In the midst of all the news and emotion surrounding Damar Hamlin’s release from the hospital and Micah Hyde and Jamison Crowder opening their 21-day practice windows today, the Buffalo Bills managed to have their first regular practice of the week as they prepare to host a playoff game with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon.
As they enter the win-or-go-home portion of their 2022 season, the Bills have an (almost) clean injury report.
Wednesday injury report pic.twitter.com/cDtodqsGCO— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) January 11, 2023
Josh Allen and Cam Lewis continue to show up to practice with injuries that have plagued them most of the season, but don’t seem to be limiting their play. It would appear that they are only on the list because part of their everyday routine may be some sort of treatment for their various listed injuries, but that those treatments aren’t keeping them out of practice — or games.
In his pre-practice media session today, head coach Sean McDermott briefly mentioned that Jordan Poyer and Jordan Phillips would be getting a day off, but said that there was nothing to be concerned about regarding the two defensive players.
“No new injury situation with either of those two,” he said. “Just managing what they have already.”
The new name on the list is wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie who is dealing with a hamstring injury that had him limited today. Other than a brief few days in concussion protocol, the wide receiver has stayed healthy all season appearing in 15 of Buffalo’s 16 games and recording 423 receiving yards and another 55 on the ground. McKenzie also has five total touchdowns this season. While he isn’t wide receiver one, the six-year veteran does add an element of surprise through his use as a gadget player and slot receiver for the Bills’ offense — and it will be worth monitoring his practice participation for the remainder of this week.
Buffalo’s opponents have a whole list of injuries to work through including both their first- and second-string quarterbacks, their starting running back, a couple of wide receivers, and an offensive lineman or two.
Dolphins list 17 players on first injury report ahead of Bills gamehttps://t.co/1hGPdssxrt— Miami Dolphins Football Alliance (@FA_NFL_Dolphins) January 11, 2023
Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) didn’t practice, and we already know that he has been ruled out for Sunday (you can read about that decision here). In addition to Tagavailoa, the Dolphins’ starting offense was missing starting left tackle Terron Armstead (who is a whole injury list himself as he works through toe, pectoral, hip, and knee injuries), guard Liam Eichenberg (ankle), running back Raheem Mostert (broken thumb), and right tackle Brandon Shell (knee and ankle).
Backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (knee and right finger) was limited, and earlier today head coach Mike McDaniel said that the team is expecting to start third-stringer Skylar Thompson on Sunday – but added that they are holding out hope that Bridgewater could work through his injuries before game time. Thompson is dealing with an ankle injury of his own, but it wasn’t enough to limit him in today’s practice.
McDaniel said Skylar is the starting quarterback today but Bridgewater is still working "to prepare himself to be capable on Sunday" to play but "cannot afford any setbacks."— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) January 11, 2023
In addition, fullback Alec Ingold (thumb) and wide receivers Jaylen Waddle (ankle) and Ced Wilson (hip and groin) were limited in the team’s first practice leading up to Wild Card weekend. Running back Jeff Wilson showed up today with an illness but was able to get some limited work in.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Dolphins were missing linebacker Bradley Chubb, who was a non-participant as he dealt with both an ankle and a hand injury. Linebacker Jaelan Phillips was limited with toe and wrist injuries while Melvin Ingram had a veteran rest day.
With just two more days of practice before the Dolphins should pack it up and head north to Orchard Park, their roster is one big question mark.