The Buffalo Bills take on the New England Patriots in the AFC Wild Card playoff game on Saturday, January 15, which marks the third time these two division rivals will play against one another this season.
Obviously, the stakes are much higher in this win-or-go-home playoff game, so it was great news when the Bills announced on Thursday that zero players required status designations on the team’s injury report.
ALL the latest Bills news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Bills newsletter here!
As for the Patriots, their injury report on Thursday revealed a jaw-dropping 13 players as “questionable” to play on Saturday, which didn’t sit well with Bills analysts, including WGR 550‘s Sal Carpaccio, or One Bills Live host Chris Brown, who called head coach Bill Belichick’s injury list to be “a tease.”
As reported by Patriots Wire, tackle Isiah Wynn was “limited” during Tuesday’s practice, but “did not play” during practice on either Wednesday or Thursday. And yet, his status is listed as questionable, not as “doubtful.”
Even The Athletic’s Patriots beat reporter Matthew Fairburn seemed to question the validity of the injury report. “Long list of questionable players for the Patriots,” Fairburn tweeted. “Isaiah Wynn missed practice for a second straight day with hip and ankle injuries.”
Boston Herald‘s Andrew Callahan also found the injury report dubious, noting that “Safety Kyle Dugger was not spotted during the media-access portion of either session, but was later listed as limited on both of the team’s ensuing practice reports. Linebacker Jamie Collins returned from an ankle injury to practice in a limited capacity Thursday.”
Fans Accused Belichick of Cheating By Releasing Such a Lengthy ‘Questionable’ List
Thursday’s injury report from the Patriots set off alarm bells for Bills fans on Twitter, who accused Belichick of trying to use another one of his dirty tricks to win a football game. This comes just days after former Bills running back LeSean McCoy slammed “the Belichick way” while appearing on the I AM ATHLETE podcast.
Belichick has a long history of cheating accusations in the NFL, many of which ended with the revered coach paying major fines and suspensions of his players. In July 2020, an NBC Sports Philadelphia reporter called the six-time Super Bowl champion coach “a relentless, incorrigible, clinical cheater.”
Between EaglesGate in 2005, SpyGate in 2007, DeglateGate in 2014, HeadsetGate and PeytonGate in 2015, and BengalsGate in 2019, his track record makes it to believe Belichick is acting in good faith.
While all 13 players on Thursday’s injury report could all be questionable, it’s easy to understand why people are suspect. “I don’t believe it for one second. Another BB ploy,” a Twitter user replied, while another person predicted, “Once again all those questionable players will magically be able to play.”
One man tweeted, “I can’t think of a time where a guy on any team missed practice 2 days in a row was listed as questionable #letthegamesbegin #thepatriotway.”
“This is such childish bulls***,” another fan tweeted. “When is the @nfl @nflcommish going to call it out and stop it.”
The Bills are 4-Point Favorites to Win Over the Patriots on Saturday
The first time the Bills (11-6) faced the Patriot (10-7) this season was in Week 13, and they lost 14-10. During their second matchup in Week 16, Buffalo dominated over New England with a 33-21 victory.
Heading into the AFC Wild Card matchup, the Bills are favored to win by four points, per CBS Sports.
Per Bills Wire, quarterback Josh Allen said of facing the Patriots a third time, “It’s going to be a 12-round slugfest, in my opinion, and it’s going to take all four quarters to win a game.
“It’s hard to beat a team twice in a season. Obviously, that speaks for both sides because we’re 1-1 on the season, but again, they beat us at home and that’s where we’re playing this game. So, we’ve got to be ready for whatever they can throw at us.”