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Dion Dawkins, Von Miller miss Tuesday practice with injuries

It has taken all season to get to a short injury list, but it looks like the Bills may be getting close to full strength just in time

Houston Texans v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott met with members of the media again on Tuesday morning before heading into his team’s mid-week practice, and the news he had was a fresh breath of positivity for Bills fans.

McDermott relayed what might have been his smallest injury list of the season, with only three players, excluding the usual Veteran Rest days, not practicing on Tuesday as his team prepares to meet the division rival New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football.

Here’s a look at the Bills injury trends this week.

Bills injuries trending up

  • QB Josh Allen (elbow)
  • C Mitch Morse (ankle)
  • DE Greg Rousseau (ankle)
  • DE A.J. Epenesa (ankle)
  • DT Jordan Phillips (eye)
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds (groin)

Allen has been a full participant in practice for the first time since he injured the elbow on his throwing arm earlier this month in a loss to the New York Jets. More participation is a good sign that the quarterback is working his way back to full strength—something that the Bills’ offense desperately needs, as they didn’t look like they were running on all cylinders in November.

McDermott said that both Rousseau and Epenesa were heading in the right direction, and that today’s practice would give him more information on whether that progress will be enough to get them ready for Thursday’s AFC East showdown.

Morse has become a non-mention in most of McDermott’s press conferences, which is a good thing. With the center not being a topic of discussion, it would seem that he is one of the few who have been able to come back from an ankle injury sooner rather than later this season, having just missed the Thanksgiving Day game with the injury he suffered at some point five days prior in Buffalo’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Bills injuries trending down

  • OT Dion Dawkins (ankle)
  • DE Von Miller (knee)

Both Miller and Dawkins were injured in Buffalo’s Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions. Miller suffered a knee injury, and earlier this week, McDermott ruled him out for this week’s game as the 33-year-old veteran takes an assessment of how he feels and whether he can play through the injury, or if he needs to seek more medical attention after this week.

As for Dawkins, the starting left tackle is dealing with an ankle injury. Buffalo has had a series of ankle issues this season, with players returning after three weeks of rest, on average. We will have to just wait and see where this ankle injury falls. Regardless of whether Dawkins will return sooner or later than this season’s average, it is increasingly unlikely that we will see him on the field at Gillette Stadium in two days.

Bills illness update

With an illness that seemed to invade the locker room over the past couple of weeks, only one player—backup tight end Quintin Morris—is still listed as out due to being sick. Of the nine players who were listed as sick at some point since the Bills left the Motor City with a win over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, the other eight appear to have recovered quickly as they are all back to practice.

The Patriots have their own set of struggles with their injury list. Here’s a look as to what’s happening on Thursday night’s home team side of the field:

Patriot injuries trending down

  • RB Damien Harris (thigh)
  • OT Isaiah Wynn (foot)

Harris suffered a thigh injury in New England’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings Thanksgiving night. It’s being reported that the running back, who hasn’t practiced at all this week, isn’t expected to suit up on Thursday. This means that the Patriots will be turning to Rhamondre Stevenson to carry the football. The second-year running back out of Oklahoma has 644 yards and four touchdowns on 144 carries this season.

As for Wynn, while he is listed as an offensive tackle, he has lined up in three different positions for the Patriots this season. Wynn, injured his foot in New England’s Week 11 win over the New York Jets, didn’t play on Thanksgiving night, and hasn’t practiced at all this week. It’s reasonable to think that the offensive lineman won’t be available this Thursday either.

Patriot injuries holding steady

  • C David Andrews (thigh)
  • OT Yodny Cajuste (calf)
  • CB Marcus Jones (ankle)
  • WR Jakobi Meyers (shoulder)
  • CB Jalen Mills (groin)

While David Andrews’ injury was considered “serious” at first and the words “season-ending” were thrown around, it looks as though the center has avoided the worst of things. Andrews didn’t play on Thanksgiving, and has been limited in practice this week, but limited is better than not practicing and provides hope for a New England offensive line that’s also had Cajuste practicing limited this week.

In fact, every one of the Patriots listed above has been a limited participant in both of New England’s practices this week. They seem to be working through a variety of injuries similar to what the Bills have been experiencing all season long. It will take one more day of practice before we see if the limited practice they were able to get in this week will result in them being able to take the field Thursday.

Patriot injuries trending up

  • WR DeVante Parker (knee)

Parker should be good to go by Thursday night. He injured his knee back in Week 8. After missing the following week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts and getting the benefit of a late-season bye, Parker has had some limited game time in the Patriots’ last two games. In the past two days, the 29-year-old wide receiver has graduated from limited practice to full participation in the mid-week session.

Fans of both teams will be waiting anxiously for those game-day designations, the first of which we could see tomorrow afternoon—with the final list of inactives being reported Thursday morning.