Top 3 Things We Learned

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Top 3 things we learned from Bills vs. Jets | Week 17

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Duke Williams (82) Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets at New Era Field, December 29, 2019. Photo by Sara Schmidle
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Duke Williams (82) Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets at New Era Field, December 29, 2019. Photo by Sara Schmidle

1. Bills can't escape injury in finale

The Bills took measures to avoid losing any players important to their fortunes in next week's AFC Wild Card game, but they did lose a couple of players on Sunday against the Jets.

Both CB Levi Wallace and OT Ty Nsekhe had to be carted to the locker room at separate times during Sunday's loss to the Jets.

Late in the first quarter, Levi Wallace suffered an ankle injury. Wallace made his second interception of the season off a deflected pass, but as he was making the play his right foot stuck awkwardly in the turf.

Wallace remained motionless on the turf after the play and was helped off by athletic trainers. He was later carted to the locker room.

After Wallace left the game, the Bills defensive staff pulled Kevin Johnson out of the lineup as a precaution knowing they could not afford to lose Wallace's backup to injury as well in the game.

"Yeah we were just trying to make sure because we're a little short at that position to begin with," said head coach Sean McDermott. "So we had Levi and Kevin out there, and we wanted to roll them in and out and we just kind of ran out of bodies. You hate to see that happen. Levi made a good play. But I'll have a better feel (on their prognoses) when I sit down with the medical staff and trainers."

Siran Neal and Taron Johnson both played outside at cornerback for the remainder of the game. Johnson, however was helped off late in the game and did not return. However, he was seen on the sidelines testing his injury after coming off in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile on the offensive line, Ty Nsekhe was carted off after he sustained an ankle injury to the same ankle that had kept him out of the lineup the past five games.

A short time later Cody Ford suffered an injury after he had to replace Nsekhe in the lineup. Fortunately, Ford was able to return and finish the game.

2. Duke Williams hits century mark

Over the course of the entire season, receiver Duke Williams appeared in three games and had a total of seven targets with six receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. On Sunday, when afforded a good deal of playing time, Williams not only exceeded his season total, he posted the first 100-yard receiving game of his career.

"I wish we would've got the victory, but we're in the playoffs," said Williams. "I did my part. Tried to make plays when the ball came my way and was determined to get dirty in the blocking game and I was able to do that too."

The signee from the CFL was targeted a team-high 12 times making six receptions for 108 yards. His biggest play came late in the game when Matt Barkley found him for a 41-yard pass play that led to a field goal drive.

"He's a tough football player," said head coach Sean McDermott. "He's obviously popular with the fans and he brought us juice, brought us energy. He's a young player though and I know there are plays he wants back. Some fundamentals in there that we've got to improve on, but I thought he brought us some energy."

Coach McDermott didn't rule out players who performed in Sunday's game earning consideration for playing time in next week's playoff game at Houston.

"Yes, absolutely there is (opportunity to earn consideration) and we believe we had a good week of practice," said McDermott. "We got some good work in there with some guys working against each other and so give us again an opportunity to evaluate and watch our guys handle the week and then how they handled the game. Again, it's all about us growing as a football team who can help us the most."

Williams isn't expecting anything coming out of his Week 17 performance. He's just focused on being prepared.

"I kind of established my name, but I've still got more in the tank," said Williams of his performance Sunday. "I'm just waiting for the opportunity. I'm just working hard every day, staying ready, so when opportunities like this present themselves I'll be able to perform."

3. Trent Murphy posts productive day

He's one of just two players who registered production in every defensive category. On Sunday against the Jets, Trent Murphy racked up stats in several of those categories again.

The Bills defensive end registered a pair of sacks to tie a single-game career high. He also had a pair of quarterback hits and two tackles for loss.

"It's always good to be productive in this league," Murphy said. "Every day we're putting a resume out there on tape, so that's always a good thing. I'm just here to do my job, do my one-eleventh. Just control the controllables and do what you've got to do."

The sacks gave Murphy a total of five on the season. The two QB takedowns put Murphy in a tie for third on the team in sacks with rookie Ed Oliver.

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