Josh Allen (QB)

Bills QB Josh Allen Expected To Return In Week 12

Bills quarterback Josh Allen missed four games while dealing with an elbow injury, but he’s expected to be available when Buffalo returns from its bye in Week 12, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Allen felt as though he could have played against the Jets this week, per Schefter, but Buffalo decided to hold out its first-round signal-caller, figuring that allowing Allen to regain full health over the club’s bye is the correct decision. Instead, the Bills turned to journeyman Matt Barkley, who didn’t have any trouble against New York, posting 232 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-10 rout of the Jets.

Allen, the seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, hasn’t had much talent to work with this season, as Buffalo’s skill players and offensive line leave much to be desired. In six games (five starts), Allen has completed 54% of his passes for 832 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions. Among quarterbacks with at least 130 attempts this season, Allen ranks dead last in both passer rating and adjusted net yards per attempt. Allen has contributed on the ground, though, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and scoring three times via rush.

When the Bills return from bye, four of their final six games will come within the AFC East. Buffalo will face the Jaguars, Dolphins, Jets, Lions, Patriots, and Dolphins again to close out the 2018 campaign.

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Injury Updates: Tannehill, Allen, Cowboys, Jaguars, Raiders

As expected, Ryan Tannehill is out again this week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Dolphins quarterback will sit out Thursday’s game against the Texans. Brock Osweiler will once again slide into the starting lineup.

We heard recently that Tannehill’s injured shoulder wasn’t expected to sideline for an extended amount of time. ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe echoes that sentiment, tweeting that the quarterback could begin throwing sometime this week.

In five games this season, Tannehill has thrown for 972 yards, eight touchdowns, and five interceptions. Osweiler has been solid in his place, throwing for 654 yards, six scores and two picks.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bills quarterback Josh Allen is out again this weekend, reports ESPN’s Mike Rodak (via Twitter). Derek Anderson will slide back into the starting lineup one week after having thrown three interceptions in a loss to the Colts. Allen hadn’t looked a whole lot better through his first six NFL games, as he completed only 54-percent of his passes for 832 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions.
  • After having dealt with discomfort through the early part of the season, Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee today, reports ESPN’s Todd Archer (via Twitter). Fortunately, the 25-year-old is expected to be ready for his team’s next game against the Titans on November 5th. Gregory has compiled 10 tackles and one sack in six games this season. Meanwhile, Archer notes that right guard Zack Martin and tight end Geoff Swaim suffered sprained MCL’s this weekend, and there’s optimism that the pair will be back following the bye week.
  • Cowboys C.J. Goodwin broke his forearm during Sunday’s loss to the Redskins and will miss the rest of the season, reports ProFootballTalk.com (via Twitter). The 28-year-old journeyman has collected a single tackle in two games this season. The Cowboys could be seeking some cornerback reinforcement for the bench behind Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis.
  • Jaguars linebacker Donald Payne suffered a Grade 2 MCL sprain during Sunday’s loss to the Texans, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The 24-year-old is set to miss the next three to four weeks, although the team’s upcoming bye week could reduce the number of games missed. In seven games this season, the second-year pro has compiled a single tackle. During Payne’s absence, Blair Brown or Lerentee McCray could see some snaps behind starting middle linebacker Myles Jack.
  • Raiders defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes is practicing with the team this week, reports ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez (via Twitter). Since the former third-rounder is on the PUP, he’ll have to be activated or placed on the injured reserve within the next three weeks. The UCLA product compiled 18 tackles in 16 games (13 starts) last season.

Bills To Start Derek Anderson

For the first time since 2016, Derek Anderson will start an NFL game. On Wednesday, Bills coach Sean McDermott announced that the veteran quarterback will get the nod over Nathan Peterman when the Bills face the Colts on Sunday. 

Starter Josh Allen is out with an elbow injury, but he will not require major surgery and is considered week-to-week. The Bills turned to Peterman after Allen went down against the Texans, but he did not inspire confidence after yet another spotty performance. The Bills were quietly excited about the 2017 fifth-round pick last year, but they have little incentive to start him now.

Peterman has now occupied every possible spot on the Bills’ QB depth chart this season. The Pittsburgh product was set to be the club’s No. 2 QB behind A.J. McCarron and ahead of Allen, but September’s surprising trade propelled him to the top job. Peterman was atrocious in the season opener, however, and quickly ceded the starting gig to Allen. This week, he was primed to re-take the first-string assignment, but the newly-acquired Anderson has received the nod, despite having been in Buffalo for just over one week.

Anderson has 76 career NFL appearances under his belt, though he has not seen consistent action since his 2010 campaign with the Cardinals. He went just 2-7 that year, but he did lead the 2007 Browns to a 10-5 record in 15 starts en route to his only Pro Bowl nod.

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Josh Allen Has UCL Damage

Josh Allen will miss time for the Bills, and after the rookie quarterback visited Dr. James Andrews, more clarity’s emerged on what the rookie quarterback’s battling.

The damage to Allen’s elbow involves his UCL, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (on Twitter). This problem often leads to pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery, but Mike Garafolo of NFL.com notes that doesn’t appear to be necessary for Allen. This isn’t a full tear, per Pelissero.

This said, the expectation for now is Allen will miss at least two games, perhaps three, Pelissero tweets. The Bills turned to embattled second-year passer Nathan Peterman after Allen went down on Sunday. They also have the recently signed Derek Anderson on their roster.

Buffalo’s offense has submitted a historically woeful stretch, with Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz tweeting the Bills’ offensive DVOA through six games is second only to the 2004 Dolphins’ among the worst the website has graded since 1986. The Bills have won two games, though, with Allen starting.

The team ditched its offseason plan of A.J. McCarron and moved on from Peterman after another disastrous start, beginning the Allen era. But the Bills appear certain to have to play without Allen for the time being.

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Bills’ Josh Allen Suffers Injury

Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen suffered a right elbow injury in Sunday’s 20-13 loss to the Texans, as Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. It is not considered to be a major injury at this time, but the team will run his MRI results past Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. 

The Bills do not want to rush Allen back, though the QB wants to play. After making a huge investment by drafting him, the Bills are understandably cautious. There’s also not a huge need to get him back on the field right away, given their 2-4 start.

We’re going to take it one day at a time,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said Monday.

If Allen is a no-go for Sunday against the Colts, the Bills will have to decide between Nathan Peterman and Derek Anderson as his stand-in. After Peterman threw two picks in relief of Allen on Sunday, the newly-acquired Anderson may be the logical choice to start. In speaking with reporters on Monday, McDermott indicated that he would consider both the short- and long-term ramifications of benching Peterman in favor of the former Panthers veteran.

I got to put the right guy out there that I feel is best for our football team,” McDermott said. “I understand the fans and that sentiment, but at the same time, I have to do what we feel is best for the football team moving forward.”

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Josh Allen To Start Week 2 For Bills

The Josh Allen era in Buffalo is officially underway. The rookie quarterback will get the nod under center for the Bills in Week 2 according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN (Twitter link).

Allen will replace Nathan Peterman in the starting lineup. Peterman earned the job due to a strong preseason, but fell flat on his face in Week 1 against the Ravens, mustering only 24 yards on 18 attempts. Allen came into the game in the third quarter and while he wasn’t great, he was clearly better than Peterman.

It’ll be a tough test for Allen’s first career start, as he’ll be facing a Chargers defense that has a ton of talent. Luckily for him, it appears that Joey Bosa is unlikely to play. Since the Bills faced a brutal slate of defenses to open the year, it was assumed by many that the plan was for Allen to sit the first few weeks, but they apparently felt they couldn’t wait any longer.

In what’s almost certain to be a rebuilding year for the Bills, this move makes sense. They can give Allen as much time as he needs to develops and ride the ups and downs with the rookie. The fanbase likely would’ve grown antsy and impatient quickly with Peterman’s struggles, so it’s natural they’d make the move ahead of the home opener.

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Nathan Peterman To Start Week 1 For Bills

After trading away A.J. McCarron to the Raiders, the Bills’ quarterback competition was down to two. Nathan Peterman has prevailed over Josh Allen for now, as the team announced Peterman will start Week 1 against the Ravens.

