Lots of excellent story lines with the 7-1 Minnesota Vikings coming to Buffalo Sunday. Stefon Diggs facing his former team for the first time since the trade over two years ago. Brothers James Cook and the Vikings Delvin Cook facing each other. The possibility of Bills backup qb Case Keenum going up against his former team, or one of several former teams actually.
All this pales with the Josh Allen story, which now has about 100 different versions on whether or not he’ll play Sunday. He tore his UCL. He sprained his UCL. It’s a partial tear. No way he should play and risk making the injury worse with 9 games to go in the regular season. Who’s right?
Vegas oddsmakers, who always seem to have inside sources, don’t think Allen will play. Before Allen’s injury last Sunday against the Jets,
Vegas loved the Bills by 8 over the Vikings. Now? The line is only 3 ½, which assumes Keenum is in there.
Bills coach Josh McDermott is being coy, as he usually is with injuries and speculation about same. Although Allen didn’t practice Wednesday or Thursday and wore a protective sleeve on his right arm, McDermott says he’s day to day. For McDermott, that’s saying a lot.
Allen’s body language, according to his teammates, is that he’s playing.
I think he is too.
For one thing, this is not the same elbow injury Allen suffered in 2018 at Houston, when he screamed in pain, left immediately for the locker room and missed a month.
This time, after getting his throwing arm caught awkwardly in the final seconds at the Jets, Allen grimaced a couple times but stayed in there, and a couple plays after the grabbed the elbow, he fired a 70 yard bomb downfield that Gabe Davis later admitted he should have caught.
We know Allen is as tough as they come. He had to be physically restrained in the Bills training room when it was suspected he suffered a concussion against the Patriots a couple years ago just before the half. Allen played the next week after going through the protocol.
However, will the Bills want to risk aggravating the injury with 9 games left in the regular season even though Allen says he’s “fine”?
Easy answer. Of course not.
If he’s cleared medically, and it’s an issue of pain management, Allen will play. Will that mean OC Ken Dorsey will have to change the game plan? Fewer passes? Shorter passes? No running?
East answer part 2. Allen will be Allen if he plays. He’ll run if forced to or if he sees an opening, and he’ll throw it deep if the matchup he likes is there. He knows one speed and that’s full.
To say this is a huge game not even halfway through the season is not an overstatement. The Fins and Jets are 6-3, just a half game behind the Bills 6-2, and the Patriots are a game behind them. Plus, the Bills are 0-2 in the AFC East, which doesn’t affect this game directly.
The way I see it is that Allen plays and the Bills win it 31-24. If he doesn’t play or gets reinjured?
Have to stick with my story. He’s playing.
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