Emmanuel Sanders Position: WR Height/Weight: 5’11″/180 lbs. College: SMU Year joined Bills: 2021 Acquired: Free Agency via Saints
Missed 3 games, suffered Week 1 injury due to a quadricep bruise. Sanders also suffered a right foot fracture in the Super Bowl, which required surgery followed by a left foot fracture also requiring surgery in the offseason.
Missed 0 games, dealt with several injuries including a knee injury in Week 2, shoulder injury Week 13, rib injuries in Week 14, and including a cracked rib in Week 15.
Missed 0 games, dealt with several injuries including a foot injury Week 10, another foot injury Week 14, and a knee injury, specifically a knee sprain in Week 16.
Missed 0 games, dealt with several injuries including a right hamstring strain in the preseason. Suffered a concussion Week 11, hip injury Week 16.
Suffered a right hamstring strain, missed the entire preseason. Missed 1 game total but dealt with a left AC Joint sprain in Week 6. Suffered a left high ankle sprain in Week 10 also sustaining a finger injury in Week 11.
Missed 0 games, did not appear on the injury report.
Yet again, the Buffalo Bills are not ending the season the way we wish, hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Instead, the Bills lost 38-24 to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday evening. To get to championship weekend with a legitimate chance to go play in the Super Bowl is something a large portion of the fan base hasn’t experienced in their lifetime or they are a generation removed. Looking back on this season which includes a 13-3 record, AFC East title, multiple All-Pro/Pro Bowl selections, franchise records, lots of young talent; there’s a lot to look forward to at this stage.
Despite the loss, there didn’t appear to be any notable injuries that would have affected Buffalo in two weeks had they won. Below are the injury observations and early thoughts on the offseason.
WR Cole Beasley (Right calf)
Beasley went down following a catch to move the chains with 6 minutes left, limping off on his right toe to the sidelines. He immediately went to his back and the team began stretching out his calf which kept him out of several plays, most likely dealing with cramping. He returned later in the game, likely sore but finishing the game.
There aren’t any concerns regarding the cramping but noted the only “injury” observed in the game.
Other injury observations:
WR Gabriel Davis (ankle)
Davis was up and down all day prior as to whether he would play. After much consideration, I believed he would not play. The team had activated Kenny Stills from the practice squad for this exact reason yet Davis was a surprise active and Stills sat on the sidelines.
He ended up playing in only 16 plays or 22% of the offensive snaps. He saw only 3 targets without any catches and saw most of his playing time in the 4th quarter. After the game, Sean McDermott defended playing Davis stating the medical staff felt that Davis could play and contribute. He then added in that he wanted to let guys who helped get them to that point play.
Based on the video, it appeared he suffered a right low inversion ankle sprain. However, looking at the replay again, Ravens Marlon Humphrey did land on the other ankle as he fell down, and while it isn’t clear if he injured that ankle, it’s possible that could have been hampering him.
Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s fair to wonder if a healthy Stills possibly didn’t know the playbook as well as Davis did. It’s unfortunate that Davis couldn’t contribute at that point but he was a key member in getting the Bills to the AFC Championship.
WR Cole Beasley (Left fibula fracture)
During locker clean-out day, several members of the Bills were interviewed including Cole Beasley who revealed he suffered a partial fracture of his fibula in Week 16 against the Patriots.
This was certainly a surprising development as everyone knew he was battling through a knee injury, but not to that magnitude. Frankly, if anyone said that they thought that he did that, then either they are Nostradamus or they are lying through their teeth.
I had thought that he was dealing with a meniscal injury based on the mechanism shown on film and the trainer pointing to the lateral knee on the sidelines indicating joint line tenderness. It also initially supported the timeline he went through to get back on the field.
Understanding how he suffered the injury is difficult. He stutter-stepped and then fell down before coming up limping. There was a possibility that he was hit by the Patriots defender going down which could explain the hit to the knee leading to the fracture, but it’s not clear on film. This wasn’t an injury considered as a possibility at the time.
He most likely suffered a partial fibular head fracture as that portion lies right on the outside portion of the knee, hence why the team got away with saying knee on the injury report. They were right, but it was a loose use of the term. This would also support the use of the bracing on the knee during the Colts game to provide support to the area. It is important to note that Beasley was not wearing the brace during the Chiefs game.
According to the literature, these usually occur as the result of a direct blow to the area. An isolated fibular fracture is quite rare and the literature linked indicates there isn’t a lot of research on frequency. There are other ways to break the fibula but those involve more of the distal fibula down towards the ankle and are typically more severe in nature.
Either way, it explains why he slowly got better as he went in the playoffs due to the bone healing. As the fibula is a non-weight-bearing bone, it didn’t necessarily impact function, but more pain and tenderness due to the location. Thankfully, he does not require surgery and should have a full recovery without any possibility of long term issues.
Beasley clearly wanted to win and it showed playing through this injury. It’s something that’s respected but it shouldn’t be an expectation to play through this. He will take a much-deserved break to let all his injuries heal and then get back to training.
QB Josh Allen (General injury overview)
Allen also spoke to the media today more so about the AFC Championship loss, but he did reveal that he doesn’t have any crazy injuries and that he’s feeling pretty good.
He did suffer a left shoulder injury along with injuring his right knee twice along with his ankle during the season. I had thought the shoulder injury was a subluxation which could have led to a labral tear. So based on what we saw back in Week 4, he suffered an AC joint sprain that took roughly 6 weeks to recover from with the bracing and tape.
I’m glad I’m wrong because like Beasley, he doesn’t have to work through rehabilitation in the offseason and can work on his skillset even further. Things could change as exit physicals occur, but this is what is known at the time of publication.
Beasley’s fibular fracture is only the first layer of the onion that will reveal all the injuries various players played through this season. I would expect we see an onslaught of surgeries following the exit physicals this week.
Already noted, Zach Moss has already gone through his Tightrope procedure on his left ankle and should be rehabbing in the coming weeks.
As for the offseason for Banged Up Bills, make sure to check back periodically for injury updates. If the Bills report an injury, update, or surgery, it will be found here. Make sure to check out any podcast appearances, my draft prospect work over at Cover 1, draft selection updates/news over at Buffalo Rumblings, and weekly content over at The Game Day NFL.
Thank you to every single person that read the articles along with interacting on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram. It is impossible to be right all the time and while I would like to be, I still strive to give the most complete answers based on the information currently available. This was the most successful year of Banged Up Bills and I truly appreciate all the interactions and support. This is a ton of fun and I want to continue to provide the best content possible to the best fan base. Thank you and Go Bills!
Will Butler and Davis suit up Sunday? What Chiefs will be effective?
We are on the precipice of a truly historical moment for the Buffalo Bills! One more win and the Buffalo Bills will be crowned AFC Champions and return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 27 years! Not only has it been a long time since the Bills have been this far in the playoffs, but it has also felt like a long week as injury updates come out daily on not only the Bills but the status of Patrick Mahomes and whether he would be cleared from the concussion protocol in time.
Thankfully, at the time of publication, it is one day away from the Bills and Chiefs squaring off for the right to represent the American Football Conference in the Super Bowl. Below are all the injury updates for both the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
WR Gabriel Davis (Right ankle)
It was obvious that Davis injured his ankle missing that touchdown pass early in the 2nd quarter that limited him the remainder of the game. Two DNP’s with a limited practice isn’t ideal either, but it is promising. It looks like a low inversion ankle sprain on video, but it could be more based on examination and video angles available.
It may come down to how much he can run and jump around the field. While he is insanely talented, trying to toe-tap catches and run his routes crisply may make things difficult. Could Kenny Stills play in Davis’s place? Quite possible but he’s only been here a few weeks. Does he have a rapport with Josh Allen? It’s possible the Chiefs could have game-planned for the possibility of Stills knowing that Davis may not play.
I want to lean towards Davis playing, but as an injured rookie, do they put him out there or let a veteran wide receiver that is healthy play? That’s the one thing we don’t know.
DT Vernon Butler (Quadricep)
I had originally thought Butler was dealing with a foot injury in the game, but he appeared later on the injury report with a quadriceps injury. He left the game late in the 3rd quarter, right before Taron Johnson delivered the game-sealing pick-six. It’s not clear when he injured the quadriceps but having two DNP’s and a limited practice isn’t a ringing endorsement that he will play.
A strain can be played through, but the concern is whether he re-injures the quadricep and they do not have a healthy body in his place. Most of the time, a quadricep would require a player to sit out at least one game, but there may not be any next week.
WR Cole Beasley (Left knee)
Beasley re-appears on the injury report Thursday with a knee injury that is likely the same injury he’s been dealing with since Week 16. He was highly productive against the Colts in the Wild Card round but didn’t have much of an impact last week against the Ravens. Considering he was limited Thursday indicates that either he tweaked his knee Wednesday and had to take it easy Thursday, or he tweaked it or took time off at some point during Thursday’s practice. Taking all but one rep or only taking one rep is all the same under the limited designation.
Whatever Beasley is dealing with, he will get it addressed following the season. I had thought if he had sat out against the Colts, he could have been fresher in the next round, but hindsight is 20/20. Ideally, he gets more targets due to taking another week to get healthy.
LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)
Details are still scarce regarding Edmunds hamstring. He played in all the defensive snaps Saturday despite his hamstring designation last week. He practiced in full all week and while is likely not 100%, he’s good enough to continue to go out and perform for another week.
DT Quinton Jefferson (Ankle)
Like Edmunds, Jefferson’s ankle injury was not noticeable on film, playing in 46% of snaps which isn’t too far off his usual production from the season. He has no game designation and I would expect his production to not be affected greatly, though his snap could probably increase if Vernon Butler does not play.
DE Darryl Johnson (knee)
After missing last week with a knee injury, Johnson returns to practice with full participation this week. I still have not been unable to find the specifics of the knee injury from the Colts game and the week off appeared to help him greatly. His availability will make Trent Murphy expendable for this game and having Johnson back on special teams may be a difference-maker come Sunday.
WR Stefon Diggs (Oblique)
The severity of the oblique injury is probably more severe than Diggs and the team has let on, but he continues to produce. I have not observed anything on film that suggests that the oblique is significantly affecting him. Listing the injury may be more of a formality at this point and hopefully the week off in between if the Bills win and make their way down to Tampa.
K Tyler Bass (Right hand)
Bass continues to practice in full dealing with a right-hand injury and wearing at least a brace on the hand. It’s not clear what he is dealing with, but this will not affect his kicking abilities for Sunday.
CHIEFS INJURY REPORT:
LB Willie Gay (Ankle)
Gay is reportedly dealing with a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 17 and is already ruled out. High ankle sprains take some time to come back from and it’s clear that the Chiefs don’t believe he is ready which bodes well for the Bills Sunday.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (left high ankle/hip)
Edwards-Helaire is coming off a left high ankle sprain and hip strain sustained in Week 15. He has been out for an entire month, though only missing 2 games due to the bye week for the number one seed.
