The Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off in one of the most anticipated games of the 2022 NFL season on Sunday—one with major postseason importance. For Buffalo, who left the field at Arrowhead Stadium victorious, there may have been more than one win.
The Bills have struggled to keep their starting lineup on the field during the first quarter of the season. Unlike previous seasons under head coach Sean McDermott’s tenure, the injury bug struck early, and the injuries just kept piling up for the defending AFC East champs during the first five weeks of the season.
However, Buffalo went into their Week 6 game with only one player inactive due to injuries. Wide receiver Jake Kumerow was inactive due to a “high ankle” that has kept him limited for three weeks now. According to McDermott, the bumps and bruises that the team acquired Sunday afternoon in Kansas City are relatively minor in comparison to what the team has dealt with so far this season.
Right tackle Spencer Brown left the game with an ankle injury and was later seen in a walking boot after the game. McDermott said that he had no more information on Brown’s injury, and then said that running back and special teams player Taiwan Jones came back to Buffalo a little banged up and “dealing with a little bit of a hamstring.”
Brown and Jones were the only two new injuries for the Bills and will join Kumerow, as players that will be “day to day.”
Cornerbacks Christian Benford and Dane Jackson left the game in the second half, but both were able to make returns, and McDermott said that he doesn’t anticipate any future problems keeping them in the lineup, calling their Week 6 dings “non-issues.”
The big question on Sunday came after the game. How was safety Jordan Poyer cleared to play but not cleared to fly? It was later found that Poyer, who had been listed with a ribs injury, was also recovering from pneumothorax—otherwise known as a collapsed lung.
McDermott said that the team’s doctors were involved in the decision, and that there was plenty of communication with Poyer throughout the week. The Bills head coach said that he had complete trust in the team’s medical staff and their ability to make sound decisions regarding the health and safety of the players.
“What a level of commitment for him to drive out there,” McDermott said of the Poyer’s willingness to drive to Kansas City when it was determined that the pressure inside the airplane would make it medically unsafe for him to fly with the team. That level of dedication and commitment goes a long way on our team. My hat goes off to Jordan.”
So, while the Bills beat the Chiefs on the scoreboard, going into the bye week with a few “day to day” injuries and looking at the likely return of cornerback Tre’Davious White to their roster sooner rather than later, Buffalo can finally breathe a sigh of relief as they chalk up a win on the injury front for the first time this season.