The Bills’ injury report for the all-important contest against the Raiders in Oakland on Sunday is a lot longer than anybody would like it to be, and it includes plenty of starters on both sides of the ball.
Right off the bat, the team ruled out Ronald Darby (concussion), Percy Harvin (migraines), and Robert Woods (knee). None of the three players practiced all week; Woods is expected to miss at least one more game, and could be out for the remainder of the season. Darby left last week’s win over the Jaguars early and remains in the concussion protocol, while Harvin began experiencing migraines in the middle of last week and has yet to return to the practice field.
Two other key Bills who have missed most of the season are questionable. Sammy Watkins was pulled prior to practice on Wednesday when he experienced soreness in his foot, and has been limited the last two days. As always, it’s really hard to say where his foot is on the recovery spectrum, but even in a limited role against Jacksonville he proved effective. For what it’s worth, Rex Ryan is saying that Watkins will play on Sunday. The team’s nominal third receiver, Marquise Goodwin, is also questionable with a wrist injury he suffered in practice yesterday. The team activated Dez Lewis off the practice squad this week for insurance at the receiver position, and they’ll probably need it considering how many hobbled players they have on the outside.
Meanwhile, Marcell Dareus has been limited all week with the abdominal injury he suffered during the win, and could also be limited against the Raiders. His backup, Corbin Bryant, has been placed on IR, so expect Jerel Worthy to see a fair amount of activity this week.
On the offensive line, things are approaching bleak in a hurry. Three starters are questionable this week, including a new back injury for left tackle Cordy Glenn that kept him out of practice on Wednesday. Guards Richie Incognio (neck) and John Miller (shoulder) have been limited all week. Unfortunately, the top reserve at guard, Ryan Groy, is now the starting center after Eric Wood was placed on IR a few weeks ago. The team hasn’t signed any interior linemen to fill in, so it’s likely that one or both of them will play, but expect Patrick Lewis to be ready to go, either at guard or at center to allow Groy to shift over. Cyrus Kouandjio could also make an appearance, either at guard or at left tackle if Glenn can’t go.
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), tight end Charles Clay (knee), and safety James Ihedigbo (ankle) all missed practice on Wednesday and were limited the rest of the week. Ihedigbo, who made his first start for the Bills on Sunday, is particularly troubling given their lack of depth at the position. Another recent safety addition, Sergio Brown (hamstring) is also questionable. Any limitations at the position would give way to more action from Corey White or Jonathan Meeks, both of whom had rough outings against Blake Bortles and the Jags passing “attack” on Sunday.
Running back Mike Gillislee (hamstring) is questionable after missing last week’s game. He’s been limited in practice all week, and could play on Sunday, especially considering the fact that even his normal workload is fairly limited. Rookie Jonathan Williams had a nice fourth-down pickup at the end of the first half against Jacksonville, and could see playing time in line with the 15 snaps he played in against Oakland.
Finally, to end on a somewhat lighter note, two key Bills on the injury report really don’t need to be there. Zach Brown (hand) and Tyrod Taylor (groin) were listed as full participants all week and don’t have an injury designation. This might be the mist diluted version of the old “probable” designation, but their appearance at all is confusing. No worries, though, since both will obviously be full-go for the Raiders.