather is not expected to be great but it still should still be a highly competitive game between two teams looking to maintain control of their respective divisions.
Both teams come into the game with numerous injuries on the injury report, but few players skated to miss the game. Read below for both injury reports, projected inactives, Banged Up Bills Best Bet, and final observations.
Buffalo Bills Injury Report
S Micah Hyde (Right hamstring)
Hyde left the game with a right hamstring strain after trying to avoid a late hit on DaVante Adams and a collision with Christan Benford. On Wednesday, he was seen at practice with a lot of kinesiotape on his posterior right leg walking around and briefly jogging.
After not practicing on Wednesday, he trended in the right direction to limited on Thursday and then in full on Friday. He has no designation and will start on Sunday.
LB Terrel Bernard (Knee/quad)
Bernard is back on the injury report with a knee/quad designation after initially the injury described as lower leg. Looking at this as a whole, it sounds like the injury is affecting several areas which could suggest more of a contusion with swelling present rather than a strain or sprain.
There wasn’t any specific instance in the game where Bernard required assistance from training staff, but his physical style of play does open up the possibility of getting dinged up. He was limited on Wednesday and Thursday but practiced in full on Friday without a gameday designation. If Bernard has a setback during the game, the team has Tyrel Dodson available and AJ Klein if they call him up.
DT Jordan Phillips (Illness)
Phillips came down with an illness and was not able to practice Wednesday. Fortunately, most players who work through an illness during the week end up playing so while Phillips may not feel 100 percent, he will be able to play and contribute.
LB Leonard Floyd (Right ankle)
Floyd appeared to have sprained his right ankle on Sunday when he got pushed out of the play and lost his balance in the backfield early in the fourth quarter. He was seen with the training staff on the sidelines and walking up the tunnel with his right shoelaces undone. While he said he was okay, he was unable to practice on Wednesday and was limited on Thursday, but practiced fully on Friday.
He has had a history of right ankle issues the last two seasons including surgery which makes the injury noteworthy. But this may be a more acute in chronic injury that allows him to bounce back quicker.
TE Dawson Knox (Back)
Knox is the true mystery injury that there isn’t any information on. He played in 71 percent of offensive snaps and didn’t appear to require any attention from the training staff. While he did take numerous hits through the game, nothing stood out that could be a concern. He appeared to require more maintenance, suffering from generalized muscle soreness/strain in the area.
Knox did work through a back complaint last year heading into Week 4 and played. In addition, most players who have a back designation do play with, and collectively, only six games missed since 2017. After two DNPs this week, Knox practiced in full on Friday and has no game designation.
OT Spencer Brown (Shoulder)
Brown appeared to have suffered a shoulder injury in practice on Thursday, limiting his ability to finish. He practiced in full on Friday without any additional concerns.
Washington Commanders Injury Report
TE Logan Thomas (Concussion)
Thomas has been unable to practice all week and will not play Sunday due to this illegal hit below. It is unfortunate that Thomas will be unable to face his former team, but a reality of the sport.
Update: Both have no gameday designation.
WR Curtis Samuel (Hip/Illness)
Samuel was limited all last week with a hip injury sustained in Week 1 but was able to play in 62 percent of plays securing three receptions for 19 yards. He practiced in full all week and it appears this hip injury is a non-factor heading into Sunday. However, he is officially questionable due to illness on Friday.
S Kam Curl (Illness)
Curl is officially questionable following an illness on Friday.
DT Daron Payne (Left ankle)
Payne limped off the field grabbing at his left ankle late in what appeared to be the fourth quarter as shown on the timestamp below. Interestingly, he returned to the game just moments later
He was unable to practice on Wednesday but increased to limited participation on Thursday and full on Friday.
CB Jartavius Martin (Concussion)
Martin missed last week’s game with a concussion against the Denver Broncos. He has been working through the protocol to return, limited Wednesday, but practicing in full on Thursday. A full practice indicates that he cleared concussion protocol and will play Sunday unless he is deemed a healthy scratch.
G Nick Gates (Knee)
Gates is on the injury report with a knee designation that does not have a lot of details at this time. While not confirmed, it is possible he’s still dealing with the residual effects of his gruesome 2021 knee injury that was once described as a career-ender.
Fortunately, he was able to practice in full all week and will play Sunday.
RB Brian Robinson (Hip)
Not much is known about Robinson as he did not have any game injury designations last Sunday. He also appeared in 52 percent of offensive snaps which was in line with Week 1. He practiced in full indicating that he should not be significantly affected by the injury.
Buffalo Bills Projected Inactives
S Damar Hamlin
DE Kingsley Jonathan
OT Alec Anderson
G Germaine Ifedi
CB Kaiir Elam
Washington Commanders Projected Inactives
TE Logan Thomas
DE KJ Henry
T Trent Scott
G Chris Paul
CB Christian Holmes
Banged Up Bills Best Bet
The Buffalo Bills come into what should be a soggy football game as the remnants of a tropical storm are working up the east coast. With FedEx Field being natural grass, this will help reduce injury risks and also provide reduced footing. This might promote more use of the run game on both sides and scoring could be reduced as a whole.
The Over/Under is risky because there’s no telling how things will turn out in poor weather. The money line for the Bills won’t pay out, but pick it if you want an easy leg of a parlay. But if you want a sure bet, I’m picking one unit for the Buffalo Bills to cover the spread (-6) at Caesars.
Record: 2-0, +1.82 units
This was a really odd week for prognosticating injuries for the Bills. I have historical data since 2017 showing trends of each injury, practice participation, and games missed.
Based on the data, Hyde should have been questionable and likely not played. Knox should have been at best questionable and ruled out. How they managed injuries this week compared to historical norms is interesting to observe. While each injury is different, teams still have trends and tells on how they manage certain injuries. This week bucked that trend.
Whether this was more of a load management thing or the injuries were less severe than perceived is anyone’s guess other than the team’s. We’ll see if these guys hold up before they play Miami next week in what should be an exciting game.
Top Photo Credit: Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP