After a devastating 33-27 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, December 12, the Buffalo Bills enter Week 15 in must-win territory to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Unfortunately, two Bills players got hurt during the team’s 33-27 overtime loss in Tampa Bay, including wide-receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who’s “likely out” when Buffalo faces the Carolina Panthers in Week 15, per One Bills Live host Chris Brown.
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Sanders, 34, suffered a knee sprain during the first half of the Bills’ matchup against the Bucs and was ruled out from returning to action. On Monday, the Bills announced the veteran receiver is now considered week-to-week.
While Sanders scored four touchdowns in the first five games of the seasons, he’s yet to record a score over the Bills’ past five games. Before exiting the game on Sunday, he recorded one catch for 25 yards. Stats aside, Sanders’ role as a team leader is a vital part of the Bills’ offensive glue.
With Sanders out, expect head coach Sean McDermott to once again look toward Gabriel Davis to step up in his place. Davis caught five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs.
The Bills have yet to provide updates on defensive tackle Star Lotulelei and tight end Tommy Sweeney, both of whom were ruled out with injures in Week 14.
While the Bills are highly expected to beat the Panthers (5-8), a team sitting in last place in the NFC South, Buffalo has lost more than a few games to inferior opponents already this season, and could use all the help they can get for to nail down a victory in Week 15.
QB Josh Allen Is Day-to-Day Following His Foot Sprain
While Sanders’ injury is unfortunate, it’s impossible to discuss the Bills’ injury list without talking about the elephant in the room: the status of quarterback Josh Allen.
Without Allen, Buffalo will have a very tough time remaining competitive over the next four regular-season games. While backup quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be ready to take over if needed, losing the team’s franchise star will be a devastating blow for the team’s entire offense.
Worry over Allen’s status skyrocketed after he appeared at the postgame media conference on Sunday evening wearing a walking boot. While the Bills medical staff clarified Allen revealed Allen was suffering from “turf toe,” McDermott referred to his quarterback’s injury as a foot sprain.
“We’ll see how it looks for Sunday as we get to the end of the week,” McDermott said, per Bills Wire. “Josh is in good spirits.”
Bills’ LB Tyrel Dodson Was Placed on Reserve/COVID-19 List
The bad news kept coming on Monday, with the Bills announcing that linebacker Tyrel Dodson has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Soon after, however, Dodson provided a positive update on his status.
Dodson tweeted, “Appreciate everyone that has reached out! I am asymptomatic, hopefully a couple a negative tests this week & then I’m ready to roll Sunday! Thanks for all the concerns.”
Based on Dodson’s tweet, it appears that the linebacker is vaccinated against COVID-19, and could be able to play on Sunday.
The same can’t be said for another Bills linebacker, A.J. Klein, who missed the team’s Monday Night Football matchup against the New England Patriots in Week 13 and Buffalo’s game against Tampa Bay.