The Buffalo Bills are on a mission to show everyone in the conference and the league that they mean business. Week 1 was a fluke loss to the New York Jets but dominating wins over the Las Vegas Raiders and recently, the Washington Commanders 37-3 has left little doubt as to who they really are.
While the score was close for a while through the first half, the Bills continued to dominate, never really allowing the Commanders to get within scoring range with four interceptions, nine sacks, one fumble recovery and 10 tackles-for-loss. Through all that dominance, the Bills managed to avoid serious injury as it would be expected on a wet field, limiting the grass from catching the cleat studs that have led to so many season-ending injuries.
Despite the lack of injuries, there were still several instances where the training staff had to assess several concerns. Below are the injury notes and observations to come out of Sunday’s win.
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WR Stefon Diggs (Left wrist)
Diggs had to sit out one play midway through the second quarter when he braced his fall with his left arm. In the video below, he came down hard on the left wrist as it came in contact with the ground to break his fall.
He came up shaking his hand which then prompted the training staff to come out to assess the left arm, feeling different places up in the arm all the way up into the biceps region. He sat out for one play which is necessary when training staff need to come out onto the field, but immediately returned.
This may have been more of a hurt than injured issue, that bruise feeling you get when you take a hard hit, but it wears off. Another possibility is that he suffered minor parasthesia when his left wrist forcefully flexed up, stressing the ulnar nerve. This is the same feeling you get when you hit your funny bone.
There is an area in the ulnar side of the wrist (pinky side) where the ulnar nerve runs under the Guyon Canal where this could have irritated the nerve. There is no concern for long-term damage, but may explain why he would have had the sensation if he did indeed hit there.
G Ryan Bates (Ankle)
Bates went down late in the fourth quarter as the Bills piled on the points as he blocked for James Cook’s 34-yard run that set up Latavius Murray’s touchdown several plays later. Looking at the video below, he was bumped by fellow offensive lineman Ryan Van Demark which forced him to fall to his left and look to strike his left knee on the grass.
Several sources noted that Bates was getting checked out on the sidelines by training staff as Mitch Morse returned to play center. Bates did not return to the game but was seen walking around after the game, indicating that this is not a notable issue.
On Monday, the team noted that Bates was dealing with an ankle injury. Looking at the replay again, I could see where maybe he twisted his left ankle if he stepped awkwardly when he got bumped. However, his right ankle also tried to keep him up and he hit his heel on the ground, potentially jamming the ankle. The video angles simply aren’t great.
Considering he is day-to-day, there is minimal concern for next Sunday.
OT Spencer Brown (Left shoulder)
Brown injured his shoulder in practice on Thursday, leaving him limited that day. Fortunately, he was able to practice in full the next day with no gameday designation. On Sunday, he had kinesiotape over his left shoulder, at least one visible strap that came down just enough to exit his pads.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t tell us much about the actual injury, but it gives a side and if Brown continues to have issues, this provides a clue.
DE Von Miller (Right ACL Tear)
Miller is eligible to return to practice after Week 4 once the Bills open his 21-day window to practice. I would expect that we get that announcement during the Monday press conference if they’re ready to activate him.
Once he has the window open, then he can begin practicing without counting against the 53-man roster. He can then be taken off PUP and activated to the roster. When this happens remains to be seen. I would expect he needs more than a week of practice, which might put him to return in Week 6, but things can and do change.
When he does return, either an injury to put someone else on IR or release a vested veteran will occur. Then if they want to bring them back to the practice squad, an additional transaction will be made there.
Short Term IR
LB Baylon Spector (Right hamstring)
WR Justin Shorter (Hamstring)
Both are eligible to return after Week 4 but may sit out until there is a need for depth at either position to be activated. A corresponding transaction will need to take place for this to happen which means there is no timeline for when they will actually return.
It’s a lot of fun when the Bills dominate and there aren’t many injury issues. Despite the injury report being a little longer than usual, none of the guys on the report appeared to be limited by their respective injuries, especially Micah Hyde and Terrel Bernard. Coming off a back injury, Dawson Knox had a quiet day with one reception for 11 yards and 60 percent of snaps played, but tight ends as a whole were quiet as Dalton Kincaid also saw two receptions for three yards.
While the Bills rolled the Commanders, the Dolphins put on a historic performance against the Denver Broncos, dropping 70 points on them and nearly setting an NFL record. Heading into Week 4, this should be an excellent matchup between the Bills and Dolphins, especially as Miami comes in with a lengthy injury report and several key starters suffering injuries during Sunday’s win.
Stay tuned this week as news comes in regarding both team’s player availability which could create mismatches and an advantage.
Top Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated