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Bills’ Reggie Gilliam and Ed Oliver limited in practice for second straight day

A look at injury trends as we head into Buffalo’s rematch with the Dolphins Saturday night

Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

This Saturday night the Buffalo Bills have a chance to secure a playoff spot for the fourth sraight season — something that has a nice ring to it after BillsMafia endured a 17-year playoff drought. Their rematch with the Miami Dolphins won’t secure the AFC championship — that will have to wait another week — but a win would guarantee them a Wild Card spot at the least and keep them in the driver’s seat for both the division title and the conference’s number-one seed.

Here’s a look at what injuries they are dealing with as they work through this week’s practice schedule and how those injuries could affect the game-day roster.

Bills injuries trending up

  • QB Josh Allen (elbow)
  • CB Cam Lewis (forearm)
  • C Mitch Morse (elbow)
  • FB Reggie GIlliam (ankle)

The first three players listed above are still showing up on the injury report weekly — Morse has been here all season with an elbow injury sustained in the first half of the first game of the season — but are all full participants. The fact each are still listed here simply means they must be receiving some type of treatments throughout the week. However, there is nothing limiting them from performing the skills necessary at their respective positions. These three are good to go for Saturday (barring any changes between now and then of course).

Gilliam is another story. He’s on this list because moving from a DNP all last week to being limited this week is a big step in getting Buffalo’s only fullback back out on the field. Is it enough to see him in uniform on Saturday? It’s a little too early to tell, but if he were to progress to a full participant tomorrow, it would be a strong step toward seeing his return.

Bills injuries holding steady

  • DT Ed Oliver (pectoral)
  • LB Matt Milano (knee)

While Milano is a DNP for two days in a row, we saw the same routine for the linebacker last week and there was no limit to his play on Sunday. It would be reasonable to expect that he could be limited in practice tomorrow — and even receive a questionable designation for Saturday — but, again, that was the same cautionary procedure that the Bills used last week, and we all see how well that worked out for them.

Oliver is a new addition to the injury list this week with a pectoral injury he suffered — but was not hindered by — in last week’s win over the New York Jets. He has been limited in practice for two days this week, but it’s hard to believe he won’t be on the field Saturday. Oliver missed the Bills’ first game against the Dolphins in Miami, and he won’t want to miss a chance to help his teammates avenge that loss.

Bills injuries trending down

  • DT Jordan Phillips (shoulder)
  • G Ryan Bates (ankle)

Phillips hasn’t practiced in two weeks after injuring his right shoulder on a diving attempt to sack quarterback Mac Jones at the end of the Bills’ Week 13 win over the New England Patriots. The fact that he still isn’t praticing isn’t a good sign and the possibility of some structural damage could be looming.

On Monday, head coach Sean McDermott said that Bates ankle was sore but that he should heal quickly. However, the offensive guard hasn’t practiced yet, and with the possible return of Ike Boettger by the end of this week, we may see him sit out a game.

The Dolphins, on the other hand, have a much lengthier list to work through.

Dolphins injuries trending down

  • CB Elijah Campbell (concussion)
  • OT Terron Armstead (toe/pec/knee)
  • WR River Cracraft (calf)
  • S Eric Rowe (hamstring)
  • RB Jeff Wilson (hip)
  • QB Teddy Bridgewater (knee)

Campbell, who the Dolphins usually use mostly for special teams, had to fill in on defense on Sunday night when they fell to the Los Angeles Chargers. Campbell was on the field for 25 defensive snaps due mostly to Eric Rowe having to leave the game early in the second half with a hamstring injury. While in relief of Rowe, Campbell suffered a concussion, and now, with a short week between games, it looks like the Dolphins may be without both defensive backs on Saturday.

Armstead was originally feared to have suffered a pectoral tear in Miami’s Week 12 win over the Houston Texans, and while the good news for the offensive tackle is that it’s a strain, he still isn’t 100%. Plus he is being nagged by a season-long toe injury and a recurring knee issue. Miami struggled to protect quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the time that Armstead was out of the Week 12 game, giving up four sacks after he left the game.

Cracraft has been hobbled by a calf injury he suffered in last Thursday’s practice. The wide receiver wasn’t active on Sunday and isn’t trending in the right direction this week either. Because the Dolphins have Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill on their roster, they’ll still have plenty of targets for Tagovailoa, even without Carcraft.

Wilson left Sunday’s game with a hip injury, and the running back doesn’t look good for this week — which could be a problem for Miami if the winter weather predicted to make its appearance shuts down the passing game. Before exiting the game, Wilson had only been able to muster 26 yards on four carries.

Bridgewater has been dealing with a lingering knee injury for some time and today was downgraded from limited to DNP. This could be concerning if the Dolphins can’t keep Buffalo’s pass rush off of Tagovailoa. Last week, the Bills hit quarterback Mike White so many times that he had to take a couple of separate trips to the locker room.

Dolphins injuries holding steady

  • TE Durham Smythe (quad/knee)

Smythe seemed to injure both his quad and knee in Sunday’s game and whether he plays Saturday, after a short week of recovery, is still up in the air. But, the tight end has been able to practice in some capacity this week, so that is a good sign for the Dolphins.

Dolphins injuries trending up

  • WR Tyreek Hill (ankle)
  • DE Justin Zimmer (back)
  • CB Kader Kohou (thumb/neck)
  • LB Elandon Roberts (ribs)

While Hill’s ankle was a question on Sunday with the receiver getting ice therapy between running routes, he’s likely to be ready for Saturday. Hopefully, the weather doesn’t make the field too slipery and cause issues for what is likely to be a heavily taped ankle.

The other three on this list have all moved to the full participant list and are likely to be available for Miami on Saturday night.