Circle the wagons, the Buffalo Bills are on a roll! Fresh off a 31-10 dismantling of the 10-3 Dallas Cowboys, the Bills move to 8-6 and firmly remain in the playoff hunt.
The Bills need to continue to take care of their own business while the rest of the AFC plays out as we inch closer to the end of the regular season. Injuries continue to sink some teams, cast doubt into others, and yet others rally in spite. The Bills continue to suffer their own injuries but manage to avoid most of the big issues that they dealt with earlier this season.
Read below for all the injuries coming out of Sunday’s game and concerns moving forward.
P Sam Martin (Right Knee)
Martin limped to the sidelines following the roughing the punter penalty late in the first quarter. This came after hitting his right knee in the air with a Dallas defender. There isn’t much of a mechanism for injury for either in the air or even when the right knee hits the ground. Fortunately, his left knee takes the brunt of the fall with the right knee hitting moments later.
He was briefly checked out by trainers before being cleared to return. He did not miss any time as he was able to continue holding for field goals and only had to punt once more late in the game. There may be more pain than an outright injury, but it would not surprise me if he is on the injury report as a precaution this week.
RB Ty Johnson (Right Shoulder)
Johnson grabbed at the front of his right shoulder after a punishing run early in the second quarter, colliding with a Cowboys defender. Once he got up, his arm appeared to be hanging off to the side before he underwent a further assessment from the training staff.
He later went into the locker room and was initially questionable to return. Fortunately, he did return and didn’t miss a beat on special teams and even got more work on offense. The mechanism for injury suggested an AC joint sprain but it also could have been a stinger based on how quickly he returned and was effective.
He did go in for x-rays after the game and had a shoulder designation in the game, but this was to likely rule out any other damage. The x-ray would only show bony issues and would not show any nerve related condition. I expect him to be on the injury report this week but he has the chance to not miss any playing time. Right now, things are leaning towards an AC joint sprain.
LB Leonard Floyd (Left Ribs)
Floyd briefly had to exit the game after taking a brutal shot to his left flank early in the second quarter below.
He played in only 53 percent of defensive snaps but this is on the lower end of what he typically plays, give or take a few snaps. Due to the fact he could not brace against the hit from the running back, there is a good chance that these are bruised ribs. Hopefully there is not any underlying damage heading into next week.
WR Trent Sherfield (Right Heel)
Sherfield didn’t have to leave the game for this injury, but below shows that he had his right heel stepped on during the James Cook run to the red zone late in the second quarter.
Once again, more of a pain versus injury, but something to note if he shows up on the injury report later.
OT Spencer Brown (Right Finger)
Brown suffered a right index or middle finger injury early in the third quarter as seen below.
It’s hard to see how he injured the finger as his back was to the broadcast view, but it looks as though his finger got crunched in the pile. Considering he has his index and middle finger taped together, it’s possible both were injured.
He did undergo x-rays after the game and he later downplayed the injury when speaking to reporters. We will need more information as to whether there is a fracture, but if it’s not displaced and needs surgery, he could reasonably play through the injury. He was able to play through the game not missing snaps with suggests he may be ok.
DT Jordan Phillips (Right Wrist)
Phillips left the game with a right wrist injury late in the third quarter after sacking Dak Prescott below.
It wasn’t clear initially how Phillips injured his wrist, but on replay, it shows his wrist fully extended slam into Terence Steele’s buttocks, knocking him down.
On Monday, Sean McDermott announced that Phillips underwent wrist surgery and is officially week-to-week.
Based on the need for immediate surgery, this suggests something was displaced or unstable such as a fracture or dislocation. Considering all the structures in the wrist and possible injuries, it’s difficult to determine a true return to play timeline.
We should get more information in the coming days.
WR Stefon Diggs (Equipment)
Diggs briefly left the game due to what appeared to be an equipment issue early in the game. He had to go into the medical tent and then missed the first snap of the second offensive series before returning.
According to the astute observation above, it appeared as though he had his visor removed as it was raining. Even though it was not an injury, people notice these things and it’s important to follow up when able.
LB Matt Milano (Right Knee)
Milano was spotted on the sidelines for what I believe was the first time since his injury. While this is incredibly encouraging as he is down there to support his teammates, we can gather a few things just from his presence yesterday.
- No visible crutches, this means he is full weight bearing and remains on track in his rehab.
- He is jumping around slightly which further supports the weight bearing and suggests that he may be slightly ahead of schedule if he can jump on it slightly without pain or irritating the area.
- He is healthy enough to be on the sidelines to move in the event of a collision.
This does not mean that he will return soon, but there is precedent that other players with a similar injury have returned as mentioned in the article below. If the Bills make the playoffs, we could see a scenario where things are progressing along enough that Milano opens his practice window. We would have to treat this like the Micah Hyde situation last year.
DT DaQuan Jones (Right Pectoral), DE AJ Epenesa (Left Ribs), S Micah Hyde (Neck Stinger)
The Bills are stacking badly needed wins as they inch towards the playoffs. They still got some work to do but if they take care of their own business, then they have the best shot to make the postseason. The next two weeks should be easier sledding with the Chargers and Patriots, but they still need to take care of business to set themselves up for a potential AFC East divisional crown in Week 18 against the Miami Dolphins.
Top Photo Credit: FOX Sports