Peterman, a fifth round pick last year, struggled heavily in limited regular season action in 2017. But the Pittsburgh product was excellent this preseason, and performed well enough to stave off the start of the Allen-era, at least temporarily. While Allen will almost surely take over the job at some point, the team apparently decided he wasn’t ready. Allen’s preseason was a mixed bag, his potential was clear as ever, but he wasn’t always consistent.

The Bills’ schedule to start the season very likely has something to do with the decision to start Peterman. The first three weeks of the season, they play the Ravens, Chargers, and Vikings. That’s a tough slate of defenses for any quarterback to face, let alone a rookie making his first career starts, so it makes sense why they’d want Allen to avoid that.

The Bills traded Tyrod Taylor to the Browns this spring, all but confirming they planned to take a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 draft. The team used significant draft capital to move up to number seven overall to select Allen, and even if Peterman plays reasonably well, it’s only a matter of time before Allen is under center in Buffalo.

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AJ McCarron Didn’t Fracture Collarbone

AJ McCarron‘s injury was not as serious as originally thought. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Bills quarterback did not suffer a fracture in his collarbone, as was reported following the team’s preseason game on Friday. While McCarron was expected to miss “several weeks,” NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the quarterback is now day-to-day. McCarron is expected to return to practice once his shoulder pain subsides.

This is surely welcome news to the Bills, who inked the quarterback to a two-year, $8.1MM deal this offseason. However, the team has already decided to roll with first-rounder Josh Allen as their starter for this weekend’s game against the Bengals (Twitter link). The rookie quarterback has the most passing attempts through Buffalo’s first two games, completing 18 of his 32 passes for 176 yards and two scores. For comparison’s sake, McCarron has completed 10-of-16 for 128 yards and no touchdowns, while Nathan Peterman has gone 17-of-20 for 231 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

McCarron’s only relevant NFL work came as a replacement to an injured Andy Dalton during the 2015 campaign. The former Alabama star had been in the rumor mill through much of his tenure in Cincinnati, including a reported trade to the Browns that ultimately fell through. In 11 career games (three starts), the 27-year-old has completed 64.7-percent of his passes for 920 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also started the Bengals’ 2015 playoff loss to the Steelers, throwing a touchdown and a pick.

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Bills Notes: Quarterbacks, Williams, O’Leary

Running back Marcus Murphy continues to improve his chances of making the Bills’ 53-man roster. The 2015 seventh-round had a brief cameo with Buffalo last season, but he had showed some intriguing flashes during his tenure with the Saints. His talents have been on display during the preseason, as he’s compiled 74 yards and one touchdown in 11 carries (he’s also hauled in four catches).

“I just want to make a play,” Murphy told Branson Wright of Cleveland.com. “Whenever an opportunity is given, I just want to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter if it’s being a running back, punt returner or kick returner. I just want to be a playmaker whenever I get the chance.”

“I appreciate the coaching staff giving me an opportunity. I want to show them that they can trust me to make a play and show that I’m able to execute whenever they need me to.”

Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News is ready to give Murphy a spot on the opening-day roster, and the writer cites the struggles of current number-three running back Travaris Cadet. Otherwise, Murphy would be competing with Taiwan Jones for a role behind LeSean McCoy and Chris Ivory.

