The Buffalo Bills will head west at the end of this week to take on the Los Angeles Chargers, and attempt to win a third straight game — something they haven’t been able to do since Week 4. As they open practices for the week with a walk-through on Tuesday, almost everyone is headed in the right direction on the injury front.
Tuesday injury report pic.twitter.com/S0etY6mJeZ— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) December 19, 2023
Edge rusher Von Miller was absent as he attended a funeral, per head coach Sean McDermott who also said that they expected Miller to return to Orchard Park, NY sometime this evening. As for Jordan Phillips, it turns out that the 31-year-old defensive tackle dislocated his wrist on a sack of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in the third quarter of Buffalo’s 31-10 win this past Sunday.
The good news for the Bills is that everyone was practicing in some capacity — including defensive end A.J. Epenesa and safety Micah Hyde, both of whom McDermott had classified as week-to-week just a week ago. Epenesa is working through an unspecified ribs injury while Hyde is dealing with his third stinger of the season. After a week of non-activity, having them both able to participate, even in a limited capacity, is a good sign as Buffalo could potentially be playing for a division title in Week 18.
Defensive end Leonard Floyd has been on the injury list for a couple of weeks with a wrist injury, but hasn’t lost any time. Now he adds a ribs injury that happened in the first half of Sunday’s game. While he’s probably sore, he didn’t miss much playing time and even recorded a sack — putting him at 10.5 on the season and earning himself a nice $1 million performance bonus.
Long snapper Reid Ferguson’s thumb injury is new as is punter Sam Martin’s knee injury. Martin was injured after being struck by Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams before he landed on a punt in the first quarter. The good news is that neither of them missed any playing time Sunday due to their injuries — despite Martin limping while leaving the field — and both were full participants today.
#Bills Sam Martin R knee injury— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) December 18, 2023
Martin was hurt on this roughing the punter penalty.
Hits his right knee in the air with Dallas defender & limps off. Was cleared to return. Was able to hold & punt later in the game.
Possibly more hurt than injured. pic.twitter.com/Q4wrvideze
Running back Ty Johnson left Sunday’s game in the second quarter, went to the locker room, and then returned to play. He’s listed as having a right shoulder injury but it isn’t keeping him from preparing for Sunday’s game. Tight end Dalton Kincaid’s shoulder injury is a continuation from last week — which McDermott said then was a continuation of something that occurred earlier in the season. Like Johnson, it didn’t limit him on Sunday and it looks like it’s not something that’s likely going to land him on the bench this week either.
The biggest news of the day is that DaQuan Jones was a limited participant in today’s practice as the Bills officially opened his 21-day practice window. The defensive tackle has been out since Week 5 when he tore a pectoral muscle and required surgery to repair it. Today, head coach Sean McDermott said that he doesn’t anticipate Jones being active on Sunday, but didn’t give much more of a timeline than that.
Both cornerback Kaiir Elam and wide receiver Justin Shorter continue to practice with the team inside their own 21-day windows. Elam’s window will expire on Christmas Day while Shorter has another week. By those times, the Bills will have to make decisions on if and how they plan to add players back to the 53-man roster or if they will just leave any — or all — of them on the Injured Reserve to finish out the 2023 season.
It will be an interesting — and short — week to see how the Bills progress through the new injuries they brought out of Sunday’s win. But today’s injury report is definitely more promising than the one we had at this point last week.