The Buffalo Bills finished up their week of practice leading up to this weekend’s Super Wild Card Weekend matchup against the No. 7 seed Miami Dolphins on Sunday. And, once again, it will be a “wait and see” weekend for those interested in game day inactives.
Friday injury report pic.twitter.com/RdZiUZdvAn— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) January 13, 2023
Both wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips enter the weekend as questionable for Sunday’s wild card round. Phillips hasn’t practiced all week while continuing to monitor a shoulder injury that’s plagued him since Week 13. Earlier in the week, head coach Sean McDermott indicated that Phillips’ absence from practice wasn’t concerning, saying that the injury was nothing new, and that it was just continued maintenance. Now, however, the nose tackle still hasn’t practiced, and could possibly be struggling a little more than was originally thought.
McKenzie started the week practicing, but by his own account, injured a hamstring in practice on Wednesday and hasn’t practiced since that time. While McKenzie said that he didn’t think it was something that would keep him out of Sunday’s game, the Bills gave themselves a little room to rest the slot receiver if they feel that they should be conservative in his care. They did so by signing veteran Cole Beasley to the team’s active roster earlier this week.
While not technically on the active roster yet, it’s also important to note that neither Jamison Crowder or Micah Hyde will be available for Sunday’s game. Earlier on Friday, it was announced that Hyde, at least, also won’t be available for next week’s divisional round should Buffalo advance.
Bills HC Sean McDermott said S Micah Hyde won't play this week vs. the Dolphins, and he wouldn't play next week should the Bills advance. After that, McDermott doesn't know.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) January 13, 2023
He said it's kind of a, "wake me up, or tap me on the shoulder when he's ready" situation.
Other than that, the Bills’ roster looks pretty healthy. Backup quarterback Case Keenum was listed with an illness on Friday, but with no game designation, it doesn’t look like the team thinks it will linger over the weekend.
The Dolphins have a whole lot of question marks on their roster still. While they have officially ruled out both quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (and declared Skylar Thompson the starter) and running back Raheem Mostert, the rest of their roster remains the mess it has been all week.
Raheem Mostert officially ruled OUT for the Dolphins' Wild Card game vs the Bills on Sunday— Marcel Louis-Jacques (@Marcel_LJ) January 13, 2023
Miami has listed guard Liam Eichenberg as doubtful with a hand injury, and has seven players that are questionable for the win-or-go-home game on Sunday.
Keeping third string quarterback Skylar Thompson upright could prove difficult for the Miami front line, as they have three more offensive tackles listed as questionable: Terron Armstead, Kendall Lamm, and Brandon Shell. If those three, along with Eichenberg, can’t go — or can’t go for a full 60 minutes — that leaves them with just six offensive linemen on their active roster.
In addition, fullback Alec Ingold, who is listed with a thumb injury, is also questionable, as is wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, who hasn’t played since the last time these two teams met (in Week 15 of the regular season), Jaylen Waddle, who has no game day designation, is playing through an ankle injury, and it will remain to be seen how well he can run on it when the temperatures drop near freezing in Orchard Park, NY.
The Dolphins have also listed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as questionable with both knee and finger injuries, and it’s likely they’re hoping Thompson will be enough to get the job done in Buffalo, so that they won’t have to test Bridgewater’s resilience.
On the other side of the ball, Miami comes in fairly healthy, but their lone questionable designation on their defensive roster is a big one. Edge rusher Bradley Chubb, who came to Miami in a mid-season trade with the Denver Broncos, has eight sacks and three forced fumbles on the season. If Chubb is absent, that is going to create some openings for Buffalo’s emerging run game, and give quarterback Josh Allen more options as he leads the Buffalo’s high-octane offense on Sunday.