One of the major storylines coming out of the Thanksgiving game against the Lions is once again the injuries to various key players. LB Von Miller, OL Dion Dawkins and CB Christian Benford all sustained injuries, further testing the depth of the Bills.
Bills HC Sean McDermott already ruled out Miller for next week's TNF game at New England due to a knee injury. More news about Miller's injury can be found here.
As for Dawkins, he left the game with an ankle injury and missed the entire second half and is day-to-day.
"We'll see how he does this week as we move forward here one day at a time," McDermott said.
Benford suffered an oblique injury and is week-to-week, according to McDermott.
Tre White makes quick but productive debut
A pleasant surprise occurred in the hours leading up to the Thanksgiving game as it was announced CB Tre'Davious White would be active for his first game of the season and returning from his ACL injury that came on last year's Thanksgiving game.
The team gave no indication in the days leading up to the game that White would be available, but quietly felt early in the week that it was trending in a positive direction.
"Early in the week, we had an idea it was going to work out that way. Short week, but it was something that we talked about," Leslie Frazier said. "That Wednesday before we left to go to Detroit, we had conversations and in every conversation, you can see the excitement within (Tre)... so there was a level of comfort there and we were all excited and then he goes out and he plays extremely well."
White played the team's first two defensive drives (16 plays) as he was on a snap count but the coaching staff liked what they saw in that short span.
"He looked confident in what he was doing, seeing him turn and run and plant and drive, just doing some of the things that he did prior to his injury. That just lets you know that he's really close to maybe add in some more plays," Frazier said.
McDermott, Frazier and the rest of the Bills staff have prioritized making sure White is in the best position to succeed long term, not just in the immediate present, hence his low snap count against Detroit. But there's optimism his workload could increase soon.
"You gotta do what's best for Tre and his long term future. So I fully understand the fact that we had him on a pitch count yesterday and why we were doing what we were doing. Hopefully we can increase that to the point where he can play a full game," Frazier said.
Trust required for game-changing throw
With :23 seconds left and the game tied 25-25, it appeared the Bills and Lions would have to settle things in overtime. That was until QB Josh Allen threw a laser over the middle of the field to WR Stefon Diggs to get into field goal range. Two plays later, Tyler Bass came on and drilled the game-winning field goal.
Allen and Diggs, who have already had countless breathtaking plays together this season, linked up for one more — a momentous 36-yard gain that the team hopes catapults the offense moving forward. A replay from the CBS broadcast showed an angle from behind Allen and tracked the tightly thrown spiral as it avoided the hand of a Lions defender and found the chest of Diggs.
Ken Dorsey said the execution in that moment simply comes down to trust from multiple parties.
"I think it's a ton of trust," Dorsey shared. "I mean, it's trust in Sean to be able to go forward in that situation and let us kind of take some shots right there at it. There's trust in me and Josh and all eleven guys on the field at the time to execute, the line protecting and Stef to run the route."
"And then obviously, Josh and his confidence in Stef to really just kind of step up and give him an opportunity to make a play."
Allen and Diggs were seen embracing and hugging each other on the sidelines after Bass' game-winning field goal, a sign of how much the two teammates mean to each other but also how the team's will to win is shown on a weekly basis.
"Our ability to — no matter what the situation is — just keep pounding, keep staying with the process. And we feel like, no matter what the situation is, we'll always give ourselves a chance if we're doing the right things," Dorsey said.