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AFC East Roundup: Injuries can be devastating to a season

The Bills aren’t the only team faced with daunting challenges due to injuries at key positions

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

Injuries in the NFL are a way of life. It’s just a matter of time that any team gets hit by the injury bug during the season. On the flip side, injuries can work the opposite ways where fans’ favorite players can get healthy at the right time of the season. When it comes to the AFC East, injuries may heavily shape the direction the teams take as the season progress. Let’s review some of the key injuries coming out of Week 5.

For the Buffalo Bills, not only did they lose in London to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but injuries went after this team in a big way. No, injuries alone are not the reason the Bills lost overseas, but the injuries suffered will definitely impact them for the rest of the season. All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano suffered a leg injury that includes a fracture and possibly even an ACL tear. Milano has already been deemed out for the season. To make matters worse, defensive tackle DaQuan Jones appeared to have torn his pectoral muscle and there’s no timetable on how long he’ll be out. Buffalo’s defense is severely beaten up this year as cornerback Tre’Davious White is already out with a torn Achilles and edge rusher Gregory Rousseau is nursing a foot injury. The good news is that edge rusher Von Miller made his return — in limited snaps — in Week 5.

Next we move on to the AFC East teams that find themselves on the positive end of the injury spectrum. Starting off with the Miami Dolphins, who are back to leading the division after handling the New York Giants. In the offseason Miami traded for cornerback Jaylen Ramsey but a knee injury has prevented him from touching the field in the regular season. The Dolphins are rolling at 4-1, so adding Ramsey to the defense later in the season will only make them better in the long run. Miami’s defense has also missed linebacker Jaelan Phillips the last two weeks. Phillips has an oblique injury but he should be back in the near future. The Dolphins are already loaded, but once this team gets healthy they’ll be even scarier. Late on Monday, a report stated that rookie running back De’Von Achane is dealing with a knee injury of some variety.

The New York Jets started the season in the worst way injury-wise by losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a torn Achilles. However, their positive news on the injury front is that running back Breece Hall is off of his pitch count after recovering from his torn ACL injury. How did Hall respond in the game against the Denver Broncos? He rushed for 177 yards on 22 carries that included a 72-yard touchdown run. With a healthy Hall leading the offense to go with the stout defense, the Jets have a chance to turn things around for the better and try to get back in the playoff picture.

We’ll wrap things up with the New England Patriots, who have lost their past two games by a score of 72-3. New England’s defense was doing well to keep the team in games for the first couple of weeks, but now injuries have caught up with the Patriots. the team’s 2023 first-round pick, cornerback Christian Gonzalez, will miss the rest of the season with a torn labrum. Gonzalez was a potential favorite for defensive rookie of the year. To add to that, linebacker Matthew Judon had surgery on a torn bicep and there’s no indication yet on whether he would be able to return at the end of the season.