When the Buffalo Bills host the Houston Texans on Sunday, two starters won’t be able to play. Safety Jordan Poyer, who suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of the team’s previous game, hasn’t been able to practice all week. And left guard Jon Feliciano won’t be available after suffering a concussion during practice on Wednesday. Speaking to WGR 550 on Friday morning, head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that neither player would be available. In addition, cornerback Taron Johnson (groin) and defensive end Efe Obada (ankle) are both questionable.
With Poyer unavailable, expect Jaquan Johnson to step into his first career start. The third-year pro has played sparingly on defense so far in his career, but he’s a special teams mainstay. His most memorable play didn’t actually count—an interception in his rookie season that was called back because of a teammate’s penalty. Johnson doesn’t exactly face a murderer’s row in the Texans, but it’ll be a major milestone for the young safety.
Replacing Feliciano in the lineup will be Ike Boettger. Last season, Boettger started at left guard down the stretch, but he was replacing Cody Ford. With Ford and Feliciano playing on opposite sides this year, it’s probable but not certain for Ford to remain at right guard this weekend. For depth, the Bills don’t have access to rookie Jack Anderson (who was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles), but Jamil Douglas is on the practice squad, available for promotion.
Efe Obada’s absence won’t be too noteworthy, since he’s already been a healthy scratch this season, and the team still has Boogie Basham waiting in the wings. For Johnson, though, it would be tough to see the team play without him. He’s been one of the best players on the defense this year. Cam Lewis, a potential practice-squad promotion, would probably be the next man up.