While he will not be 100%, having the month off should allow him to come back and be effective enough from the ankle standpoint. Considering that he suffered the hip strain, that should be fully healed by now, but it’s possible that he could be dealing with something greater currently unreported that he will play though. After having as much time off as he did, I fully expect him to play.
WR Sammy Watkins (Calf)
Watkins has missed the last 2 games with a calf injury sustained in the win over Atlanta. At the time, the calf injury was not perceived as being serious and the thought was that he would be back in time for the divisional game.
It stands to reason that he could return to play in this game as the stakes are higher. Calf injuries linger due to the demands of the muscle when pushing the foot down to sprint and jump. It could be quite possible that he re-injures the area during the game too, but I don’t foresee the team holding him out again. We all know when Sammy Watkins is healthy, he’s electric. But when he’s not, his production really suffers. I’d expect he plays as well.
CB Bashaud Breeland (Concussion/shoulder)
The concussion is the more worrisome injury than the shoulder as it has not been clarified that he has passed the protocol. He appeared trending in the right direction with limited practices all week but it may not be known that he passes the protocol until game time. He may be one that misses due to not being cleared.
There aren’t any reports to clarify the status of the foot injury. He was also limited in practice this week and considering Breeland is a true question mark, I would suspect Fenton to play through whatever he is dealing with.
RB Le’veon Bell (Knee)
Bell is reportedly dealing with swelling in his knee that limited him Thursday/Friday and it’s unknown whether he plays. Considering Edwards-Helaire is likely to play which could keep Bell on the inactive list especially the knee injury appeared to get aggravated later in the week. I anticipate he sits this one out considering the Chiefs have Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson for depth.
QB Patrick Mahomes (Concussion/left toe)
I think every single person on social media has had an opinion on the status of Patrick Mahomes this week. It has been mind boggling. I laid out the facts of Mahomes time in the concussion protocol at The Game Day, the previous article at Banged Up Bills, and even detailed at Locked On Bills. I had said on Locked On Bills that it didn’t matter why Patrick Mahomes was in the concussion protocol, he was in there and as a result, he has to successfully navigate the protocol.
He did and we can move past that. His left toe injury will be the biggest concern heading into Sunday’s contest. The injury is detailed above in all of the links. In addition, check out this thread from Erik Turner from Cover 1 using the video to detail how Mahomes was limited with the toe after the injury and how the Bills can game plan against him. Certainly worth the time to read and understand.
QB Jake Fromm
WR Gabriel Davis*
LB Tyrel Dodson
DE Trent Murphy
OL Jordan Devey
TE Tyler Kroft
Practice Squad player
*Kenny Stills to be called up in place of Davis, other call up would be inactive as the team has done in recent weeks.
The Bills can win this one. They really can. I had predicted on Locked on Bills that the Bills would win 28-24. That would cover the spread and take the under according to Pointsbet. The Bills could win this simply because of all the talent missing from the last game. Dawson Knox, Matt Milano, and Harrison Phillips did not play last time. John Brown was injured early in the game and a non-factor. Tre’Davious White was coming off a back injury that forced him to miss the Titans game. Josh Allen was still working through his left shoulder injury sustained in Week 4 against the Raiders.
The Bills are a hot team right now and fairly healthy as detailed above. The Buffalo Bills may very well be the 2020 AFC Champions and could play in Super Bowl 55. This could really happen. Now all we have to do is sit back, wait for kickoff at 6:40 pm on January 24th, 2021, and enjoy the game. Go Bills!
How serious are the injuries from Sunday’s game? What is going on with Patrick Mahomes?
Being a Bills fan all these years, you kept hoping that they’d eventually be good again. Now it’s here, it still doesn’t feel real. It really is a weird feeling that the Buffalo Bills are in the AFC Championship game and one win away from a Super Bowl after beating the Baltimore Ravens 17-3 Saturday night.
They move on to play the Kansas City Chiefs dealing with several minor injuries that are worth looking at prior to Sunday night. However, the huge storyline will be whether Patrick Mahomes will be able to play following entering the concussion protocol Sunday that allowed the Cleveland Browns to almost come back and win. All the Bills injuries and thoughts on Mahomes are below.
DT Vernon Butler (Left foot)
Butler exited the game briefly halfway through the 1st quarter, only observed limping off to the sidelines to get looked at by training staff. Upon video review, it appeared that he had his left foot stepped on during the play.
He left briefly to get it checked out but came back and likely played through pain for a majority of the game. He likely had x-rays to rule out any fractures, but it may be more pain than anything.
According to Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic, Butler didn’t play the entire 4th quarter though that may have been by design rather than injury. It doesn’t appear that he should miss the game but he potentially could be limited in practice this week.
WR Gabriel Davis (Right ankle)
Davis injured his right ankle trying to extend out for a touchdown catch midway through the 2nd quarter. He came up limping and briefly exited the game, eventually designated as questionable with an ankle injury.
Based on video, this could be a low inversion ankle sprain. He may have also jammed his ankle when his forefoot struck the ground. He was at times in obvious discomfort throughout the game and wasn’t as much of a factor for the remainder.
I would expect him to be limited this week but play Sunday. Having the extra day to rest does help things but tape and toughness will help him get through this latest injury.
QB Josh Allen (Right knee/ankle)
Allen once again scared everyone when he went down late in the 3rd quarter, pounding the ground in obvious discomfort. Upon review, he injured his right leg in a similar fashion as to when he injured it in the Chargers game. The stress through his right leg is significantly less compared to the previous injury.
