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Buffalo Bills injury report: Vernon Butler, Jaquan Johnson out with illness, Star Lotulelei is back

Several players returned from the COVID-19 list

The Buffalo Bills conducted a walkthrough practice on Wednesday ahead of their game with the Atlanta Falcons, and overall the roster’s in a good injury situation at the start of the week. First came the big news that most of Buffalo’s players had returned from the COVID-19 reserve list, likely as a result of updated NFL policies there. Per head coach Sean McDermott, those players were expected to more or less be full participants in the walkthrough, although they’d be monitored throughout the week.

Two players to monitor are Jaquan Johnson and Vernon Butler, who both missed practice with an illness. This may or may not turn out to be COVID; as we saw with the New England Patriots last week, a player could carry through the week with an “illness” on the practice report, only to drop onto the COVID-19 reserve on the weekend. The Bills haven’t really played these games with the list yet (not that they’ve had many opportunities for that).

Emmanuel Sanders was listed as limited with his ongoing knee injury on Wednesday. Sanders played last week and caught two of four targets for 20 yards. He should play again this week, although you can’t blame the Bills if they mix in more of Gabriel Davis and Isaiah McKenzie in the lineup.

Ed Oliver was also limited, with an ankle injury on his part. Oliver had two QB hits and a sack against New England. Hopefully the ankle isn’t enough to keep him from playing down the stretch.

Devin Singletary (ankle), Micah Hyde (forearm), and Jordan Poyer (shoulder) were all listed on the injury report, but as full participants. No worries for those players today.

Not listed on the injury report was Stefon Diggs, who seemed to suffer a shoulder injury against the Patriots. He told reporters today that he heals like Wolverine, so he’s good to go.

Also removed from the practice report was Star Lotulelei. The nose tackle missed most of last week’s practices as well as the Patriots game for undisclosed personal reasons. He’s back in the facility today, although Sean McDermott was cryptic on the subject, saying they’d take Lotulelei “one day at a time.” Another opportunity for Harrison Phillips and Eli Ankou to step up in the interim.