In a season where a lot hasn't gone according to plan, Bills fans at least had the allure of watching Buffalo's two first-round picks grow and mature on the field. Unfortunately, injury deprived them of that the past few weeks for Josh Allen and this past week for Tremaine Edmunds.
Fortunately, both are a step closer to returning to action. Allen, who began practicing on a limited basis last Friday, will continue to do so Wednesday, as he appears to have an outside chance at returning to the lineup Sunday against the Jets.
"We're just taking it one day at a time. We want to see how he does today," said head coach Sean McDermott. "We'll know more after practice."
McDermott said there will come a point in time this week where they'll make a call on Allen's playing status for Sunday's game against New York.
What has been encouraging is Allen, who began throwing again last Friday, also threw over the weekend and threw another 100 balls on Monday, replicating a practice. To this point all signs through his recovery and rehabilitation have been positive.
"He's done a good job so far," McDermott said. "No setbacks."
McDermott did admit that the bye week coming up is a consideration in determining whether Allen will dress this week, knowing he could get two more weeks of run-up time before playing again.
Meanwhile Tremaine Edmunds, though still in the concussion protocol, is also back practicing on a limited basis. This signifies that the rookie middle linebacker has reached step four of the five-step return to participation protocol where he can participate in non-contact football activities.
Edmunds sustained a concussion when his head was part of a violent tackle on Patriots FB James Develin following a reception by the fullback in the Week 8 Monday night game.
The last step that Edmunds must complete is full medical clearance by the Bills team physician and an Independent Neurological Consultant.
Anderson still in concussion protocol
QB Derek Anderson, who sustained a concussion late in the Monday night game against the Patriots when he was sacked by LB Kyle Van Noy, is still unable to practice.
"Derek Anderson won't practice," McDermott said. "He's still in the concussion protocol."
That means that Anderson is still somewhere between step one and step three of the return to participation protocol.
Team physicians compare Anderson's brain activity to that of a baseline test that he had to take when he was first signed by the Bills a few weeks ago. If there are any persistent symptoms or a return of symptoms after any kind of aerobic activity in the early stages of the protocol they must wait until Anderson returns to baseline status.
Also not practicing for the Bills Wednesday are Chris Ivory (shoulder), Charles Clay (hamstring) and Trent Murphy (knee). Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams are getting their normal Wednesday rest days.
McCoy's mindset is sound going forward
A dejected LeSean McCoy was the last version of the running back that the media saw after the disappointing loss to New England on Monday night. The team's feature back has not spoken with the media since then.
Head coach Sean McDermott stated if the media has questions for McCoy that he's happy to answer them, but insists that his feature back is focused on the next game.
"He's out there practicing," McDermott said. "He's in a good frame of mind and he'll be ready to go Sunday. LeSean and I communicate every week at a minimum where we talk. I feel he's ready to go and will be ready Sunday to put his best foot forward."
It's no secret that McCoy, who has 24 yards on his last 24 carries, is on pace for the lowest single-season rushing total of his career. But most outside observers see the main issue being an offensive line that can't consistently establish the line of scrimmage.
"We've got to do a better job starting up front," McDermott confirmed. "You can have all the plays you want, but in the end it's a man on man game and you have to be able to move guys off the ball. We've got to play with great fundamentals and technique. Then you go to calling the right plays at the right time against the right defense. But overall it starts with establishing a physical line of scrimmage and the Jets do a good job of playing sound, fundamental defense."
McDermott affirmed that everyone has a hand in the shortcomings of the running game including McCoy, but he firmly believes that McCoy is still a difference-making player.
"There have been some opportunities to hit some holes that weren't hit overall, and there have been some opportunities where the scheme was there, and we didn't get the movement that we needed (up front)," he said. "We've got to give him more opportunities to make more big plays for us."