It looks like he stressed the knee more so than the ankle since the foot came up off the turf as he went down. He could be wearing a knee brace again next week or he may not need it. What might have helped was the previous injury to the area giving more flexibility to the tissue as it’s still remodeling and healing.
Allen has played through much worse injuries and thus one won’t change his availability for Sunday.
TE Reggie Gilliam (Left leg)
Gilliam went down on kickoff following the Taron Johnson interception for a touchdown, quickly requiring the attention of trainers upon going down. His left leg was worked out on the field and left once the defense took the field. He missed the next offensive series before returning, lining up as a fullback.
Considering he came back so quickly especially after dealing with a hamstring injury earlier this season, it’s possible he was dealing with some cramping. He was moving without hesitation supporting that this may be the case. I don’t foresee that he shows up on the injury report and I expect that he’s available for Sunday.
Other injury observations:
K Tyler Bass (Right hand)
Bass didn’t get injured but it was noted that he injured his right hand in practice, clarifying the injury report from last week. It looks like a brace on the hand but it didn’t impact his ability to perform. This is really just something to note to clarify to what we already know.
RB Devin Singletary (Hamstring)
There were reports that Singletary was holding his hamstring following his last carry with 2:41 left in the 4th quarter, limping to the sidelines. He did fall down to his right as though he slipped while he tried to make his cut. Looking at the video, there really isn’t much to look at. He is observed walking around post-game without any noticeable limp or requiring any assistance. It is possible that he was also dealing with cramping, but there doesn’t appear to be anything definitive. If he shows up on the injury report, then we at least know when it occurred.
QB Patrick Mahomes (Concussion protocol/toe)
Disclaimer: There is more information that must be known throughout the week and will be updated as needed.
Quite possibly the biggest news story of the NFL playoffs, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes exited the divisional round game to be evaluated for a concussion following getting twisted down by Mack Wilson.
Considering the possibility of a concussion could prevent Mahomes from playing Sunday, this is enormous in terms of whether the Bills can make the Super Bowl. From what we see right now, I have no idea whether he will play Sunday. Below are several statements regarding concussions and concussion protocol to better understand this process.
If someone is evaluated for a concussion but passes, they can return to the game. But if they pass, it doesn’t mean that it is automatic. If the player exhibits something out of character or still shows questionable symptoms, they can be held out as a precaution.
Once Mahomes enters the concussion protocol, he has to still pass through the protocol to be cleared to play. Even if he doesn’t officially have a concussion. This also prevents Mahomes from talking to the media and does allow the Chiefs to keep the Bills on their toes as to whether he will play.
Most concussions take anywhere from 7-10 days but can take significantly longer to recover from based on a variety of factors. If he does not have a concussion, then that could affect his return to play timeline, but we won’t know until he is cleared.
The doctors, medical staff, players, family, team, etc. will not try to game the system in order to get him to play. If he plays, he’s good to go, if he’s not, then he’s not. There’s no gray area with this decision.
We simply need more information on his head injury and see how he responds in practice this week. As for his toe, that’s where things are a little more clear. He injured the left toe when he was swung backwards on his second touchdown of the day, planting his left foot behind him, bending the toe back suddenly. He was quickly evaluated on the sidelines and eventually returned. He is likely dealing with turf toe based on the area the team was looking at and reports coming out.
He may be limited with general mobility, but this won’t affect him as a passer and only really affect him as a runner, though this late in the year, he was going to play no matter what. It also appears mild enough that it’s just another thing to play through.
If this hasn’t already felt like the longest week ever, it certainly is considering this article is being released on Tuesday. Take a deep breath and watch the injury reports this week. I expect the Bills to put whoever they can on the report for gamesmanship. I expect Mahomes to be in concussion protocol all week. Things won’t be clear until Friday/Saturday and even then, there still may be uncertainty. Regardless of who plays and who doesn’t play, the Bills have already and will have to continue to beat extremely talented teams to make it to the Super Bowl and win. Enjoy the moment, it’s been a long wait.
Will Daryl Johnson suit up? Or will he sit this one out after not practicing?
Two playoff games in one season after having two playoff games over the last 20 years. That’s a great sentence to type out! This is certainly a nice change of pace following all those years of subpar football in the Western NY region. While we all want the Bills to roll over everyone to the Super Bowl, we know that is not that easy especially after last week’s nailbiter over the Indianapolis Colts.
This week’s opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, come to Buffalo looking to show that last year’s early exit in the playoffs was a fluke and that they are one of the supreme teams in the AFC. On top of that, they have a relatively healthy roster to contend with. Below are both Buffalo and Baltimore’s respective injuries heading into Saturday night’s game.
DE Darryl Johnson (Knee)
Despite not practicing all week, Johnson has been declared questionable for Saturday’s game. He is dealing with a knee injury that isn’t apparent on film and his playing time has not been noticeably different. According to the injury report this year, no one that has been DNP all week has played in the game later that week.
It is important to note that he also had a knee injury heading into Week 9 which he played through, but details were scarce on the specifics. There is not any more information to come out about his knee and it remains to be seen if he plays. The brief tweet thread was an excellent observation of the previous injury. I have no idea whether there is any correlation, but it is important to reflect back on when details are scarce.
While this is the playoffs, he potentially could suit up, but considering Trent Murphy has been inactive for a significant portion of the season, it would make sense to put Murphy in his place and fill the special team’s slot with someone else. This is the easiest one-for-one swap and if you recall, Murphy shined in last season’s playoff loss to the Texans. He does know how to perform when called upon; this may be his opportunity to shine and potentially find a new home next season.
