Before the Buffalo Bills even took to the practice field on Friday, head coach Sean McDermott ruled three players out of Sunday’s game in Foxborough, MA.
The 4-2 Bills will be without defensive tackle Ed Oliver, tight end Quintin Morris, and running back Damien Harris as they take on the 1-5 New England Patriots Sunday afternoon.
Oliver has a combined 24 tackles, just 10 less than his total for last season (although admittedly, he did miss four games in 2022), and four sacks — two more than last season’s total. With the Bills missing DaQuan Jones for an indefinite amount of time, Oliver’s absence as he deals with a toe injury is going to be felt. Buffalo does still have Tim Settle, Jordan Phillips, and Poona Ford on their active roster. Those three combined with edge rushers Greg Rousseau, Leonard Floyd, A.J. Epenesa, and Shaq Lawson — and of course Von Miller who returned from Injured Reserve (IR) two weeks ago — should still be enough to make the Patriots and quarterback Mac Jones more than a little nervous.
Damien Harris was injured last week after a brutal hit, which sent him to the hospital mid-game. The good news is that Harris is home and has movement in all his extremities, and that the Bills haven’t had to move him to IR. It’s not surprising that he’s been ruled out for Week 7, however, as his neck injury has him unable to practice — which also means that he can’t clear the league’s concussion protocol. Buffalo will have to go with James Cook and Latavius Murray in the backfield, and that’s not a bad thing. Cook (503 all-purpose yards and 1 touchdown) and Murray (177 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns) have been quite effective in Buffalo’s run game this season.
Quintin Morris injured his ankle last week but still managed to catch a touchdown pass and hop — literally — into the end zone. However, with Dalton Kincaid out of concussion protocol, the two will switch spots for this week with Morris getting the rest. We’ll have to wait and see if he gets any practice in this next week (a short one ahead of Week 8 vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next Thursday) or if the ankle injury will keep him sidelined for more than just this Sunday.
We’ll have to wait until after practice to see if there are any other game-day designations for Buffalo, however only cornerbacks Kaiir Elam and Cam Lewis were’t full participants yesterday.