During the Buffalo Bills (6-2) loss to the New York Jets on Sunday, November 6, quarterback Josh Allen suffered an injury to his throwing arm after getting strip-sacked by Jets defensive lineman Bryce Huff late in the fourth quarter, and recent reports on his status have not been entirely comforting.
NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted on Monday, “Allen is likely to be limited this week… but as of now it’s considered a situation to monitor rather than an ailment that would keep him out of the game, sources say. He’s still undergoing tests to be sure,” while NFL Insider Chris Mortensen added, “Allen is being evaluated for an elbow injury to his ulnar collateral ligament and related nerves,” which is similar to the same injury Allen suffered during his rookie year at Wyoming in 2018. The injury kept him out for four games, per 13 WHAM‘s Dan Fetes.
While the mere thought of Buffalo’s $258 million star missing several weeks has fans and analysts throwing in the towel on the Bills’ season, ESPN’s Stephania Bell says it’s way too early for that kind of extreme reaction.
Bell tweeted on Monday, “Looking at the mechanism of injury – where Josh Allen’s forearm was hit as he prepared to throw – this fits (UCL and ulnar nerve). Before everyone panics, let’s wait and see what the details are. There are a range of outcomes depending on severity/functionality.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott’s addressed Allen’s injury first thing during his press conference on Monday, and appeared to be on the same page as Bell. “We’re going through it,” McDermott said, in terms of evaluating Allen’s elbow injury. “We all know Josh and how competitive he is,” McDermott continued, per One Bills Live host Chris Brown. “He loves competing out there with his teammates. I would never count him out. The medical piece we’re still evaluating. I’ll know more tomorrow and update you Wednesday.”
Despite McDermott and Bell exuding patience, Allen’s weekly appearance on “Kyle Brandt’s Basement” was rescheduled at the last minute on Tuesday, which reignited such panic. Brandt hyped up the interview all morning only to tweet at 1:22 p.m. ET, “Moving this. Logistics. I’m in Europe. He has packed week. Looking to Wednesday 👊🏻.”
Twitter strongly reacted to the sudden delay. One fan tweeted, “Kyle 3 hours ago: Can’t wait to talk to Allen today Kyle now: Going to need to postpone *excuses* Me: Josh is going to miss some time,” while another person interpreted the change, “(He’s injured and didn’t want to do an interview).”
One man tweeted, “You just caused 40 Bills fans to have heart attacks and another 3 million crippling anxiety. I am just joking, but low-key serious about the anxiety thing,” while one woman wrote, “I’ll donate my elbow if needed. Go Bills.”
Allen Has Not Been Ruled Out for Week 10 Vs. Vikings, ‘There’s Hope’ He Plays Through the Injury, per NFL Network Analyst
As of Tuesday, November 8, Allen remains questionable to play against the Minnesota Vikings (7-1) in Week 10. The Bills started out as 9.5-point favorites to beat quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Vikings on Sunday, however, with Allen’s status up in the air, those odds have dropped to 7.5-point favorites.
Hopefully, if Allen does have to miss any time, it’s only a brief absence, and according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, it might be zero time. “There’s multiple doctors giving multiple opinions,” Garafolo said, but that there’s no need to worry about Tommy John surgery. “That’s not usually a thing for NFL quarterbacks, so relax on that one. It is an elbow sprain,” Garafolo said on Tuesday afternoon.
“There’s hope in Buffalo that Josh Allen will be able to practice and play his way through this injury. But we wait for the final diagnosis.”
Bills Backup QB Case Keenum Remains on Standby for Week 10 Vs. Minnesota Vikings
Even though Allen brushed off the severity of his injury during his postgame press conference, “Slight pain but I’ll get through it,” he said, speculation over whether backup quarterback Case Keenum would get the start against his former team in Week 10 started immediately.
Pro Football Talk tweeted, “If for some reason Josh Allen (elbow) can’t go next week for Buffalo, it will be the Bizarro Minneapolis Miracle game, with Case Keenum and Stefon Diggs facing the Vikings.”
The possibility of Allen getting injured is the exact reason the Bills traded for Keenum during the offseason, and both McDermott and offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey spoke about the 34-year-old veteran staying ready during their respective press conferences on Monday.
“He’s been in multiple different systems and he’s seen a lot of ball,” Dorsey said, per Yahoo! Sports analyst John Wawrow. “So I think there’s some merit to having guys like that in your room that can come in and you’ve got a lot of faith in to step in and operate effectively.”
McDermott said of Keenum, “He’s a veteran player who has taken a lot of snaps and won games. Just his presence on our team carries an influence in a unique way. He knows his role. It’s been good to have him with us here.”