WR Cole Beasley (Left knee)
Beasley has practiced all this week in a limited fashion and he has said that he is doing much better and should be able to play easier than the Wild Card game. Details regarding what he is dealing with still have not divulged but it’s evident that he will do whatever it takes to play and be available. Fortunately, he does not have a game day designation indicating that he is full go for Saturday.
Based on how he played last week, it wouldn’t surprise me if the 2nd half was more taxing on him like it was last week. Between the pain management strategies and adrenaline for the game, he will play and do what he can contribute to a win.
LB Tremaine Edmunds (Hamstring)
I’m not sure what to make of the hamstring designation Edmunds is dealing with this week. He played in 100% of defensive snaps and 19% of special teams snaps which are usually on defensive field goal attempts or two-point conversions.
Reviewing the film, he didn’t appear limited during the early portions game; this may have occurred on the final drive to end the game as he was sprinting downfield to defend the Hail Mary pass. There isn’t anything to suggest that he did injure the hamstring then, but nothing else on film earlier shows the injury. I have also found that sometimes there are injuries right at the end that don’t get acknowledged due to the timing of everything.
Considering he has been limited all week but full on Thursday, he may have tweaked things and the team is being cautious to allow healing. He does not have a game designation and should perform close to his full abilities. There is always concern for further aggravation of the injury, but it’s the playoffs and he won’t miss this if he can play.
There were some people that did reach out and concerned that he didn’t look good in warm ups from this video from WGR’s Sal Capaccio. Looking at the brief clip, it looks as though he is working through warming his calf muscles through dynamic movement. There is purposeful movement with bouncing on the toes and similar movement from one leg to the next. On top of that, Siran Neal appears to be doing a similar activity, though he is lengthening his stride slightly more than Edmunds. Either way, if Edmunds was that limited that he couldn’t do simple warm up drills, he wouldn’t have been practicing.
DT Justin Zimmer (Groin)
Zimmer appears on the injury report following a groin injury Saturday. His snap counts are in line with what he has done in past games and there was no clear injury available on film.
Unless the groin injury is severe or noted when it occurred, these are hard to detect without some context. Considering he plays roughly 25-30% of defensive snaps, if he suffers a further injury, his snaps can be absorbed by the defensive line rotation with minimal issues. This could be as simple as, there is soreness, it hurts, but once he gets moving, he can play and perform.
DT Ed Oliver (Ankle)
Oliver is another surprise addition to the injury report this week with an ankle injury from Saturday. He played in 100% of snaps and did not show anything on film regarding the injury. He did not have a game day designation and won’t miss the game while being limited in practice.
WR Stefon Diggs (Oblique)
Diggs was questionable for the Wild Card game but had himself a day Saturday indicating that the oblique did not bother him as much as the team led on last week. This is always something to watch but it doesn’t appear that the last game or practice this week aggravated the injury.
K Tyler Bass (Hand)
Bass was a big surprise to the injury report with a hand injury after not having that designation on Tuesday. There was some thought that he injured the hand while performing a tackle late in the 1st quarter. It’s really hard to discern if he did injure the hand while falling to the ground; he led more with his shoulder in taking out the Colts returner.
Even if he broke his hand or there was any significant injury to the area, he could still kick without issue and wear some type of protective bracing. However, he practiced in full the past two days and does not have a game day designation indicating that this is not an issue. It’s also important to note that he did not have a designation Tuesday but appeared Wednesday could indicate that he injured the hand Tuesday. He will still be able to kick and tackle without hesitation come Saturday.
Ravens Injury Report:
CB Marcus Peters (Back)
This may be the biggest injury for the Ravens coming into this game. He played in 100% of snaps last week and there are not any reports of the specifics of the injury. He has dealt with several other injuries including calf and thigh injuries ailments earlier.
He is officially listed as questionable but coach John Harbaugh noted that he expected both him and Matt Judon to play Saturday. Without specifics or video of the back injury, it may be hard to identify where Peters may be limited with his activities. I do expect him to suit up like all the Ravens player’s did last week.
T DJ Fluker (Knee)
Fluker is interesting because he began dealing with this injury in practice prior to Week 17 but played in both the final regular-season game and Wild Card, splitting time with Tyre Phillips. Like the Peters injury, there is little in the way of specifics. He has since been ruled questionable, but considering he’s played the last two weeks and he splits time at the tackle position, I would anticipate that he plays.
LB Matt Judon (Illness)
Outside of COVID, it would take a significant illness to hold any player out of playing due to illness. Considering how important he is to the defense, his loss could be Buffalo’s gain, but I’d expect Judon to still perform and not miss a step. He might require fluids before the game and even during halftime, but I’d expect he’s tougher than the flu.
QB Jake Fromm
TE Tyler Kroft
DE Darryl Johnson
LB Tyrel Dodson
OL Jordan Devey
*There could be the possibility of 7 if practice squad players are called up but declared inactive.
This has the potential to be a low scoring game despite the explosive offenses of both teams. This may come down to who has the ball last and who makes fewer mistakes. The Bills are favored at -2.5 according to PointsBet at the moment. If the Bills come out and play how they did against the Colts, I’d expect a loss. However, we have seen this team rise up to the occasion and defeat more talented opponents this season. It’s clear that everyone wants a win from the Bills, but it will be a stressful game to watch until the very end. Enjoy the moment, the Bills are good and they appear to have the ability to sustain this success.
The Bills lose Zack Moss for the playoffs, how serious is the ankle injury?
The Buffalo Bills have done it!! They have secured a playoff win for the first time since 1995 over the Indianapolis Colts 27-24! While it wasn’t a win that was as dominating as it has been in recent weeks, it’s the playoffs, and blowout wins are far from expected as we saw this weekend.
