Marshawn Lynch was cracking a smile on the sidelines as he tried to walk off a sprained ankle after leaving the game late in the fourth quarter. Ever the optimist Lynch believes he will be able to play Sunday night. Bills head coach Dick Jauron chose to be more careful with his words Monday.
"There is concern and we'll have an MRI, there is one scheduled," said Jauron. "We'll just have to see what happens there. We don't believe anything is broken. He's very optimistic and we'll certainly know more by tomorrow and we should have a real good feel for where it is Wednesday."
Jauron is encouraged by Lynch's optimism and believes there's something to the power of positive thinking.
"He's very upbeat and that's part of it," said Jauron. "As he said last night he feels like he'll play (Sunday night), but we've kind of got to wait and see on that one. He's sore."
If Lynch for some reason can't play Sunday, it would leave a gaping hole in Buffalo's offense, which has depended upon the rookie. Through nine games Lynch has been the offensive catalyst as he has accounted for more than a third of the team's total yardage (36%) and six of the team's 10 offensive touchdowns.
Lynch has accumulated 196 carries this season, second only to Pittsburgh's Willie Parker (212) and stands fifth in the league in rushing. He's averaging 21.8 carries per game, which is right around where the coaching staff wants his touches per game to be.
"He's going to get a lot of carries," said Jauron. "That's why we drafted him. You can see the talents that he has so in order to win games he's got to get the ball. We do not like it when he carries the ball 30-plus times a game. We would like to keep it in the low 20's, but there will be games when he gets the ball 30 times in a football game."
In a game where the offense was struggling to put drives together, Buffalo relied on Lynch. Though his average yards per carry in the game (3.2) were not impressive, his hard-nosed running style inspired his teammates.
"You look at what Marshawn is doing, running with so much passion and intensity," said Lee Evans. "It runs through the whole offense, especially the whole offensive line. That goes a long way. Some of those hard yards are sometimes what you need as an offense to get you going."
And Buffalo needed Lynch to get them going in the fourth quarter Sunday and he came through with a determined three-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion that required even more second effort to tie the score late at 10.
"He's really a terrific player," said Jauron. "The touchdown run and the two-point run for a total of five yards were two really tremendous runs."
Lynch also accounted for all 23 yards on the final drive including a pair of third down conversions to put Buffalo in field goal range for the game-winning points.