AFC East Injury Preview Week 15

AFC East Injury Preview Week 15

Week 15 of the NFL season kicks off Sunday with another slate of AFC East games! The New England Patriots play the Kansas City Chiefs, the Miami Dolphins play the New York Jets, and the Buffalo Bills host the Dallas Cowboys.

Each team continues to battle though injuries despite with several injuries more impactful than others. Read below for the full injury reports around the division.

Miami Dolphins | New England Patriots | New York Jets | Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins


OL Robert Hunt (Hamstring)

Hunt missed last week after aggravating his hamstring injury in Week 13. This original injury dates back to Week 8 and has prevented him from consistently practicing and playing in games.

S DeShon Elliott (Concussion/Ribs)

Elliott is officially out after not being able to practice all week due to a concussion suffered in Monday’s game. His final injury report shows that the concussion is the only issue but he did suffer a rib injury that was later taken off the report.


RB De’Von Achane (Toe)

Achane was limited all week with a toe injury suffered in Monday’s loss to the Titans. Typically a toe injury suggests a turf toe, but without any additional information, it’s difficult to determine if this is exactly the case. He could play through the injury with a firm insole and tape to the area but may be limited with an explosion off the affected foot. If he is active, I don’t expect him to get a lot of run.

OT Terron Armstead (Left Knee/Right Ankle)

Armstead’s left knee dates back to his injury against the Buffalo Bills in Week 4 which sent him to injured reserve for a short stint. His right ankle injury was the result of a leg whip against the Washington Commanders in Week 13 that forced him to miss last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans. 

OL Liam Eichenberg (Calf)

Eichenberg was seen wearing a walking boot around the facility after the game on Monday’s loss to the Titans.

He was forced to fill in for Connor Williams who went down with an ACL tear and is lost for the remainder of the season. The fact that Eichenberg is in a walking boot indicates that this is a somewhat moderate calf injury with the boot limiting his plantar flexion. He is officially questionable after missing practice this week until a Friday with limited participation. I would lean towards him missing especially since they have Lester Cotton who was reportedly taking snaps there and Jonotthan Harrison who they recently signed. 

WR Tyreek Hill (Left Ankle)

By video, the mechanism of injury appears to be a left high-ankle sprain as seen below.

Hill was unable to practice all week and despite his ability to play through minor injuries including an ankle injury coming into the game, this one may be too difficult to overcome. If he does play, he won’t have any explosion off the left ankle, he won’t be able to cut as smoothly to the right, and will have great difficulty pivoting on the left. At best, Hill will be a possession receiver, getting to a certain spot to catch the ball and dropping down.

Even if he does play, he runs the risk of further aggravation or outright damage to the area. Even in his pursuit of 2,000 yards, he’s best to rest a week so he can at least play closer to 100 percent with some rest and rehab versus struggling to get through the game. I do not expect him to play.

He is needed healthy if the Dolphins expect to make a deep playoff run.

CB Xavien Howard (Hip)

Howard picked up a hip injury Monday and was limited all week after not practicing on Wednesday. I would expect that he attempts to play through the injury as he has played through other lower body issues in the past and this is more of a joint versus soft tissue injury.

RB Chris Brooks (Knee)

Brooks continues to work back from his knee injury suffered in Week 6 that sent him to injured reserve. He was limited all week and did not get activated. This week, he was limited all week and officially questionable. 

S Jevon Holland (Knees)

Holland has missed the last two games after suffering MCL sprains to both knees when he was overstretched on a play against the New York Jets in Week 12. Having one sprained MCL would have kept him out at least a game or two considering his positional demands, but having both at the same time explains why he is slow to return. He was limited all week and is officially questionable.

OL Austin Jackson (Oblique)

Jackson was limited all week due to an oblique injury picked up on Monday. Considering all the injuries to the offensive line, Jackson may have no choice but to play or play in a reserve role.

LB Andrew Van Ginkel (Oblique)

Van Ginkel is also dealing with an oblique injury that kept him limited all week. He may be a game-time decision on how he feels, but considering how often he twists and tackles, it may be best to sit this out, especially with the recently signed Melvin Ingram.


RB Raheem Mostert (Knee)

Mostert continues to be limited due to a knee issue dating back to Week 9, not missing any games. Before coming to the Dolphins, he did have chipped cartilage in his left knee that forced him to undergo surgery to repair the cartilage which may explain why he continues to stay on the injury report.

New England Patriots


RB Rhamondre Stevenson (Right High-ankle sprain)

Stevenson suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 13 and missed last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was unable to practice all week and is once again ruled out. There is a chance he may be able to return next week but that’s optimistic.


DT Christian Barmore (Shoulder)

Barmore appeared on the injury report with a shoulder injury last week but played through the injury. He has also been dealing with a knee injury that dates back to his rookie year. 

LB Ja’Whaun Bentley (Knee)

Bentley was a late addition to the injury report with a knee injury on Friday and is questionable.

ST Matthew Slater (Groin)

Slater popped up on the injury report with a groin designation on Friday and is questionable for Sunday.

OT Trent Brown (Right ankle/Hand/Illness)

Brown continues to deal with his right high-ankle sprain suffered against the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. He picked up a hand injury against the Chargers but has been able to play through both of the injuries recently. An illness this week left him questionable.

WR Demario Douglas (Concussion)

Douglas finally returned to practice this week in a limited role after missing the last two games due to a concussion suffered against the Giants. That was his second concussion of the year which typically means a slower return to play. He will need to be cleared by the independent neurologist to play.

WR Devante Parker (Knee)

Parker missed last week due to a knee injury picked up against the Chargers. There weren’t any specific details that caused him to miss the short week.

WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (Ankle)

Smith-Schuster was questionable heading into the short week against the Steelers and suited up. He played in 98 percent of offensive snaps, securing four receptions for 90 yards.

WR Tyquan Thornton (Hamstring)

A hamstring injury led to Thornton showing up on the injury report Friday, leaving him questionable.


WR Kayshon Boutte (Shoulder)

Boutte has missed the last two games due to a shoulder injury suffered against the New York Giants in Week 12. The specifics of the injury are not known and he was limited all week as he works to return. However, he did not have a designation for Sunday.

New York Jets


WR Jason Brownlee (Ankle)

Brownlee missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury suffered against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13. This was the result of his left ankle getting cut out from under him in the second half. He was unable to practice again this week.

QB Aaron Rodgers (Left Achilles)

Rodgers is in the final week of his 21-day practice window as he attempts his unprecedented return from his Week 1 Achilles tear. I don’t believe he gets activated considering how he looks in the video below. 

LB Zaire Barnes (Hamstring)

Later placed on injured reserve.


OL Carter Warren (Hip)

Warren picked up a hip injury in the Friday practice before Week 13 and has been dealing with a hamstring strain before this. He was unable to suit up in Week 14 and has been limited all week.


DL John Franklin-Myers (Ankle)

Franklin-Myers was on the injury report before Week 14 due to an ankle injury suffered sometime in Week 13. Though he was able to suit up, he played in only 15 defensive snaps indicating that his usage was limited to get him through the game.

RB Nick Bawden (Knee)

Bawden was limited all week due to a knee that may be more of a maintenance issue due to his ACL tear several years ago.

DL Will McDonald (Knee)

McDonald was a late addition to the injury report Friday with a knee designation, suggesting he injured the knee in practice.

OL Max Mitchell (Neck)

Mitchell suffered a stinger on Sunday, leaving at about the midway point of the game and replaced by Billy Turner. Stingers are usually temporary and while he may have residual soreness in the area, he should play 

OL Joe Tippmann (Shoulder)

Tippmann appeared on the injury report with a shoulder injury following the Week 14 win over the Texans. Not much is known regarding the specifics of the injury other than he was limited and has no designation for Sunday. 


DL Solomon Thomas (Knee)

Thomas was unable to practice Wednesday due to a knee designation but returned to full practice status Thursday. This may have been a maintenance day as he did have a rather serious knee injury back in 2020 that included an ACL tear.

OL Mekhi Becton (Left Knee)

Becton required constant maintenance for his left knee due to injuries over the last two years. 

RB Breece Hall (Hamstring)

Hall was on the injury report last week with an ankle injury that he ended up playing through. The ankle doesn’t appear to be the main issue, now it’s going back to the hamstring that first appeared before Week 13, he has not missed time for that injury either. 

LB Quincy Williams (Knee)

Williams is still working through a knee injury dating back to Week 9. 

QB Zach Wilson (Knee)

Wilson was a full participant this week due to a knee designation following the win over the Texans. This may be more of a minor injury designation but there are not any concerns heading into Week 15.

Buffalo Bills


DE AJ Epenesa (Left Ribs)

Epenesa sat out all week due to a left-sided rib injury that saw him leave the game early in the first quarter. He suffered his first rib injury on his interception of Patrick Mahomes where he had an offensive lineman fall on him. 

The second instance was his final play where he was twisted down, appearing to aggravate his already damaged trunk.

Considering he is week to week, he highly likely has a rib cartilage injury lower on the left side as that is where he grabbed. The issue is that the cartilage cannot be numbed up like a rib can which makes managing the issue more difficult. It is a pain issue, but an issue that can’t be controlled like other issues. 

He will be out this game, a great chance that he will miss next week and if pain is still limiting him, potentially a third game. 

S Micah Hyde (Neck Stinger)

Hyde was unable to practice all week following his third stinger of the season. Considering he was coming off his cervical fusion last year, this is far more of a concern than with most other players. 

This is far more of a smart play to make sure he is ready for the final stretch. While he will be a big loss in the secondary, it’s not worth further irritating the already injured nerves. His most recent hit saw him extend back and rotate left violently, stressing the brachial plexus.

I’ll reiterate this, his fusion site appears to be ok. If it wasn’t, he’d be shut down. There is a chance that another level is affected due to a herniated disc or stenosis, but most of the hits have been to his shoulder previously. It still seems more realistic that he has more nerve irritation down into the trapezius and shoulder.

The only way to figure out how to correct it further is if there is inflammation, which means he needs to reduce hits to the area, or if there is nerve entrapment which is causing symptoms when he gets hit due to lack of available motion. 

He will likely be able to play next week but the team has to manage his workload to get through the rest of the season. 


QB Josh Allen (Right Shoulder)

Allen continues to require regular treatment on his right AC joint suffered in Week 6. He has not missed any games due to the injury. 

DE Leonard Floyd (Wrist)

Floyd is working through a wrist injury that requires treatment but has not forced him to miss any snaps. This injury first appeared after the bye, suggesting he injured the wrist against the Philadelphia Eagles.

CB Taron Johnson (Ankle)

Johnson was a new addition to the injury report with an ankle designation following the win over Kansas City. I have not found the exact instance where he suffered the injury, but there were several times when he appeared to get injured or come up slowly. 

By the looks of it, he was moving fairly well at practice and just needed more time off it to rest after a physical game. 

TE Dalton Kincaid (Thumb/Shoulder)

Kincaid has been working through a thumb injury the last two weeks dating back to the Eagles game. He added a right shoulder injury when he briefly had to leave the game following a fall to the ground right before the two-minute warning in the second half.

He was limited all week due to the shoulder injury in a non-contact jersey to avoid an aggravation to the healing joint. With some tape and an injection, he will be able to play and may be limited only from a pain perspective. 

TE Dawson Knox (Right Wrist)

Despite Knox getting cleared to return to play last week following his wrist surgery, he still requires regular rehab to ensure there are no setbacks. I expect his usage to slowly climb in the coming weeks as he gets stronger and back into game shape. 


CB Kaiir Elam (Right Ankle)

Details regarding Elam’s injury were finally disclosed on Wednesday due to Nick Sabato’s reporting as seen below.

He injured the deltoid ligament on the inside portion of his right ankle due to getting stepped on during the Steelers preseason game. Looking back, he was never really limited in practice the following week and even played in the final preseason game. 

He went on to state that he could have rehabbed or undergone surgery to repair the area. A deltoid ligament repair would have had a timeline of upwards of three months which could have been compressed significantly for the NFL athlete. I believe Elam made the right decision to avoid surgery.

However, if the injury was so bad that it required surgery, I wonder how he was able to even play in the first place. I believe the injury was real, I believe it impacted his ability to play, but I also believe the injury is an excuse for his subpar play and allowed the team to move him to IR. Despite his questionable designation, he will return to the roster once there is a spot available.

WR Justin Shorter (Hamstring)

Shorter’s practice window opened up on Wednesday, his first action since suffering a hamstring strain in the preseason. His hamstring strain is fully healed by this point and his window is likely to determine how he can get acclimated in the offense. 

He will only be brought up to the active roster in the event of an injury, but the Bills are not forced to activate him if they don’t need him. They can simply place him back on injured reserve without wasting a roster spot. Considering the season is nearly over, it’s good to get him up to speed if he is needed. 

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