Coming into the game, the Bills were fairly healthy with only Cole Beasley and Stefon Diggs being the big concerns. Both ended up playing with varying degrees of effectiveness. Beasley led the team in receptions and moved the chains despite playing through obvious pain, Diggs led in receiving yards and added a touchdown.
Fortunately, the Bills ended the game with only one significant injury as they look to prepare for next week against the Baltimore Ravens. Check out the recap below.
T Dion Dawkins (Undisclosed)
Dawkins left the field briefly, going to the locker room early in the 2nd quarter before returning moments later adjusting his equipment. Looking at the video, there doesn’t appear to be anything to note injury-wise on film and he didn’t miss any offensive snaps during the time he was away.
Unless he shows up on the injury report with a designation, this one’s a mystery.
RB Zack Moss (Left ankle)
Moss went down with a rough-looking left ankle injury at the beginning of the 4th quarter, requiring the cart to leave the field. Upon review, his left foot gets caught between a lot of bodies and the ground with his foot turned out. This was a clear mechanism for a likely high ankle sprain and he was in obvious pain. The cart was required to get him off the field and does not always equal severity, but the inability to get to the locker room himself required the use of the cart.
Initial reports that came out after the game indicate that Moss’s postseason may be over but the possibility to return if there is a deep playoff run. This further supported the possible high ankle sprain observed on video. Even with a full week off, it would have been incredibly difficult to even attempt to play through this injury. There is considerable instability and swelling in the ankle and he would have a very difficult time generating force from the ankle/foot complex.
However, reports came out Monday stating that his season was over but that he avoided a major injury according to his agent. There is the possibility that he may require surgery which is indicated for significant high ankle sprains, but no official determination on the intervention has been made yet.
If Moss avoids surgery, he could take roughly 6-8 weeks to return to full health. If he requires surgery, it could take upwards of 6 months but most likely less than that to fully recover. With either timeline, he would still be fully ready for training camp. Based on the damage, he could realistically participate in most of OTA’s with potentially little to no restrictions.
There is the possibility that he could receive the Tightrope procedure that the Alabama Crimson Tide medical staff has popularized, but that hasn’t been generally accepted as a regular surgery in the NFL as of yet. If he does receive this procedure, there is a chance that he could rehabilitate quicker, but this won’t be known unless it is reported.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for Moss and the Bills, but they do have Devin Singletary as the lead back in the interim. They also have TJ Yeldon, Antonio Williams, and even Taiwan Jones as options, though Jones has exclusively been on special teams. They hypothetically could bring in someone from an eliminated team’s practice squad, but to have 4 days to prepare could be a large task. It’s an unfortunate injury, but something the Bills must deal with.
WRCole Beasley (Left knee)
Beasley “toughed it out” to play Saturday with 7 receptions for 57 yards but at times came up clearly limping around. Watching him trying to move the chains posed the question of whether it was worth it for him to suit up to play, but he did. He was mainly a possession receiver, catching the ball and then going down relatively soon after the catch. I did count two plays where he tried to get some extra yardage but he didn’t break any long runs like I suspected that he would have difficulty with.
Unless he injured the knee further Saturday, I would expect that he doesn’t practice all week or is significantly limited except for Thursday and then do it all over again Saturday. It was also noted that he was wearing a brace under his pants to provide extra stability to the joint.
It’s the playoffs, he was going to gut it out in order to do whatever it took to win. That was my only argument as to whether he would play or not. It was evident that he probably would have not played had it been a regular-season game.
There didn’t appear to be any other notable injuries from Saturday’s game but there will likely be some surprises on the injury report. Stefon Diggs was highly effective and the oblique injury he was dealing with did not appear to be a factor at all. This will be an incredibly long week as the Bills prepare to host the Ravens in primetime on Saturday for the right to move to the AFC Championship against the winner of the Chiefs-Browns game. I’d assume the Chiefs would be the opponent, but the way the Browns handled the Steelers Sunday, anything can happen.
We will be watching both the Bills and Ravens injury report this week to identify any possible competitive advantages heading into Saturday.
The playoffs are here! The Buffalo BillsHOST the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday at 1:05 pm. 25 years is a long, long time between playoff football games in Buffalo. While we all can’t be there, the few that can be will represent us well. Regardless of where everyone may be watching the game, it should be an exciting game, and the chance to advance in the playoffs for the first time since 1995 would be surreal.
On top of all the excitement, the Bills are fairly healthy heading into this game, with only several concerns with the wide receiver corps. Below is all the injury concerns heading into Saturday’s game and additionally, a breakdown of the Colts injuries heading into the game.
WR Cole Beasley (left knee)
At least when Sean McDermott says week-to-week, he means it and has been fairly consistent with that phrasing since coming to Buffalo. However, it is unknown whether Beasley will play Saturday after only practicing once in the past two weeks. He was limited during Thursday’s practice and was observed going through light exercise/jogging and stretching, not stressing the knee at all.
There is no video present of running, jumping, or cutting at full speed to indicate how he will perform. While he doesn’t need the practice, it is concerning whether he was available for the offensive game plan installation. I simply don’t know if he plays. On one hand, it’s the playoffs, if you don’t win, you’re done. But does the team want to risk aggravating his injury and losing him for the remainder of the postseason?
