Bills in Danger of Losing Key Offensive Starter for Thanksgiving Game

Mitch Morse

Getty Mitch Morse calls out a defensive lineup during a Buffalo Bills game.

The Buffalo Bills could be missing the anchor of their offensive line when they face the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving.

Center Mitch Morse was injured during the team’s 31-23 win over the Cleveland Browns on November 20. Though he was able to play through the ankle injury to finish the game, WGR 550 reporter Sal Capaccio noted that he was among a group of players being treated for injuries immediately following the win.

“Saw three different Bills players wearing walking boots after the game,” Capaccio tweeted. “Center Mitch Morse, offensive lineman David Quessenberry, and defensive end AJ Epenessa. Morse got taped up early and played the rest of the game. Epenessa was ruled out early-on. Quessenberry happened late.”

With the Bills now facing a short week before their Thanksgiving Day game, they appear to be in danger of missing Morse.

Bills Center Held Out of Practice

Though the Bills only held a walkthrough on Monday ahead of their Thursday game, Morse was unable to go as he was still nursing the effects of his ankle injury.

The offensive line played a key role in Sunday’s victory, opening up holes in the Browns’ defensive line and leading the Bills to one of their best rushing performances of the season. Running back Devin Singletary rushed for 86 yards on 18 carries, scoring his third rushing touchdown in the last two games. Rookie James Cook added another 86 yards on 11 carries, with the team rushing for a total of 171 yards.

After the game, guard Rodger Saffold spoke to reporters about the importance of having a strong running game to complement Josh Allen and the passing attack.

“It’s imperative to be two-dimensional to have success in this league,” Saffold said, via the Buffalo News. “It helps taking some pressure off of Josh from having to consistently throw 400-yard games.”

The running game could take a hit if Morse is unable to play against the Lions. If he is ruled out for Thursday’s game, the Bills could turn to reserve offensive lineman Greg Van Roten, who replaced Morse when he suffered an elbow injury against the Tennessee Titans.

Bills Facing Short Week

The Bills’ injury woes are complicated by a short week and some unusual circumstances at home. The NFL moved Sunday’s game from Buffalo to Detroit after a historic snowstorm dumped more than six feet in Buffalo’s southern suburbs, which also forced the Bills to cancel practice on Friday.

Though the circumstances forced them to play twice in Detroit in a matter of four days, head coach Sean McDermott opted against staying over in Detroit so the players could return to their homes.

“I want to get the guys some quality rest and get in their own beds tonight,” McDermott said, via the Buffalo News. “We, fortunately, get out of here at a decent time and get them home and settled. Everything happens so fast with Thursday into Friday and Friday into Saturday, and just trying to find a way to get out of Buffalo and here for the game. I think there’s value in guys staying at home and sleeping in their own beds a couple nights here.”

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