1. Sean McDermott provides injury updates from Sunday's game
The bye week has proven to be quite timely for the Bills after a 4-1 start. Following Sunday’s game in which four starters went down with injuries, Buffalo is welcoming a week off to heal up.
“It’s at a good time,” said head coach Sean McDermott of the bye. “We’ve got some injuries right now. We’ve been able to sustain success early on and withstand some of the injuries we’ve incurred at the beginning of the year. Now we’re a little more banged up. So we’ve got to get healthy, so it’s a good time for us to get some rest and evaluate where we are and where we’re trying to go.”
Cody Ford and Trent Murphy both left Sunday’s game with head injuries and are in the concussion protocol.
The Bills also lost LB Matt Milano and C Mitch Morse to injuries as well.
“Milano is working through a hamstring injury,” said McDermott. “Mitch is moving in the right direction with his ankle (injury). I don’t think it’s all that bad at this point.”
McDermott stated that Morse was available in an emergency situation after sustaining his injury, knowing they had no other healthy linemen after he and Ford exited the game.
Buffalo chose to keep Taron Johnson and Devin Singletary inactive for another week this past Sunday with hamstring injuries. Coach McDermott admitted the decision to sit them again was influenced by the bye week.
“It was a factor,” said McDermott. “I’d be lying if I said it was 100 percent of our decision process there, but it was a factor.”
By not playing in Sunday’s game, Johnson and Singletary did not put any stress on their recovering hamstrings, making them all the more likely to return to action in Week 7 when the Bills host Miami.
2. McDermott said Josh Allen had a solid performance
Coming off what Josh Allen personally labeled a poor performance in Week 4 against New England, he rebounded nicely in the win over the Titans Sunday.
The Bills quarterback completed 72 percent of his passes going 23-32 for 219 yards with a pair of touchdowns. His only blemish was his interception that led to the Titans only touchdown in the game.
Allen felt start to finish it was one of his most consistent games and his head coach agreed.
“I thought it was a well-rounded game,” said McDermott. “Outside of that one play, I thought he was accurate. He got the ball out on time. He understood the looks the defense was giving him pre-snap and that speaks to his preparation. I thought his ability to use his feet timing-wise, he was in and out of the pocket on time. Then he checked the ball down when he needed to check the ball down. So it was a well-rounded game for him.”
3. Ryan Bates and Spencer Long deliver in a pinch
Between the second and third quarters Buffalo lost a pair of starting linemen in the game Sunday in Mitch Morse and Cody Ford. It prompted the line to move Jon Feliciano to center with veteran Spencer Long taking right guard, and later undrafted rookie Ryan Bates manning right tackle.
Long got 63 percent of the playing time on offense, which amounted to 41 snaps, while Bates saw 31 percent of the action coming in for the last 20 snaps on offense.
“What a job Spencer Long did, and what a job (Ryan) Bates did,” McDermott said. “That was (Bates’) first action in a live NFL game in terms of regular season. To go out there on one side of the line and have both of those guys execute together at a high level says a lot about what they did in terms of their preparation. It also speaks to what (offensive line coach) Bobby Johnson and (assistant offensive line coach) Terry Heffernan did to get them ready.”
Their play was just part of an effort by a handful of reserve players like Maurice Alexander, Kurt Coleman and others who had to fill roles after starters succumbed to injury. An effort their head coach was proud of.
“The mental toughness of our football team and the preparation of our football team, not just the starters, but the other guys who came in and stepped up,” he said. “Without those guys we may not win that football game.”