If Beasley does play, I would expect he has difficulty running his routes to the right and having to cut on a dime to that direction having to push off the left knee. I would also expect him to have difficulty with jumping and getting yards after the catch to move the chains. In addition, he would be going up against one of the best slot corners in the NFL in Kenny Moore. Going up against a healthy slot corner with Beasley not being 100% makes me question whether it’s worth getting him out there. Can he tough it out and play? Absolutely, but it doesn’t mean it may be the best option.
The team has expressed confidence in Isaiah McKenzie filling in for Beasley if needed. While McKenzie doesn’t do what Beasley can do, he is still healthier which may be more effective in the short term. But it’s the playoffs, Beasley is a competitor, he wants to play, that’s a given. Just whether he is able. I have detailed my thoughts on the possible injuries he is dealing with here. I also went into detail on Locked On Bills with Joe Marino Friday if you’re looking for any more nuggets of information.
What this will come down to is: Does the team believe they can perform without him like they did last week? Or will a less than 100% Beasley be more effective than McKenzie in the slot? If I had a gun to my head, I believe that the Bills can win without Beasley for this week especially against elite competition in the slot defensively, and get a healthier version of him in the divisional round. If he plays, fantastic, if he doesn’t, it may be the right decision in the long run.
WR Stefon Diggs (Oblique)
There was a lot of concern with Diggs’ oblique that popped up on the injury report Tuesday. He was limited Tuesday, did not practice Wednesday, but did have a limited practice on Thursday. He is questionable, but it doesn’t mean that he won’t be dealing with some discomfort. To understand what he is dealing with, read below.
The obliques are a part of the abdominal muscles positioned on the outside portion next to the “six pack” we all know. They are positioned on both sides connecting to the xiphoid process which is the pointed bottom portion of the sternum and connect down to the upper portions of the hip including the iliac crest, the bony portion of where our waists are located and about where most people’s pants sit. All these abdominal muscles make up what is known as the core. These muscles provide protection to the inner organs and function to flex and rotate the trunk. There are internal and external obliques but we would not really be able to identify which obliques he injured nor is it important to this discussion.
Due to not identifying when or which side he suffered this injury on also limits knowing which side is limited. There was a report that he was grabbing at his side during warm-ups but he was still quite effective during the game and only came out after the half. He also did suffer a late hit from Christian Wilkins during the 2nd quarter that resulted in brief worry for a concussion or other injuries such as this oblique injury, but it is not clear that this is when this injury occurred either.
The only other Bills player that has publicly sustained an oblique injury during Sean McDermott’s tenure is former guard John Miller. He suffered an oblique injury against the Jaguars in 2018 and ultimately missed a game. However, Miller did not practice and was ruled out for the game against the Dolphins. Miller was on the offensive line, bending forward, twisting his upper body, and pushing against large humans while staying upright took an immense amount of strength.
Diggs has the ability to avoid taking hits to the area, minimize the need for blocking, and can generally reduce strain on the area due to his position. He may be slightly limited in which way he turns, how he takes a hit, how he fights for extra yards. He does have a lot of pain management interventions available to him from the team and ways to manage this so he can get through the day. He is the main component of the offense and to lose him for Saturday would be a huge loss. However, he has said he’s fine, he’s been limited two out of the three days, I believe he will play and be quite effective.
To gauge an idea of whether Beasley or Diggs plays based on practice reports from this season, check out the tweet below.
G Jon Feliciano (Left knee)
Feliciano appeared on the injury report following his left leg getting rolled up on just prior to the first Bills touchdown of the day Sunday. He came up limping but did not leave the game. The fact that he practiced in full indicated that it was not a big concern and should be ready to go Saturday.
TE Reggie Gilliam (Knee/hamstring)
After missing the last two weeks with knee and hamstring injuries sustained against the Patriots, Gilliam appears ready to make his playoff debut. He practiced in full all week and doesn’t appear to be a question mark heading into Saturday.
WR Isaiah McKenzie (Ankle)
Like Diggs’, this ankle injury was not clear on when it occurred or how severe it is. He also does not have a game day designation which is excellent to see considering he may see increased snaps due to Cole Beasley potentially being out.
His workload may be reduced on special teams with Andre Roberts taking punt and kickoff returns, but McKenzie has clearly shown the ability to be effective when called upon. I doubt that he has any noticeable drop off in play from last week other than a decrease in total touchdowns.
Colts Injury Report:
T Will Holden (Ankle)
While Holden is the backup right tackle, the loss of him leaves the Colts very thin at the tackle position in general. They’ve already lost Anthony Constanzo to season-ending ankle surgery and lost his backup La’Raven Clark to a torn Achilles right after.
They are down to their 3rd string tackle Chaz Green and anyone backing him up will be coming from the practice squad or playing out of position. The Pittsburgh Steelers managed to sack Phillip Rivers 5 times, who is dealing with an injury of his own, so he can be pressured. The Bills could potentially use part of that game plan for success.
CB Rock Ya-Sin (Concussion)
He hasn’t practiced all week due to the concussion and anyone that doesn’t practice prior to a game doesn’t play in nearly every instance I’ve seen. TJ Carrie will replace him at CB2.
DT Deforest Buckner (Ankle)
He originally injured his ankle a few days before Christmas on the 17th, played through it, and has had some great games including a 3-sack performance days after the injury. He either had a high ankle from getting his heel hit or a bad inversion ankle sprain; either or it hasn’t stopped him.
The fact that he is that far out from the original injury and continues to play indicates that he will play Saturday and I would expect that he still gets his numbers.
QB Phillip Rivers (Turf toe)
Rivers has been working through a nasty turf toe injury that will require surgery following the season. Despite the injury, he has still been effective in leading the Colts to the postseason as the 7th seed.
