The Buffalo Bills‘ matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, October 16 was the most highly anticipated matchup of the regular season, and safety Jordan Poyer was not going to let a rib injury and a collapsed lung get in the way of participating in the AFC showdown.
Poyer took a hard hit during his two-interception game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4 and sat out against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 5. The 31-year-old was limited in practice all week but was a full participant on Friday, and active for Sunday’s matchup at Arrowhead Stadium.
While it was assumed Poyer took the team plane to Kansas City with the rest of his teammates and coaches, One Bills Live host Jon Scott set Twitter afire with his post-game report concerning Poyer’s journey. Scott tweeted, “How tough is Jordan Poyer? The #Bills safety was not medically cleared to fly because of rib injury, so he drove 15 hours to Kansas City and back to play in this game.”
While it seemed almost too crazy to believe, Poyer’s wife retweeted Scott’s report, and Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson corroborated the news. Dodson tweeted, “My dawg drove from buffalo to Kansas City. Dedication and an hell of a leader! Mann! Love @J_poyer21 BIG DUBSSS #BillsMafia.” Poyer retweeted Dodson’s message and wrote, “My mf’n Bruddah ❗️ love y’all boys fr❗️ BIG DUBS ❗️”
Fans were both shocked and confused by the update. One person tweeted, “Seems like if you’re not cleared to fly then you shouldn’t be playing football? So either you’re lying or the bills are negligent,” while another person asked, “Can a doctor tell me when he can’t fly but can crash his body into giant people all game?”
NFL Analysts Provided Answers as to Why Poyer was Cleared to Play, But Couldn’t Fly
NFL analyst Chris Mortenson offered an answer to the flabbergasted fans. Mortenson tweeted, “Doctors not comfortable with air pressure that comes with flying as Poyer’s rib injury heals. Deshaun Watson did it few years ago when Houston traveled to Jacksonville. Poyer traveling back by car, expects clearance soon for flying.”
NFL Network’s James Palmer also provided some insight on Poyer’s medical situation. Palmer tweeted, “I’m told #bills safety Jordan Poyer used a car service that drove him from Buffalo to Kansas City. He’s also still not cleared even though he played in the game, so he’s using the car service to get back to Buffalo as well.”
Jeremiah Poyer, the veteran safety’s brother, revealed that the Bills’ star safety was not alone on the journey. He tweeted that Poyer’s “wife and daughter” and daughter, Aliyah, joined the car ride. “She’s a real one for sure.”
As for what kind of vehicle they took, The AP’s Tim Graham tweeted, “Bills source tells me team rented a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to take Jordan Poyer and his family from Buffalo to Kansas City for the game. The condition that prevented Poyer from flying was still-healing pneumothorax (collapsed lung) from his rib injury two weeks ago.”
Poyer, along with veteran center Mitch Morse, were named as team captains for the Bills’ matchup against the Chiefs, per ESPN‘s Alaina Getzenberg. Poyer recorded four tackles during the Bills’ 24-20 victory over Kansas City, per The Buffalo News.
The Bills Gave Poyer an Extra Week of Rest Before the Chiefs Matchup
Poyer, who sat out against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 due to a foot injury, came back with a vengeance against the Ravens in Week 4, which earned him the honor of AFC’s Defensive Player of the Week. After being a non-participant in practice all week, the Bills pre-emptively announced he would not suit up against the Steelers on Sunday, October 9 — a game Buffalo was deemed 14-point favorites to win.
However, The Poni Express host Andrew Fillipponi, who previously covered the Bills as an anchor for WGR 550 before moving to Pittsburgh, reported that Poyer could’ve played against the Steelers, but chose not to.
Fillipponi tweeted, “I had someone I trust in Bills media tell me that all-pro Jordan Poyer would have played yesterday if they were playing a better team. Like the Chiefs. Thought the Steelers were good team to rest the guy against. Wow.”
The “Wow” reaction was met with mixed reactions on Twitter, especially since the Bills routed the Steelers 38-3 in Week 5. But for most fans and analysts, the decision to give Poyer an extra week of rest before facing the Chiefs in Week 6 was a no-brainer, especially with Micah Hyde on IR.
Cover 1 host Greg Vorse tweeted, “Poyer has missed 40% of the #Bills games – still leads the NFL in picks,” while SB Nation’s Matt Warren pointed out Buffalo “did something similar last year against Houston.”