When the Buffalo Bills travel to New Jersey to take on the New York Jets this weekend, there is a sliver of hope that their rookie quarterback will be able to play. Josh Allen, who has missed the last three games due to an elbow sprain he suffered against the Houston Texans, is trending towards a return.
Head coach Sean McDermott said that Allen is “progressing well with his elbow,” and even discussed the workload his rookie quarterback has taken on over the last few days. Allen has begun throwing as part of his rehab, even progressing as far as throwing “100 balls this morning,” McDermott said. According to the head coach, that number represents approximately a full practice workload.
While McDermott is aware of the perception that resting Allen through the bye week, which comes after Buffalo’s game against the Jets, would be the best move, he said he is going to rely heavily on the team’s doctors to make any decision about allowing Allen to return to the lineup. When discussing the injury, McDermott said that “everything happens for a reason,” and Allen has made the most of his time on the sideline while injured. McDermott said that you never want to take valuable reps away from a young player, but Allen has been able to take a step back and continue learning while he has been sidelined.
Also of note regarding the quarterback pecking order was a status update on Derek Anderson. McDermott said that the veteran remains in concussion protocol, and if he is able to play, but Allen is still not ready, then it will be Anderson, not Nathan Peterman, starting against the Jets. The veteran has surpassed Peterman on the depth chart, although his status for Sunday’s game remains as up in the air as Allen’s.
If neither Allen nor Anderson is ready to go, McDermott did say that Peterman would start over Matt Barkley, although he was not as decisive as he was when asked about choosing between Anderson and Peterman. When asked if Peterman would start over Barkley, McDermott said, “That would be correct at this point and time, yes.”
In other injury news, McDermott said that Tremaine Edmunds, like Anderson, remains in the concussion protocol after missing last week’s game due to the heady injury he suffered against the New England Patriots. Trent Murphy is week-to-week with the knee injury that has sidelined him for the past two contests. Charles Clay injured his hamstring against the Chicago Bears, and McDermott said that the veteran tight end is week-to-week, meaning that he is unlikely to play against New York this Sunday. Logan Thomas and Jason Croom combined to catch 10 passes for 76 yards on 13 targets in Clay’s absence, and if the veteran misses more time, it will allow both young players extended auditions in a more prominent role.
Chris Ivory suffered a shoulder sprain against the Bears, and he was sent to Erie County Hospital after the game as a precaution. McDermott said that the coaching staff wanted to make sure that there was nothing more seriously wrong with Ivory given the symptoms he was reporting. The veteran running back is considered day-to-day.