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Bills looking healthier than Packers ahead of Sunday Night Football

Buffalo only has one player not practicing now, while Green Bay has several

NFL: SEP 25 Bills at Dolphins Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have seen their Week 8 injury report grow shorter, and as they head into the final day of practice before they host the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, they only had one player not practicing—starting right tackle Spencer Brown. Here’s the latest update, and what it could possibly mean for Sunday’s active roster.

Bills injuries trending up

  • RB Taiwan Jones (knee)
  • DT Jordan Phillips (vet rest)
  • CB Cam Lewis (forearm)
  • S Jordan Poyer (vet rest)

Phillips and Poyer were back on the field after typical veteran rest days on Wednesday. While Poyer has been struggling with a rib injury—one which forced him to take make a 15-hour trip to Kansas City by car in order to play in Buffalo’s Week 6 win over the Chiefs—there has been no mention of his being affected by the injury this week. That’s a great sign for the Bills, who are trying to get their defensive secondary whole again.

Another member of that secondary who is headed in the right direction is Lewis, who appeared on the injury list with a forearm injury, but has been a full participant all week. Jones was on the Week 6 injury list with a troublesome knee, but was active at game time. When the team headed into the bye, head coach Sean McDermott mentioned that he might be dealing with a hamstring issue; however, his injury designation is officially a knee. He was able to get some limited practice in on Thursday, and barring any setbacks, it would be reasonable to expect all four of these players to be active on Sunday.

Bills injuries holding steady

  • C Mitch Morse (elbow)
  • WR Jake Kumerow (ankle)

Morse got a vet rest day on Wednesday, but unlike Poyer, shows that he is still dealing with an elbow injury he sustained in Week 1. Morse missed a game with that injury, but it hasn’t managed to keep him off the field since Week 3. Whatever is continuing to ail Morse’s elbow, it isn’t likely to keep him out of game action.

Kumerow injured his ankle in Miami four and half weeks ago, and hasn’t been able to get healthy since. McDermott continues to say that the wide receiver is “day to day,” but he has yet to be more than limited in practice in weeks. Morse will likely get the start, but if Kumerow is still limited on Friday, it would be surprising if he suited up.

Bills injuries trending down

  • OT Spencer Brown (ankle)

Brown injured his ankle in a pile up near the goal line at Arrowhead Stadium. After refusing a ride to the locker room on a cart and hobbling in for X-rays under his own power, Brown was in a walking cast by the end of the game. Given that the right tackle has been a DNP twice this week, and considering that Kumerow has been inactive for four weeks (technically three plus the bye) and defensive tackle Ed Oliver missed four weeks of play this season due to an ankle injury (after also being in a walking cast at the end of the Bills’ Week 1 game against the Los Angeles Rams), it’s highly unlikely that the second-year lineman will be active Sunday night. David Quessenberry is likely the next man up at right tackle should Brown not be able to play.

On the other side of the field Sunday will be the Packers, led by two-time reigning MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. In contrast to Buffalo’s (mostly) healthy-looking injury report, the Packers have several players trending in the wrong direction.

Packers injuries trending down

  • WR Allen Lazard (shoulder)
  • OT David Bakhtiari (knee)
  • CB Shemar Jean-Charles (ankle)

Bakhtiari, Green Bay’s starting left tackle, was inactive last week in the Packers’ loss to the Washington Commanders, as he has struggled with a knee injury. While he was limited on Wednesday, the veteran lineman was downgraded to not participating on Thursday—not a good sign for a player who has dealt with knee issues since late in the 2020 season.

Jean-Charles is a second-year cornerback who has only seen action in three games this season, and with him not being active so far this week, it’s looking more unlikely that he will get out on the field this week.

Possibly the biggest hit for the Packers is that Lazard will likely be inactive with a shoulder injury. Green Bay has already lost veteran receiver Randall Cobb, who landed on IR with an ankle injury, on October 22.

Packers injuries holding steady

  • WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring)
  • WR Christian Watson (hamstring)

The Packers have another pair of receivers who are trying to work their way onto the field Sunday in Buffalo. Watkins came off of IR and got right back to action, as he was activated at the start of Week 7 and caught two passes for 36 yards against the Commanders. Watson, on the other hand, was inactive last week. Both receivers have been limited in practice this week, but could potentially be ready to take the field by Sunday night.

Packers injuries trending up

  • QB Aaron Rodgers (right thumb)
  • OG Elgton Jenkins (knee)
  • OLB Rashan Gary (concussion)

Gary, an outside linebacker, suffered a concussion last week and is concussion protocol. While he still has to check all of the boxes and clear the league’s protocol, moving from a DNP to limited is a good sign he’s healing. Whether he can work through the entire protocol before Sunday remains to be seen, however.

Jenkins continues to work through a banged-up knee, but as he played against the Commanders and—like Gary—progressed from not practicing in the week’s early practice to being limited on Thursday, it’s likely he will be able to make a go of it again this week.

Rodgers injured the thumb on his throwing hand in a Week 5 loss to the New York Giants. While Rodgers hasn’t missed any playing time with the injury, he has sat out of practice on Wednesday each of the last three weeks. Just like in Weeks 6-7, the Packers quarterback returned to limited practice on Thursday—and, if history holds true, he will likely practice on Friday as well, and then be active on Sunday.