With Rivers continuing to deal with this injury, this could be an opportunity to pressure him in the pocket due to his inability to scramble along with the general immobility he is known for. If the Bills defense can prevent Rivers from hitting his first and second reads, this may allow the Bills to sack and hit Rivers all day. He will already be under pressure due to the left tackle position, his blindside, is manned by Chaz Green, a career journeyman.
CB TJ Carrie (Ankle/shoulder)
Not much is known about Carrie with his respective injuries but he is starting in place of Rock Ya-Sin and according to Joe Marino, he has been a better performer over this season than Ya-Sin. This may only be significant if Carrie goes down with an injury and they lack a backup suitable to keep up with the Bills wide receiver corps.
RB Jonathan Taylor (Shoulder)
Taylor will be playing and look to build off his performance over the Jaguars last week despite dealing with a shoulder injury. There aren’t any specifics regarding what he did and the fact that he doesn’t have a game day designation indicates that he will be ready to go.
S Khari Willis (Concussion)
Willis practiced in full coming off a concussion indicating that he has cleared the protocol and will be available Saturday.
QB Jake Fromm
RB TJ Yeldon
WR Cole Beasley
DE Trent Murphy
TE Tyler Kroft
A Bills playoff game at home where it is supposed to be just above freezing and sunny could work in Buffalo’s favor. They didn’t have to travel, they sleep in their own beds, they are used to the weather here. The Bills are favored at -6.5 which isn’t the biggest line this weekend, but half of the games are expected to be closer in the score.
This will be fun to watch. A talented Buffalo Bills team that is hot entering the playoffs with Pro Bowl and All-Pro talent at multiple positions, a potential MVP at quarterback, and a winning mindset. Despite former Bills quarterback and now Colts head coach Frank Reich returning to town, I don’t believe he brings the magic from “The Comeback” into this game. The Bills should win this one and kicking off a deep playoff run. Enjoy the moment, it’s what we’ve been waiting for the past 25 years!
Just start calling the Buffalo Bills “Rawhide”! Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Rawhide!!! That’s all they seem to do over these past few weeks, Rollin’ over anyone that is in their way, hanging 142 points over the last 3 games on their way to 13-3. This was really a point of emphasis with a 56-26 win over the Miami Dolphins Sunday.
This is simply incredible football that we are watching and it sure is fun! I always had this prevailing thought that they would be good again, but it’s here now and it’s really exciting. To see what this team has done not observed in 30 years and they continue to improve is scary.
On top of that, they enter the postseason with very few injuries after dealing with many around midseason. In fact, they’ve only lost one starter in Cody Ford to a season-ending injury and have weathered many others with their incredible depth. Below are the injuries from Sunday, though it is important to note that the team only reported one injury for the entire day.
CB Taron Johnson (right shoulder)
Johnson appeared to injure his right shoulder while trying to tackle Durham Smythe early in the game and unfortunately hit Matt Milano’s upper right thigh. He was down briefly while trainers assessed him before coming off for part of the first quarter.
Johnson briefly went to the medical tent to be examined before later returning. The fact that he returned to the game rather quickly indicates that there isn’t much going on other than recovering from a hard hit. He certainly could have had his neck jarred or had the wind knocked out of him, but there doesn’t appear to be any long term concerns for Saturday.
LB Matt Milano (upper right thigh)
Milano got hit on the upper right thigh area tackling Durham Smythe before fellow teammate Taron Johnson hit him with his right shoulder. Milano was walking gingerly briefly before returning for the next play.
He didn’t miss time, he will probably be sore, but there doesn’t appear to be anything limiting him for the playoff game. Just a hard hit that’s part of football.
G Jon Feliciano (left knee)
Feliciano briefly limped around early in the 2nd quarter following a routine running play in the red zone. He continued his block as Zack Moss passed him and as the play began to end, a Dolphins defender rolled into the outside portion of his left leg, knocking him over.
He did not miss any snaps for the remainder of the drive which resulted in the Bills first touchdown of the day. Like all the other injuries, this doesn’t appear to be much of anything to be concerned about for Saturday.
S Siran Neal (concussion check)
Neal briefly left the game following a knee to the head while trying to tackle DeVante Parker late in the 3rd quarter. The team assessed him for a concussion due to the hit by using his head to take out Parker’s left leg and initially requiring the training staff to meet him on the field. Fortunately, he returned 5 minutes later and resumed playing without missing a beat.
The only other concern was when Stefon Diggs got hit from behind after he had already slid down midway through the 2nd quarter. Christian Wilkins came in late and hit Diggs on the back of the head, momentarily causing concern for a concussion. Thankfully, Diggs popped right back up and was also able to draw an unnecessary roughness call on Wilkins to continue the drive.
The Bills did sit some starters and played others through the half which fortunately did not cause any injuries. This also allowed them to keep focused and in their routine for the playoffs.
Overall, this injury report should look pretty clean heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Colts. I expect Cole Beasley and Reggie Gilliam to be on the report with their respective injuries with a close eye on Beasley’s participation availability. Slight chance that Johnson and Feliciano make an appearance, but I don’t see their injuries being significant. Of course, there’s always surprises too.
It’s the playoffs, Beasley has a chance to play. His practice participation will likely dictate whether he does. The team has indicated that Isaiah McKenzie can fill in for Beasley in the slot which may allow Beasley to get another week off which would be beneficial if it is indeed a meniscal tear of quadricep strain as I had speculated before.
This will be a short week practice wise and much more will be known by Thursday. Enjoy the week Bills Mafia, this is what we’ve dreamed of for years.
Top Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta/BillsWire-USA Today