Josh Allen traditionally provides the majority of the answers with his sizzling play. However, a question now looms in regard to his availability as he deals with a right elbow injury to the ulnar collateral ligament.
“We will see how he does,” Buffalo coach Sean McDermott said on Wednesday when asked if Allen would play this Sunday for the Bills (6-2) versus the visiting Minnesota Vikings (7-1).
“We use common sense and, obviously, we factor a lot of things in, a medical report being one of them, and our doctor’s wisdom and knowledge.”
The uncertainty has been felt by oddsmakers, who once favored the high-octane Bills by as many as 9.5 points. Now, it’s down to 3.5 at FanDuel.
Allen suffered his injury during the last drive of Buffalo’s 20-17 loss to the New York Jets last Sunday. The MVP candidate has an NFL second-best 19 touchdown passes against eight interceptions, tied for second most in the league.
Offseason acquisition Case Keenum would be in line to get the start should Allen be unable to play on Sunday.
“We believe in Case Keenum. He’s here for a reason,” McDermott said of Keenum, who once led the Vikings to an appearance in the NFC Championship Game in the 2017 season.
Stefon Diggs, who was on that Vikings team, was traded from Minnesota to Buffalo on March 16, 2020. The Vikings sent Diggs and a seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to Buffalo in exchange for a first-round selection in the 2020 draft — which later became Justin Jefferson — as well as 2020 fifth and sixth-round picks and a 2021 fourth-round selection.
“To me, I try not to take it too personal because it’s not a personal fight for me,” Diggs said. “My life has changed a lot since then, a lot of great things have happened, so more so focused on that than the harping on the things that didn’t.”
Diggs had five catches for 93 yards last week. The two-time Pro Bowl selection shares the NFL lead with seven receiving touchdowns and ranks third with 857 receiving yards.
Jefferson has 10 more receiving yards than Diggs to reside behind only Miami Dolphins star wideout Tyreek Hill (1,104).
Jefferson reeled in one of Kirk Cousins’ two touchdown passes last week as Minnesota recorded its sixth straight win with a 20-17 victory over the Washington Commanders.
The other scoring strike went to Dalvin Cook, who has made five separate trips to the end zone in his last four games.
Cook will see a familiar face on the opposite sideline in Bills rookie running back James Cook, his younger brother.
When asked if there was any trash talk between the two, Dalvin Cook was quick with an answer on Wednesday.
“Every day,” he said with a smile. “I’ll talk to him after this, just call him just to mess with him. To see where his head’s at.”
Trade deadline acquisition T.J. Hockenson reeled in nine receptions for 70 yards in his debut.
Harrison Smith has recorded an interception in each of the last three games for the Vikings.
Minnesota wide receiver Adam Thielen (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday, while defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (calf), cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (ankle) and center Garrett Bradbury (ankle) did not participate in the session.
Like Allen, safety Jordan Poyer (elbow), linebackers Tremaine Edmunds (groin, heel) and Von Miller (veteran rest), defensive end Greg Rousseau (ankle) and offensive guard Rodger Saffold (veteran rest, back) did not participate in practice on Wednesday.
–Field Level Media