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Bills vs. Dolphins: Midweek Injury Trends look favorable for the home team

Buffalo gets four of their five injured players back on the field today, but Poyer is still hobbled.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

As we hit the mid-week mark in what’s known as “Miami Week” for Bills Mafia, it’s good to know that the Buffalo Bills appear healthy once again.

Bills injuries trending up

  • S Micah Hyde (hamstring)
  • DE Leonard Floyd (ankle)
  • OL Ryan Bates (ankle)
  • CB Taron Johnson (hip)
  • DB Siran Neal (ankle)

Hyde and Floyd have dealt with their injuries for two weeks now, both of them getting injured toward the end of the Bills’ Week 2 win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Just like last week, the training staff seems to be giving the veterans some extra rest and time to keep their injuries from becoming factors in Sunday’s games. Neither of the two defensive veterans seemed too bothered by their injuries last week, with Floyd recording a pair of sacks and Hyde snagging his first interception of the season. It looks like Buffalo’s taking the same approach this week and, as they were full participants today, I would expect both of them to be on Sunday’s active list when the Miami Dolphins come to town.

Ryan Bates injured an ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Washington Commanders when teammate Ryan Van Demark fell into him. It would appear that the versatile lineman is on a similar protocol as Hyde and Floyd. Barring a setback tomorrow, I would guess that his ability to play several positions along the front line if needed will outweigh any extra rest that could be gained by not suiting up and he, too, will be active on Sunday.

Si ran Neal was a new addition to the injury list yesterday. Head coach Sean McDermott said that Neal was injured at some point on Sunday — although we never saw him head to either the blue medical tent or the locker room. My guess would be that it’s a minor sprain and, with Buffalo needing as many fresh sets of legs as possible to keep up with Miami’s fast offense, he will be a go on Sunday.

As for Taron Johnson, he wasn’t on the injury list until after practice yesterday. He is a key component to Buffalo’s No. 2 rated defense and played 87% of the Bills’ defensive snaps last week. Like Hyde and Floyd, he was back to being a full participant and you can bet he will be on the field Sunday.

Just for fun, here’s a look at yesterday’s inactives back in action today:

Bills players holding steady

  • S Jordan Poyer (knee)
  • LS Reid Ferguson (wrist)

Jordan Poyer was one of two Bills who didn’t practice today. Head coach Sean McDermott said Poyer’s knee injury is the result of something that happened in-game on Sunday afternoon and that he’s — get ready for it — “day to day.” However, like Neal, we never saw the veteran safety get treatment and the team didn’t make an injury announcement either. However, the Bills did pull the majority of their veterans late in the game to let them rest as they were cruising to a 37-3 victory over the Commanders. Let’s hope that an extra day of rest will be enough to get the All-Pro safety back on the field. Last season, Buffalo didn’t lose a regular-season game in which Poyer played — a testament to the importance of his leadership in a backfield that currently features two starters who are only in their second year in the NFL.

Long snapper Reid Ferguson is a new addition to the injury list today. With no details about his injury, We can hope that this is more of a precautionary measure than something to be concerned about. I could have gone either way here — holding steady or trending down — but since we aren’t getting any news that this is something serious, I’m going with the hope that he will be ready for all those PATs the Bills will be kicking after Josh Allen and company light up the score board on Sunday.

Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the Miami Dolphins with just one more day of practice before they head north.

Dolphins players trending down

  • WR River Cracraft (shoulder)
  • WR Erik Ezukanma (neck)
  • LB Jaelen Phillips (oblique)

It’s already to be assumed that wide receiver River Cracraft won’t be on the field at Highmark Stadium on Sunday. Cracraft injured his shoulder in the second quarter of Miami’s 70-20 blowout of the Denver Broncos on Sunday and is expected to miss some time — although the Dolphins haven’t decided how much just yet. Miami head coach Mike McDaniel did say that a stint on Injured Reserve isn’t out of the question.

Erik Ezukanma played in Miami’s first two games of the season but then was inactive last week. While there doesn’t seem to be much information about how or when, or even to what extent, he injured his neck, an inactive game day followed by no practice the following week doesn’t add up to good news for the second-year receiver out of Texas Tech.

Linebacker Jaelen Phillips still not practicing isn’t great news for a Miami defense that will try to contain Josh Allen on Sunday. Phillips was injured before halftime on Sunday, and the injury is his second of this young season: he missed Week 2 with a back injury. Phillips had 11 combined tackles and a half a sack in Week 1 but was only able to record a single tackle with no quarterback hits or sacks Sunday before leaving the game.

Dolphin players holding steady

  • RB Salvon Ahmed (groin)
  • T Terron Armstead (back/ankle/knee)
  • S Deshon Elliott (ankle/groin)
  • TE Tyler Kroft (back)
  • C Connor Williams (groin)

Of this group, Armstead and Williams are the ones to pay attention to over the course of tomorrow’s practice. Williams went down in the third quarter of Sunday’s game and wasn’t able to return. Without Williams, the Dolphins don’t have a true center with Liam Eichenberg just learning the position in training camp this summer and getting his first experience in the middle of the line last week. Williams was limited in practice today — an upgrade from yesterday’s DNP status — but should he not be able to take the field on Sunday, it could be a tough outing for Eichenberg as he’ll be tasked with stopping the Bills’ pass rush.

Armstead has been a big question mark for Miami when it comes to game day status this season. A series of injuries, stemming back to last season, has kept the veteran tackle sidelined more than not. While the 32 year old was active against Denver, it was the first time he was on the field this season. I’m sure that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is hoping that Armstead will be healthy and able to protect him from a Buffalo defense that recorded nine sacks and 14 quarterback hits last week against the Washington Commanders.

Dolphins players trending up

  • Eli Apple (neck)
  • TE Julian Hill (ankle)
  • TE Durham Smythe (hamstring)

Good news for the Miami Dolphins came when Eli Apple was negative for a concussion after being evaluated after taking a hit to the head on Sunday. A sore neck and full practice two days in a row is much more manageable for Miami who will be looking for someone to keep pace with Buffalo’s WR 1 Stefon Diggs.