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Bills vs. Broncos: Mid-week injury trends

Things are still looking bleak for the Bills

NFL: NOV 05 Bills at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here we are again trying to decipher what a mid-week injury report might mean for game day and the Buffalo Bills who will be hosting the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football in a few days.

Bills players trending up

  • QB Josh Allen (shoulder)
  • DE Leonard Floyd (illness)
  • S Jordan Poyer (shin)
  • LB Baylon Spector (hamstring)
  • LB A.J. Klein (back)

Josh Allen is likely to be on the injury list for most of the season as he manages the pain in his throwing shoulder. He’s not going to stop throwing the football, so his shoulder is going to stay sore. However, having him as a full participant all week means he isn’t looking at an injury so much as soreness. As he has all along, he will play Sunday — this one is a sure thing.

The only other sure thing in this report is Leonard Floyd. The defensive end who was signed as a free agent this spring missed Thursday’s practice with an illness, but he was back to work today. I don’t see any reason why he won’t be chasing Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson around the backfield on Sunday

It’s good to see Jordan Poyer elevated from not practicing to being a full participant today because, if he’s not broken, he’s playing. It would be really hard for Buffalo to sit the 32-year-old safety given the state of their defensive roster. According to head coach Sean McDermott, Poyer’s shin injury came as the result of being kicked during Sunday night’s loss in Cincinnati, but as a shin, it’s likely that it’s more of a bruise or swelling/soreness than a functional injury.

As for Klein and Spector, they have finally made the leap to full practice after a couple of weeks (longer for Spector) of not doing much with the team in practices. It’s a good thing too, because without them, Buffalo would be down to three healthy linebackers — and one of those (Tyler Matakevich) plays almost exclusively on special teams

Bills players holding steady

  • WR Stefon Diggs (back)
  • LB Terrel Bernard (concussion)

Terrel Bernard suffered a concussion Sunday night. The hope was that with an extra day of rest this week he might be able to work through the NFL’s concussion protocol. When the second-year linebacker was limited yesterday, it was promising that maybe he was moving through the steps and could be ready for Monday, but it doesn’t appear that he has made much progress, and he is definitely not in the last stage — which would require him to have a full day of practice with contact before being cleared to play. There’s still hope, which is why I have him here and not down in the next section, but he would need to be a full participant tomorrow and then not have any signs or symptoms of a concussion after practice in order to be eligible for Monday night’s game in Orchard Park, NY.

Stefon Diggs practiced yesterday but was limited today. I’ve got him in this category because it’s doubtful that he sits out — although if he is, this is the game to do it. While there was no mention of the Bills’ WR1 being on the injured list prior to practice, he did have a collision with a security guard after a catch in the end zone last week. Whether his name appearing on the injury report has something to do with that or something to do with a practice-related event is unknown.

Bills players trending down

  • CB Christian Benford (hamstring)
  • S Micah Hyde (neck/stinger)

Christian Benford tried to play through a tweaked hamstring last week and may have done more harm than good. The second-year cornerback who won the starting position opposite Tre’Davious White to start the season missed the entire second half of Sunday night’s game. With Benford out, and White on Injured Reserve (IR) with a torn Achilles, head coach Sean McDermott will have to make some tough decisions. The Bills signed cornerback Rasul Douglas at the trade deadline and he saw quite a bit of action just six days later. Obviously, he’s going to be part of the game plan, but with cornerback Kaiir Elam on IR as well, the only other cornerback on the roster is Dane Jackson. So, does McDermott call up Josh Norman from the practice squad — this would be his third and final elevation — or does he call Ja’Marcus Ingram’s number? Or does he switch Cam Lewis over to cornerback (more about that in just a minute)?

Micah Hyde is the other player likely to be inactive Sunday. The Bills safety injured his neck — possibly on two separate plays — on Sunday and left the game with a stinger. Not good news for the 32 year old who missed Weeks 3 through 18 (plus the playoffs) last year after having surgery to repair a disc in his neck. With Hyde out, that leaves Poyer (who is injured, yet also trying to help out all over the field) and Taylor Rapp. It also leaves Cam Lewis — which is why it’s likely that McDermott will be calling on either Norman or Ingram come Monday night — and Damar Hamlin. Hamlin has been a healthy scratch for all but one week this season, but we might see him in uniform Monday night and he might have to do more than get in some special teams snaps.

Bills players on IR

DE Kameron Cline, TE Zach Davidson, T Tommy Doyle, CB Kaiir Elam, RB Damien Harris, DT DaQuan Jones, TE Dawson Knox, LB Matt Milano, WR Justin Shorter, CB Tre’Davious White

The visiting team, on the other hand, will be coming to Buffalo completely healthy. The 3-5 Broncos only have two players on their injury list at all this week, and both have been full participants: linebacker Baron Browning and guard Ben Powers. Browning, who is dealing with a wrist injury, is a third-year outside linebacker who has recorded four solo tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble this season. Powers is a fifth-year offensive lineman who has started every game this season — his first in Denver.

The Broncos had a bye last week, so it’s likely that Browning and Powers are just working through the final stages of injuries from a long season, but that the extra week they have had has helped them get back to playing condition and we will see them both on Monday night.