Bills Urged to Make Last-Minute Shift Before Trade Deadline

Jordan Poyer

Getty Jordan Poyer #21 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates after making an interception in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 02, 2022.

Despite an ugly second-half performance, the Buffalo Bills (6-1) defeated the Green Bay Packers 27-17 on Sunday Night Football, but a key player’s injury has created major concerns for the team moving forward.

Bills safety Jordan Poyer exited the game in the third quarter after re-injuring his elbow and was immediately attended to by trainers. However, the 31-year-old was officially ruled out with approximately nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.

While Jaquan Johnson stepped in for Poyer, the All-Pro’s absence was felt immediately. During Green Bay’s following drive, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Samori Toure for a 38-yard touchdown. Poyer hit the X-ray room after the game but will require further testing to determine the severity of the injury. On Monday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said they were still evaluating his elbow.

With fellow All-Pro safety Micah Hyde already on IR, The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia believes the Bills could face a “potentially volatile scenario” because “without Poyer available, the Bills are one injury away from usual nickel corner Cam Lewis being a full-time safety.”

Therefore, Buscaglia encouraged Buffalo to shift their trade target focus to land a safety with “ample starting experience” before the deadline. “Given Poyer’s injury concerns and only having two natural safeties on the roster besides him, the Bills might need to make trading for a versatile safety a priority this week.”

The NFL’s trade deadline is Tuesday, November 1 at 4 p.m. ET, which doesn’t give the Bills a lot of time to find a veteran replacement. Thus far, Buffalo has been scoping out the market for a new running back, and not a new safety. But Poyer can’t seem to stay healthy.

“In his age-31 season and a contract year, Poyer has found himself on the injury report far more often than he did in his first five seasons in Buffalo,” Buscaglia noted. “This most recent injury, an elbow designation, is now the fourth injury since August that has caused Poyer to miss time.”

Buscaglia is not the only analyst urging Buffalo to shift their focus from obtaining an offensive player to nabbing a new safety. WGR 550 host Nate Geary tweeted on Sunday, “I like what I saw from Cook/Singletary tonight. Not sure it officially puts the ‘trade for a RB’ conversation to bed. But, I think if they’re making a move, finding another piece at safety might be their best move.”

Talking Buffalo podcast host Patrick Moran agreed. He tweeted, “After last night’s injury to Jordan Poyer and the potential for it to be something more than just minor—my Bills trade deadline priority has shifted to acquiring a safety above all else Bills are fine with Poyer/Hamlin. I don’t feel that way with Hamlin/Johnson if need be.”

As for who the Bills could poach, Cover 1 host Greg Thompsett suggested the Bills make a move for Las Vegas Raiders safety Duron Harmon, who’s on an expiring deal and only owed $622,000 for the 2022 NFL season. The 31-year-old has 19 solo tackles and two interceptions on the season thus far and an overall grade of 76.9 from PFF.

Poyer Said He Felt ‘A Pop’ Before Exiting the Game

Poyer’s message to reporters after beating the Packers in Week 8 was a far cry from the positive message he sent after requiring an X-ray on his ribs back in Week 4. WGR 550’s Sal Capaccio tweeted, “Poyer said it ‘felt like a pop’ in his elbow and will wait until tomorrow to see what the MRI says. Says he staying positive about it and it’s just frustrating with some of the injuries that have happened to him this year.”

CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson tweeted that she spoke to Poyer after the game, and he mentioned how he also noticed “some swelling in his hand.”

McDermott Said He’s ‘Concerned’ About Poyer

McDermott said on Monday that he was “concerned” for Poyer’s health, per Bills reporter Grace Heidinger. “Yeah, I’m concerned anytime a guy gets hurt and Jordan has been one  of our better players for a number of years here, we’ll just see. We’ll see how it goes and how it all turns out here.”

Poyer’s age is believed to have played a role in why the Bills haven’t offered the safety an extension, and his third injury in four months is something Buffalo can’t ignore, Buscaglia noted.

“Players tend to become more injury prone as they get older, and whether all these injuries are just a coincidence or a sign of things to come, the Bills need to take this as a warning sign.”