Let’s take a look at some more notes out of Buffalo…

  • While Skurski is willing to hand Murphy a roster spot, he wonders if tight end Nick O’Leary is on the roster bubble. While the 25-year-old did finish last night’s preseason win over the Browns with a team-leading four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown, he didn’t end up taking the field until the second half. If the former sixth-rounder has any hopes of making the Bills, he’ll have to beat out Jason Croom, Logan Thomas and Khari Lee for backup reps behind Charles Clay. O’Leary finished last season with 22 receptions for 322 yards and two touchdowns in 15 games (five starts).
  • Quarterback A.J. McCarron suffered a hairline fracture in his collarbone during last night’s preseason game. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the signal-caller will end up missing “several weeks,” but a definitive timetable hasn’t been set. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mike Rodak isn’t ready to hand the starting quarterback gig to first-rounder Josh Allen. The reporter notes (on Twitter) that head coach Sean McDermott has a high opinion of backup Nathan Peterman, and McCarron’s injury shouldn’t force the coach to “stray from his “calculated” plan about Allen.” Rodak believes the two healthy quarterbacks will split reps during next weekend’s game against the Bengals, although he also wonders if the team may end up adding another quarterback to the roster.
  • Defensive lineman Kyle Williams went down with a knee injury during last night’s game, but Rapoport tweets that the Pro Bowler’s ACL wasn’t injured. If the MRI confirms that prognosis, the 35-year-old “could return this season.” That still sounds like a rather grim outlook for the defensive tackle, but the MRI will likely provide specific details on the severity of the injury. The five-time Pro Bowler has spent his entire 12-year career with Buffalo, and he finished last season with 41 tackles and three sacks. If he is indeed forced to miss time, the Bills will likely turn to Harrison Phillips or Adolphus Washington for a bigger role.

Brandon Beane On Bills’ QB Decision

Second-year Bills GM Brandon’s Beane went through a lot to trade up and land Josh Allen, making two deals — with the Bengals and Buccaneers — to vault the Bills into that No. 7 spot.

When asked about his first-round quarterback’s chances of earning earlier-than-expected playing time, Beane said it could come down to how he looks in the Bills’ first preseason game.

I think you give everybody the fair amount of reps now. Right now we’re going with Nathan (Peterman) and A.J. (McCarron) with the majority of the ones and twos, but giving Josh at least a period a day – at least,” Beane said, via John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. “And we’ll do that through the first preseason game, and then we’ll adjust from there and decide, Are we going to keep it the same? Are we going to give him more reps? Or are we going to give him less? Everything is earned here.”

Buffalo snapped major North American sports’ longest playoff drought last season by booking the AFC’s No. 6 seed in dramatic fashion, and that progress may impact the team’s quarterback decision.

Although the Bills’ offense will look remarkably different, given that Tyrod Taylor and three key offensive linemen are out of the picture, last year’s work may prompt the GM and coaching staff to go with one of the veteran signal-callers while the Wyoming-produced prodigy observes to start the season.

Some people say, ‘Hey, don’t play a rookie at all.’ And some people say go ahead and play him no matter what,” Beane said. “And I think the thing is you’ve got to be fair to the other – when you get your 53-man roster – the other 52 players. Because everybody wants to win now, including Sean (McDermott) and I. And so (the players) see the same practice. They watch the same practices; they’ll watch the same preseason games. And if you’re not putting the best guy out there I think they’re going to lose their respect for you.”

Beane said he will be involved in the decision, along with McDermott and new OC Brian Daboll. Ownership will not steer the team one way or another in this matter, per Beane. Daboll last served as an NFL coordinator for the 2012 Chiefs, who went 2-14, but he served as national champion Alabama’s OC last season.

It will be a group decision,” Beane said. “There’s Sean and I. We’ll obviously talk. There’s Brian Daboll. He’ll be involved. He knows more than everybody who’s hitting everything. He’s in every meeting with these quarterbacks. It’s his offense.

… We’ll talk to (owners Terry and Kim Pegula) about the evaluation process. ‘Hey, this is what A.J. did well in Game 1 … this is what he’s got to improve on.’ Or, ‘This is what Josh did what, and what he’s got to improve on.’ And same with Nathan. So, yeah, we’ll definitely talk.”

Despite his five-interception disaster in Los Angeles last season, Peterman showed well in minicamp. McCarron would seemingly be the best bet for veteran stability, but Allen’s displayed improvement in training camp. Allen was viewed as a longer project than peers Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold coming into the draft.

(Allen) was behind, being in the draft, whereas both A.J. and Nate were already learning Brian Daboll’s system a month-plus before Josh got there,” Beane told Kryk regarding Allen’s summer progression. “But definitely, by the time we left there in June he was mentally there. Now it’s just catching him up physically, knowing all the plays – it’s a big playbook – and getting the guys lined up. But he has done a great job to this point.”

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