The Buffalo Bills were able to run out the clock with ease in a 29-15 win over the Atlanta Falcons, but the afternoon was marred by a late-game injury to offensive lineman Ryan Bates. Bates, starting his second game of the year and helping the team pile up 233 rushing yards on the day, had to be replaced in the lineup with 3:21 left in the game.
According to Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Bates is “day-to-day” with a knee injury. That’s great news, all things considered. It means Bates has a chance to play in the season finale if his practice week goes well, and he should be available for the playoffs.
For what feels like the ninth time this year, the Bills have a strategic decision looming on the offensive line. Jon Feliciano, long removed from his calf injury and active off the COVID-19 list, is available. He was the starting left guard at the beginning of the year. But in the last two weeks, with Bates in the lineup, the Bills ran for 347 yards, scored eight touchdowns, and didn’t give up a QB sack. The Bills could also turn to Cody Ford if they wanted. It’d be an unorthodox choice, given everything that happened in the season so far, but maybe the team wants one player to be their “reserve center”—and Feliciano could qualify for that, if Bates isn’t fully healthy.
The other injury news for the Bills is relatively mild. Stefon Diggs absorbed a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday, but trainers checked him out and he cleared the concussion tests. Emmanuel Sanders, who had a setback with his knee injury last week, is day-to-day. Finally, no Bills players landed on the COVID list as of Monday morning.