Mixed news on the injury front for the Buffalo Bills as they put the finishing touches on their game plan for their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
Before practice on Friday, head coach Sean McDermott meets the media and updated the status of several players on what has been a comprehensive injury list for the Bills over the past two weeks.
It’s no surprise McDermott said cornerback Christian Benford, who had surgery on his fractured hand earlier this week, won’t be available for Sunday’s game. McDermott also said defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who is struggling with a hamstring injury he sustained in Buffalo’s home opener against the Tennessee Titans, will be out for the second straight game.
Wide receiver Jake Kumerow suffered an ankle injury Sunday when the Bills fell to the Miami Dolphins in a battle for first place in the AFC East. Kumerow was then listed with a sprained ankle, and so far this season Buffalo has been cautious with the other two players – wide receiver Gabe Davis and defensive tackle Ed Oliver – who have suffered ankle injuries. . As expected, McDermott said Kumerow won’t be active this week against the Ravens.
“They want to be there, but sometimes you have to hold them back because they can’t protect themselves or because they can’t do their job.” McDermott said he knows all of his guys want to be on the court, but there’s more to it than just emotions. “There’s a lot of communication that needs to happen there, and it needs to be precise. It’s the sweet spot, and it’s hard to get to.
The Bills have a lot of players that McDermott listed on a day-to-day basis and said practice today will say a lot about who gets dressed on Sunday.
Gabe Davis, the third-year wide receiver who was expected to have a breakout year this season, injured his ankle in Week 2 practice and has been fighting to get back into the lineup ever since. While active against Miami, Davis was still on the limited practice roster on Wednesday and non-participating on Thursday.
“I don’t know if you would call it a setback from a medical standpoint,” McDermott said of Davis’ status. “He just made it worse and we gave it a day.”
McDermott said Davis was one of a long list of players whose status for Sunday was yet to be determined. Also on that list are safety Jordan Poyer (foot), Ed Oliver (ankle), center Mitch Morse (elbow), tight end Dawson Knox (back/hip), newly signed offensive lineman Justin Murray (foot ) and Dane Jackson (neck).
Jackson was injured in Buffalo’s game on Monday night and suffered a very frightening neck injury. He was taken directly from the field to a nearby hospital by ambulance for evaluation.
With the league’s emphasis on concussion protocols and player safety, Jackson’s thorough evaluation showed the injury was not head and/or brain related, but rather an injury. neck muscle.
After sitting out Week 3, Jackson is back in practice this week and, good news for Buffalo, was out of the red jersey with no contact at the start of Friday’s practice.
Very encouraging show during Fast Friday #Invoices practice.
Dane Jackson comes out of the red jersey without contact.
Sean McDermott said earlier his status for Sunday was still up in the air. pic.twitter.com/pB8AkLOadM
—Jon Scott (@JonScottTV) September 30, 2022
In another hit for a defense that may have had as many hits as they’ve already given up this season, McDermott said he doubts newcomer cornerback Xavier Rhodes is ready for sunday.
Rhodes, an All-Pro cornerback with Pro Bowl experience, was signed to the Bills’ practice squad earlier this week in what appeared to be an attempt to gain roster experience. depth at this position. While Tre’Davious White was still coming back from last season’s torn ACL, Jackson’s uncertain return and now Benford’s surgically repaired broken hand, Buffalo was lacking in cornerbacks.
However, McDermott said today that Rhodes has a hamstring injury and is unlikely to move to the active roster on Sunday.
Buffalo’s offensive line is still a question mark for Sunday. Not only is Morse daily, but Ryan Bates is still in concussion protocol and Tommy Doyle was placed on season-ending injury reserve with torn ACL after Monday night’s game.
“He was our last lineman we had,” McDermott said. He knew Doyle had hurt his leg in the game, but the lineman told him it was nothing and it wasn’t until he heard from the coaching staff on Tuesday that he knew the extent of the versatile lineman’s injury. “It was kind of an unreal situation. It shows you how tough Tommy is. I appreciate him, he played despite everything.
When asked what the team would do if Bates and/or Morse weren’t available on Sunday, McDermott said the team will have to rely on the positional flexibility of its remaining healthy players.
The Bills head coach said they have players with experience in more than one position and they spend time in training camp working to be versatile and flexible throughout the game. line.
With so many players still wondering if they’ll be in uniform on Sunday, today’s practice could be one of the most important of the season. The daily is excellent news, except when there is only one day left before departure.