Another day down, another injury report released! November has not been a great month for the Buffalo Bills. Three straight losses have brought the Bills back down to earth and exposed flaws once thought hidden by the defense. Sunday’s upcoming game against the Chiefs doesn’t make anything easier especially with their recent signing of CB Darrelle Revis. However, the Bills continue to avoid major injury and key players have better injury outlooks than initially thought.
First up on the injury report with did not practice is WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee), OT Dion Dawkins (illness), OT Cordy Glenn (foot/ankle), and G John Miller (ankle). Out of these players, Dawkins is not of concern as he may have the flu. He may be limited but could still play if needed. Glenn continues to deal with his chronic issue and there is no timeline of whether he will be able to play. Miller continues to be hampered with an ankle injury, but as he has not been activated for most of this season; he continues to be a non-factor.
Benjamin is considered “day-to-day” according to McDermott in today’s press conference. As expected, McDermott gives little information other than what is required. Due to the impact during the injury, he may have a bone bruise or a mild sprain. An MRI would demonstrate no significant damage but would still show Grade 1 sprains which are relatively inconsequential. Based on the hit he sustained Sunday, I am still fairly confident that he will be at best questionable for Sunday and learning towards missing the next game.
Those limited in practice were TE Charles Clay (knee), K Stephen Hauschka (right hip), WR Jordan Matthews (knee), WR Deonte Thompson (ankle), and RB Mike Tolbert (hamstring). Clay is still dealing with his original knee injury from October and if he wasn’t pressed to help the offense, probably would have benefited from the extra time to recover as I originally stated. I suspect he is still dealing with some swelling and pain due to the high demands of the position. His play supported the decision to return but he may still not be at 100%. He did have an impact being out on the field Sunday and was a vital cog despite the low offensive output.
Hauschka is still dealing with his right hip injury which is described as soreness. It appeared he was able to perform all his kicking duties without compensation and this should not change Sunday’s outlook. It is unknown what Matthews is dealing with in his knee, but as he missed last game and was limited after today’s practice, this is a positive sign. It was mentioned in the past he has dealt with tendonitis which is still a possibility, but may have also been a mild knee sprain. Having Matthews back in the lineup if Benjamin is unable to suit up with gives QB Tyrod Taylor another weapon he is more comfortable with.
Thompson is limited with an ankle that was rolled up on attempting to catch a pass and was able to limp off. I anticipate that he will play Sunday with a heavily taped ankle and some good painkillers. Tolbert continues to be hampered by a hamstring injury sustained in the Saints game. However, with the performance of RB Tarvaris Cadet backing up RB LeSean McCoy, this may allow Tolbert to rest another week to ensure a full recovery.
Finally, those dealing with injury but able to practice in full include WR Andre Holmes (ankle) and S Micah Hyde (knee). This is promising as there was concern that Hyde would be limited following injury his knee during a tackle late in the game. Practicing in full indicates that these injuries are not worrisome and should not affect performance for Sunday.
One interesting note, typically Wednesday’s are reserved for veteran rest days and there were none listed. It may be possible that the veteran’s didn’t require a rest day or that McDermott wants to push these guys extra to shore up the weaknesses seen over the past several weeks. Either way, none of the injuries are severe, none are key losses which includes Benjamin as Tyrod has not built up the consistency that he has with his other receivers.
If this team has a playoff push in them, they have to win this next game in the always hostile Arrowhead Stadium and continue to stay relatively healthy. This roster is not snake bitten and if some of the flaws can be reduced, this team can play at a higher level than what we have seen. As Bills fans know, we continue to remain eternally optimistic and frequently let down. Things will change though; probably not this season, but this mediocrity has to end at some point.
Continue to check back for breaking news and game day updates/assessments by following me at @kyletrimble88 on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading and GO BILLS!!