When the Buffalo Bills host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, it appears that the team will be quite a bit healthier than it was during its last game. The bye week clearly came at a good time for Buffalo.
Quarterback Josh Allen, who sprained his elbow in a 20-13 loss against the Houston Texans in Week 6, practiced in full on Wednesday. Any worries about his arm strength were alleviated by an unnamed receiver’s remark, as it appears that the flame-throwing rookie is fully recovered from the injury that sidelined him for 4 whole games, as well as most of the second half of the Houston game.
Linebacker Matt Milano, who suffered a concussion during Buffalo’s 41-10 thrashing of the New York Jets, has cleared concussion protocol. He also practiced in full, which bodes well for him moving forward. The team looks like it might have another starter on defense return, as defensive end Trent Murphy (knee) was able to practice in a limited fashion. He has not played since Buffalo’s 37-5 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
Another injured Bill who missed a game, running back Chris Ivory, was also able to practice in full. His shoulder injury during Buffalo’s blowout loss against the Chicago Bears led to a precautionary hospital trip, and it also sidelined him in what would have been his return to MetLife Stadium. It appears that the Bills will have their full stable of rushers against the Jaguars this week.
Not all of the injury news was positive, however. Defensive end Shaq Lawson did not practice due to an elbow injury, and tight end Charles Clay was only able to practice in a limited fashion. Lawson played 73% of Buffalo’s defensive snaps against the Jets, so if he cannot go, the team is going to have to hope that Murphy is ready to assume a larger role. Otherwise, Eddie Yarbrough and Lorenzo Alexander will be asked to play far more snaps than normal. Clay did not play at all against the Jets, and while his inability to practice in full is concerning, it could very well be the team easing him back into work after the bye. Hamstring issues are tricky, so his status will be worth monitoring on Friday.
Cornerback Taron Johnson was limited in practice due to a recurrent shoulder injury that he’s dealt with nearly all season. Quarterback Derek Anderson has yet to clear concussion protocol, but he is working out in non-contact drills. Center Russell Bodine rounds out the injury list, as he was only able to log a limited practice due to a shoulder injury.