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A look at mid-week injury trends ahead of Bills vs. Dolphins playoff game

Buffalo is looking good - Miami, not so much

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

As the AFC’s No. 2 seed, the Buffalo Bills will host the No. 7 seed Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at Highmark Stadium for NFL Super Wild Card Weekend — and their injury list is looking better every day.

Bills injuries trending up

  • QB Josh Allen (ankle/elbow)
  • S Jordan Poyer (knee)
  • S Cam Lewis (forearm)

Quarterback Josh Allen and defensive back Cam Lewis continue to be full participants in practice, despite having a handful of injuries between them keeping each on the team’s daily injury list. Allen continues to monitor an elbow injury that he suffered back in Week 9, as well as an ankle injury he acquired in the less than 10 minutes that was played in the suspended Monday night game in Cincinnati on January 2. Lewis, on the other hand, has a forearm injury that has had him on the list most of the season, but we have yet to see him be limited for either a practice or a game.

Safety Jordan Poyer was back to practice, although in a limited capacity, as he works through a knee injury that has plagued him for almost a month now. Despite the injury, several DNPs, and even a questionable game designation, Poyer hasn’t missed any game time with what we have been told is a lateral meniscus tear. Poyer getting some practice in this week is definitely a good sign for the Bills’ defense — a unit that has experienced more than its fair share of injuries this season.

It’s a pretty safe bet that Allen, Lewis, and Poyer will all be on Buffalo’s active roster Sunday afternoon.

Bills injuries holding steady

  • DT Jordan Phillips (shoulder)

The other name on the Bills’ injury list is defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, who is dealing with a month-old shoulder injury. Phillips missing practice isn’t overly concerning, considering that yesterday head coach Sean McDermott said that there is no new injury and that he is just continuing to manage the injury as he has been the last several weeks.

It’s pretty likely that Phillips will be in uniform on Sunday, as he has been a non-participant for most of the last two weeks of practices, as well, and it hasn’t kept him off the field.

Bills injuries trending down

  • WR Isaiah McKenzie (hamstring)

On the other hand, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie didn’t practice on Thursday. McKenzie popped up on the team’s list yesterday as a limited participant, and he’s dealing with a hamstring injury. The wide receiver has said that the injury occurred during Wednesday’s practice, but that he has no plans on it keeping him out of the team’s playoff game. Still, we’ll have to wait and see how Friday’s practice looks for the slot receiver. With the news that the Bills signed Cole Beasley to the 53-man roster, they will have room to let McKenzie rest if needed.

Miami, on the other hand, has a much longer list to unpack as we look at who might be playing on Sunday.

Dolphins injuries trending down

  • QB Tua Tagovailoa (concussion)
  • RB Raheem Mostert (thumb)
  • OT Terron Armstead (toe, pec, knee, hip)
  • OT Kendall Lamb (ankle)
  • OT Brandon Shell (knee)
  • OG Liam Eichenberg (hand)

We already know that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa won’t play Sunday. The quarterback has not yet been able to clear concussion protocol, despite being out of action for officially three weeks now. Tackle Terron Armstead is still unable to practice; Armstead has been inactive for two weeks now. Add three more linemen to the DNP list, and Miami is going to have their hands full keeping Buffalo’s pass rush at bay. Things aren’t looking too good for Miami’s run game, either, which will make things that much harder for rookie Skylar Thompson, who looks like he’ll be under center on Sunday. Raheem Mostert, who was able to amass 136 yards on the ground the last time these two teams faced off, has not practiced yet this week due to a thumb injury sustained in Week 18.

Dolphins injuries holding steady

  • QB Teddy Bridgewater (knee/right finger)
  • FB Alec Ingold (thumb)
  • WR Jaylen Waddle (ankle)
  • WR Cedrick Wilson (hip/groin)
  • OLB Jaelen Phillips (toe/wrist)

Teddy Bridgewater is working through a finger injury that he suffered when he threw an interception in Miami’s Week 17 loss to the New England Patriots. While he’s working through the injury, McDaniel said that the team isn’t going to rush him back into action.

Not helping Miami’s offense collapse is the fact that wide receiver Jaylen Waddle has not been playing at full strength, while wide receiver Cedrick Wilson hasn’t been active since the last time the Dolphins were in Buffalo.

While any number of the above five could be active Sunday, they are just as likely not to play.

Dolphins injuries trending up

  • QB Skylar Thompson (ankle)
  • RB Jeff Wilson (illness)
  • OT Greg Little (Achilles)
  • OLB Bradley Chubb (ankle/hand)
  • CB Kader Kohou (thumb)

With the possible exception of Bradley Chubb, all of the above should be counted on to be active Sunday. Despite his ankle injury, Thompson is who head coach Mike McDaniel said the Dolphins are going with at quarterback — possibly because they have no other options at this point. Chubb missed Week 17, and then, despite being active in the season finale against the New York Jets, didn’t record a single tackle. With the game a win-or-go-home scenario, we will have to see if he’s given the green light on Sunday.

The Dolphins’ game-day designation list is going to be interesting.