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Bills vs. Ravens Week 4: HC Sean McDermott provides first look at Buffalo’s injury front

Three new injuries as the team starts preparing for the Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills entered Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins pretty banged up, and the injuries just kept piling up throughout the game.

The good news for Buffalo is that a lot of the heat-related illnesses will subside, and in a press conference on Monday afternoon, head coach Sean McDermott said that quarterback Josh Allen is feeling sore, but he will fine moving forward.

“He was doing a lot out there and took a beating,” McDermott said about Allen, who looked quite worn out by the end of Sunday’s game.

At the end of the game, Allen had an x-ray on his hand but quickly reported that the results were negative, and McDermott seemed to indicate that it would be a non-factor moving forward.

The bad news for Buffalo is that they have lost three more players, this time all on the offensive side of the ball.

Offensive lineman Tommy Doyle will likely be out for the rest of the season, as McDermott said that he suffered a torn ACL. While more information is needed about the injury, realistic return times from an ACL are eight to nine months from the date of surgery. McDermott didn’t elaborate on Doyle’s injury, or if a date has been set for surgery.

Ryan Bates, the starting right guard, is in concussion protocol after leaving the game with a head injury in the second half. With a full week before the Bills take on the Baltimore Ravens, Bates could theoretically be a game-time decision, but it will depend on how quickly he progresses through the league’s concussion protocols—and the Bills will likely be working on a game plan that does not include their starting right guard.

With Bates out, Greg Van Roten would be next man up, but spent most of the first half of Buffalo’s Week 2 game against the Tennessee Titans and all of their Week 3 game in Miami filling in for starting center Mitch Morse who injured his elbow early in the Bills’ home opener.

Good news for Buffalo’s offensive line is that they will be getting backup guard Bobby Hart back this week. Hart served a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct involving an altercation he had with a Titans player after the Bills’ 41-7 victory in Week 2.

Buffalo spent much of last season shifting players around on their offensive line, and they will likely spend this week determining who can slide into a variety of positions to provide the best protection for Allen.

The third offensive player to come out of Miami with a new injury was wide receiver Jake Kumerow, who McDermott said has a high ankle sprain. McDermott didn’t elaborate on the injury, but wide receiver Gabe Davis missed the game against Tennessee with an ankle injury, and Ed Oliver has missed the past two games due to an ankle injury. With Davis back, it’s reasonable to think that the team will take their time working Kumerow back into the lineup to make sure that his ankle is completely healthy before he sees playing time.

The other new injury for the Bills is on the defensive roster—a unit already pretty banged up—and to make it even worse, it’s in the backfield where Buffalo is already missing all four of their starters.

Cornerback Christian Benford exited the game with a hand injury that we now know is a fracture.

“A couple of weeks,” McDermott said when asked how long they expect the rookie cornerback to be out. “He’s getting surgery tomorrow, and then we will know more.”

As for all of the injuries that Buffalo had on their list before the game started, McDermott said that except for cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde, both of whom are currently on the IR, they are all day-to-day.

This means that the Bills’ secondary could possibly see All-Pro saftey Jordan Poyer back on the field soon, and that would no doubt provide some leadership for a unit that had to play three rookies and a second-year player alongside safety Jaquan Johnson on Sunday.

As for the slew of heat-related injuries that Buffalo experienced in Miami, some of which had players exiting the game for the duration (right tackle Spencer Brown) and others getting fluids on the sideline or in the locker room (wide receivers Isaiah McKenzie and Stefon Diggs among others), McDermott said that the team will evaluate what they could have done differently.

“You try to the best you can with the resources you have,” McDermott said about preparing for the heat, but also said that they have played there in the heat before, but that this time there were extenuating circumstances. “You start hydration early, but we had a Monday night game. We had guys having to do double duty due to the injuries we had.”

As for whether the team is going to be shopping for some offensive linemen and/or defensive backs, McDermott said that it was too soon to talk about that.

“We will know more tomorrow,” he said. “Obviously, we lost a few more guys for a couple weeks, but we need to see if we can get anybody back here before we look at that.”

What was said to possibly be the most complete roster in the NFL before the season started, is full of holes today—so here’s hoping that the Bills find a way to stop the blood loss and get a complete team together before they head to Baltimore for Sunday’s match up with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.