It's the dreaded term for an ankle sprain that no NFL player wants as a diagnosis. The high ankle sprain. But that's exactly what Marshawn Lynch is dealing with now more than week removed from sustaining the injury.
"It's the typical high ankle and we're not particularly optimistic about this week," said head coach Dick Jauron of Lynch's status. "He wants to play and still thinks he should have played last week."
Lynch is out of the immobilizer boot that he wore on his left ankle all of last week, but is still favoring the ankle as he had a slight limp walking through the facility at One Bills Drive Wednesday.
Although Jauron is not optimistic about Lynch's chances this weekend, he does not want to discourage the running back's positive approach to getting back on the field.
"He came so far so fast last week, further than we thought he would," said Jauron. "And he was so enthused about the possibility of him playing. He really thought he would play. And he still feels he can make a similar effort this week, so you don't want to discourage that, but I'm not overly optimistic about it."
The Bills offense had relied heavily on Lynch, who had all six of their rushing touchdowns and one of the team's five passing touchdowns this season. It has been an adjustment operating without him.
"Obviously when you lose somebody who has done so much for our offense so far it does make a difference," said Lee Evans. "You do have to make adjustments and the guys we have can step in and do a great job. But based on what he's done, once you count on that for a while, you do have to make adjustments."
Buffalo figures to get a better gauge on how they'll fare without Lynch, assuming he does not play again this Sunday in Jacksonville, facing a Jaguars team considered to be more on the Bills' level than the undefeated Patriots.
"We're still doing a good job of attacking defenses," said Evans. "As long as we have that mentality we'll be alright."