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Tremaine Edmunds, A.J. Epenesa longshots to play in Bills-Lions on Thanksgiving Day

Sean McDermott said it’s “a stretch” that the two injured Bills will be ready in time to play on a short work week

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

With the Buffalo Bills back in Orchard Park, NY after their “home” game in Detroit, MI, and as they prepare to head back over to Ford Field for their Thanksgiving Day game with the Detroit Lions, head coach Sean McDermott answered questions on Monday afternoon about the health of his team.

“They will be a stretch to make it this week,” the coach said of injuries to two defensive pieces, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and defensive end A.J. Epenesa.

Edmunds has dealt with a heel injury since Week 9, adding a groin injury to his list of ailments as the team prepared for their Week 10 game with the Minnesota Vikings. Midway through that game, Edmunds headed to the locker room, and the reports were that he had re-aggravated the groin injury. He was inactive during the team’s first game at Ford Field yesterday.

Epenesa left Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns in the first quarter with an ankle injury. While he was originally listed as questionable to return, by halftime the defensive end had been downgraded to out for the remainder of the game. Reports were that he was seen in a walking boot after the Bills’ 31-23 win.

McDermott’s “they would be a stretch” terminology is much different than his usual “day to day” rhetoric, which would indicate that if you’re playing “guess the inactives” each week, you can pencil Edmunds and Epenesa in now.

While they didn’t leave the game, center Mitch Morse—who got some extensive ankle-taping mid-game—and offensive lineman David Quessenberry were both reported to also be spotted in walking boots when leaving the locker room yesterday.

McDermott said that the pair of linemen would be limited in practice today, which provides hope that maybe they won’t join the host of other Bills—like defensive tackle Ed Oliver, cornerback Kaiir Elam, defensive end Greg Rousseau, and right tackle Spencer Brown—who have had to spend weeks on the sidelines due to ankle injuries this season.

As for cornerback Tre’Davious White, nothing has changed; he’s day to day and will play when he’s ready, per McDermott.

More good news came on the full injury report where we see that quarterback Josh Allen was limited in practice today, indicating that he didn’t suffer any additional damage to his throwing arm over the weekend.

Furthermore, Elam and Poyer starting the week as full participants instead of limited and working toward full later in the week is a good sign for the Bills’ defensive secondary.

As for the Lions, their injury list isn’t short. They had seven players, six of whom are listed first on the team’s depth chart who were listed as DNP for today’s practice:

  • G - Evan Brown (ankle)
  • DE - Charles Harris (groin)
  • G - Jonah Jackson (illness)
  • CB - Jeff Okudah (concussion)
  • DE - Joshua Paschal (knee)
  • C - Frank Ragnow (foot)
  • WR - Josh Reynolds (back)

With just three days between games, it’s expected that Okudah will not be able to clear concussion protocols in time for the Thanksgiving Day kick off. As for the other six, we’ll have to check back tomorrow and see how they’re trending.

In addition, wide receiver D.J. Chark was limited with an ankle injury that has kept him out of seven games this season and limited last week in Detroit’s win over the New York Giants.