Tuesday injury report pic.twitter.com/xqxoLaFCHu— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) December 13, 2022
Nothing on the list comes as a surprise. Right guard Ryan Bates (ankle), defensive tackle Jordan Phillips (shoulder), and linebacker Matt Milano (knee) didn’t practice, while the Bills got fullback Reggie Gilliam back in action.
Milano was on last week’s injury list as a non-participant until the end of the week, when he was limited. While he was limited in practice, the Buffalo linebacker continued his season-long domination, recording nine tackles, two passes deflected, and a fumble recovery in the Bills’ 20-12 win over the New York Jets just two days ago. Milano’s non-practice status today isn’t concerning.
Head coach Sean McDermott indicated on Monday that Bates’ ankle injury was a low sprain, and that he wouldn’t miss too much time. But the offensive lineman sitting out today’s practice isn’t surprising. Whether he can heal up and get on the field on a short work week is yet to be determined. However, left tackle Dion Dawkins and swing tackle David Quessenberry being absent from this list means that Buffalo’s offensive line should be in a good spot, even if they do have to sub for Bates.
While it would be nice to get Phillips back sooner rather than later, especially with the absence of edge rusher Von Miller for the remainder of the season, making sure the defensive tackle is healthy for a postseason run makes the most sense in resting him a little longer. The only thing that could make this concerning is that Ed Oliver has popped up on the injury list — again — this time with a pectoral injury.
While McDermott mentioned the Oliver injury in his media session yesterday, it didn’t stop Oliver from being his usual aggressive nuisance to opposing quarterbacks on Sunday. Being limited in today’s practice most likely just gives the defensive tackle a little more time to work out any soreness, as keeping Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa off balance is going to be key to the Bills securing a playoff spot this weekend.
Gilliam (ankle) getting some reps in at practice is a good sign, as well. Buffalo’s offense struggled against the Jets on Sunday, and while the field looked like a wading pool, not having the entire playbook at their disposal didn’t help the Bills any with establishing any sort of rhythm or dominance. The Bills don’t have a second fullback on their roster, so if Gilliam is unable to go by Saturday, it will be interesting to see what steps offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey takes to right what went wrong last week.
For now, however, the Bills look to be headed into a fairly healthy week of practice.