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Bills vs Commanders: Midweek injury trends

Buffalo is up to eight players on their injury list, but it’s not time to go into panic mode quite yet

Buffalo Bills v Chicago Bears Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

After the second day of practice as the Buffalo Bills prepare to head to FedExField to take on the Washington Commanders on Sunday, deciphering their mid-week injury list might take some critical thinking and, possibly, even some reading of a crystal ball.

Bills players trending up

  • DT Jordan Phillips (illness)
  • S Jordan Poyer (vet rest)
  • RB James Cook (personal)

None of the three players listed above are in any danger of not being on Sunday’s game day roster. It’s good to see that Phillips’ illness was of the short variety rather than anything lingering. Veteran rest days are not at all uncommon for some of Buffalo’s more-experienced players, so there’s nothing to worry about with Poyer — he will be game ready. As for Cook — well, the team has it listed as personal, but wide receiver Stefan Diggs may have let slip where the second-year running back was today. Reportedly, the 23-year-old Cook was preoccupied with the birth of his baby.

Bills players holding steady

  • S Micah Hyde (hamstring)
  • DE Leonard Floyd (ankle)
  • LB Terrell Bernard (knee/quad)

Yes, Hyde and Floyd have moved from DNPs to limited participants today, but given the injuries that they are dealing with, I’m not comfortable saying that they will be game day ready — hopeful, but without a crystal ball not willing to make that call.

Hyde’s injury didn’t appear to be too severe, and he did say himself that he would be ready to go this weekend, but hamstring injuries can linger. We all know that the Bills like to play conservatively when it comes to injuries. Making sure Hyde is on the field for the long haul this season — and that he isn’t slowed by a nagging pain — is likely a priority for head coach Sean McDermott and the Bills’ training staff.

Likewise, Leonard Floyd being limited in today’s practice means that his ankle injury is likely not as severe as some that we saw run through the Bills locker room last season. However, it’s highly likely that he doesn’t see the field Sunday, or at least has a limited snap count. Buffalo is going to want him ready to go when they face Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins’ offense in Week 4.

As for Bernard, limited two days in a row doesn’t really tell us much. Maybe his injury is a contusion. Maybe it’s general soreness. Maybe it is something more. We don’t know much. I would guess that McDermott will try to get him ready for Sunday considering the second-year linebacker has been gaining confidence and game awareness with each snap. Undoubtedly, the Bills would like to keep that building if at all possible.

Bills players trending down

  • T Spencer Brown (shoulder)
  • TE Dawson Knox (back)

Brown’s appearance on the list today is new. While he did practice in some capacity, there’s no assurance that it will be the case tomorrow. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, nothing that was made worse by drills today, and the right tackle will be ready to team up with guard O’Cyrus Torrence and keep the Washington front line away from quarterback Josh Allen on Sunday.

Tight end Dawson Knox gives me the most concern. A second day with no practice as he deals with some type of back injury would indicate that it’s a little more than tightness and soreness from game day. While the Bills do have Allen’s newest weapon, Dalton Kincaid, ready to go, watching the Bills work in 12-personnel has been quite enjoyable and it would be useful in keeping the Commanders’ defense in check — having an extra blocker or a slot receiver underneath. The Bills do carry three tight ends on their active roster with Quintin Morris having been on the field at times the last two weeks. They also have fullback Reggie Gilliam who can be an asset in the blocking scheme.

We’ll update with information on the Commanders when Washington makes their midweek report public.