The Buffalo Bills haven’t reached “season in jeopardy” levels of injury yet, but they’re staring down the precipice heading into Week 7’s game against the New York Jets. A whopping five players have been ruled out of the game already, and three more are questionable to play. Even more horrifying, the Bills only have a single healthy cornerback on their active roster: Taron Johnson.
Starter Levi Wallace is still on injured reserve for at least another week, but we’ll lead with Tre’Davious White (back). The nagging issue forced him to miss the game against the Titans, and while he started the week on the right note, a limited practice on Thursday and a missed practice on Friday put him in jeopardy. Then there’s Josh Norman (hamstring)—yep, he re-aggravated the injury that already flared up twice this year, and was declared out of this game. Cam Lewis, who essentially has a club cast on his arm, is questionable to play, but the team might not have a choice. Expect them to promote Dane Jackson and Lafayette Pitts from the practice squad, and use Siran Neal and a safety or two (hell, maybe even Isaiah McKenzie) in relief.
The worst part is that those cornerback injuries (a hamstring, a back, a wrist in a cast) aren’t exactly the kind that clear up with a week of inactivity. They’ll keep nagging for a while.
Moving on, John Brown (knee), Cody Ford (knee), and Dawson Knox (calf) are all out. That’s three offensive starters, all of whom didn’t practice all week. Offensive guard Jon Feliciano hasn’t been activated from injured reserve, and if he doesn’t play this week, the Bills will start Ike Boettger at left guard.
Linebacker Tyrel Dodson (hamstring) didn’t practice either, and he’s out this week. Where’s Matt Milano (pectoral)? He was a limited participant, and is questionable to play. He didn’t make it on Monday, and if he can’t play this week, the Bills have exactly three “healthy” linebackers: Tremaine Edmunds (who is nursing his own shoulder injury), A.J. Klein, and Tyler Matakevich.
In one regard, the Bills should be thankful that their injury situation came to a head before playing the 0-7 Jets. On the other hand, there couldn’t possibly be a better matchup for Jamison Crowder in Sam Darnold’s return from injury. And while the Bills shredded the Jets defense in Week 1, it won’t be so easy without Brown, Ford, and Knox. In many ways, this is a can’t-lose game for the team—but their path is a lot rockier than it looked on Monday.