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Buffalo Bills injury report: Quinton Jefferson, Vernon Butler miss practice

The Bills aren’t anywhere near full strength.

On Thursday’s injury report before their game with the New England Patriots, the Buffalo Bills are still dealing with a slew of injuries up and down their roster. At the same time that some position groups improved, others are still in trouble.

Two defensive tackles, Vernon Butler (groin) and Quinton Jefferson (knee), both missed practice on Thursday. It’s not a good sign, after both were limited participants on Wednesday. If they can’t play, it’s a big-time redemption opportunity for Harrison Phillips, a healthy scratch each of the last two weeks. Jerry Hughes (foot) didn’t practice Wednesday, but was a limited participant on Thursday.

By now you’ve probably heard the news that Micah Hyde is in the concussion protocol—likely suffered after his huge hit at the end of Sunday’s game. He still hasn’t rejoined practice, and it would be doubtful to see him play at this point.

Last week Buffalo’s cornerback room was a ghost town, thanks to injuries with its top three starters. The situation’s a bit better this week—Tre’Davious White is healthy, and Levi Wallace is on the path to activation from Injured Reserve—but Josh Norman (hamstring) hasn’t practiced this week, and isn’t expected to play. Cam Lewis (wrist) has practiced this week, but with a cast on his wrist.

On the offensive line, Cody Ford (knee) hasn’t practiced yet, and Brian Winters (knee) was a limited participant on Wednesday and Thursday. The good news is that Jon Feliciano is healthy and raring to go. But who will play the other guard spot? Winters? Ike Boettger? Ryan Bates, even?

Matt Milano (pectoral) did play in some reps against the New York Jets, but he’s still limited in practice. The injury takes careful management, and he was wearing a red no-contact jersey on Thursday. Isaiah McKenzie (ankle) also was a limited practice participant so far this week.

The Buffalo Bills’ tight end group, who were placed on the COVID-19 reserve list last weekend, still haven’t been activated from the list. We don’t have any visibility to how close they are to returning, but it’s now been five days since they joined the list (and don’t forget that Dawson Knox, patient zero here, was dealing with a calf injury before the diagnosis). Luckily, Tyler Kroft and Reggie Gilliam are still present and healthy.

We’ll part with some good news: John Brown (knee) has been a full participant both days of practice. When he’s been healthy, Josh Allen has played like an MVP this year. Allen, by the way, is still listed on Buffalo’s injury report with the shoulder injury he suffered a month ago, although he keeps getting marked as a Full participant every day. That’s a bit peculiar.