The No. 5 seed Buffalo Bills (10-6) could be without the services of four key starters during Saturday’s Wild Card match-up with the No. 4 seed Houston Texans (10-6).
In Thursday’s injury report, the Bills listed defensive end Shaq Lawson (hamstring), tackle Ty Nsekhe (ankle), wide receiver/return man Andre Roberts (foot), and cornerback Levi Wallace (ankle) as questionable for the showdown with the Texans.
Each of those players were limited during Thursday’s practice session.
Wallace, who starts at cornerback opposite Pro Bowl selection Tre’Davious White, returned to practice in a limited capacity after suffering an ankle injury during a Week 17 loss to the New York Jets. Wallace’s presence on the practice field Wednesday and again Thursday was encouraging for his chances of returning to action Saturday against the Texans, who boast play-making wideouts DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller.
If Wallace is unable to play, Kevin Johnson, the former Texan, would start in his place.
Fuller, who injured his groin in Week 16, is expected to be a game-time decision, according to head coach Bill O’Brien. Fuller’s presence greatly adds to a dangerous Texans offense: with both Fuller and Hopkins on the field, Houston averages 296.8 passing yards per game while converting nearly 52 percent of its third-down attempts. Without Fuller, Houston averages only 158.3 passing yards per game while converting 32.9 percent of its third-down attempts.
Lawson, who has been a limited participant in practice all week, is also questionable with his hamstring injury, but Bills fans shouldn’t worry too much about Lawson’s ability to suit up Saturday; he told reporters earlier in the week that he expects to play in the Wild Card game.
Nsekhe, the starting right tackle who returned Sunday from a five-week absence only to re-injure his ankle, and Roberts, the dynamic return man and receiver, were also limited in practice on Thursday. Their status is also questionable for Saturday.
The Bills and Texans play at 4:35 p.m. Saturday at NRG Stadium in the first of four Wild Card clashes this weekend.