He was surprisingly specific when it came to the injury that has kept him sidelined for the Bills last four games.
The improvement in Josh Allen’s elbow from the week leading up to the Jets game to now has been significant.
“I definitely think it was (a good decision),” said Allen of sitting out the Jets game. “The difference I feel in the elbow right now compared to two weeks ago, it’s a very big difference. I’m making throws where I don’t have to second guess,” said Allen. “I’m putting the ball where it needs to be. When I’m making this throw there’s no grabbing or pulling in there. It feels comfortable and fluid. Maybe two weeks ago I may have had a couple of throws where I didn’t want to make that throw yet. Now it’s full game and every throw is on the table.”
All signs are pointing to Allen returning to the lineup Sunday against Jacksonville, a team with the fourth ranked defense that ranks ninth in points allowed and has allowed the fewest first downs in the league.
"I’ve been training with him and he’s been working it out a lot lately. I feel he’s definitely back to where it was. We definitely saw that at practice (Monday). He’s letting it go. He’s letting the receivers go run and get the ball.” Wide receiver Robert Foster
As much as Allen respects the Jaguars defense the Bills rookie quarterback is anxious to resume his development as a pro signal caller.
“I’m coming out here acting like I’m going to be starting Sunday,” he said. “I’m excited. I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
Allen stayed in Buffalo during the bye week to complete the final steps of his rehabilitation. Helping him out was fellow rookie, WR Robert Foster, who sees a difference with Allen’s confidence in his throwing arm.
“I’ve been training with him and he’s been working it out a lot lately,” said Foster of Allen. “I feel he’s definitely back to where it was. We definitely saw that at practice (Monday). He’s letting it go. He’s letting the receivers go run and get the ball.”
That should help Buffalo continue to stretch the field offensively, something they’ve been unable to do with any consistency until their win over the Jets in Week 10, when they exploded with 41 points.
Foster was a key component of the deep ball passing of the Bills in that game. And Allen, who has a stronger rapport with Foster than Barkley, believes they’ll be able to threaten opposing defenses deep.
“Robert is one of the guys who stayed back and threw with me during the week,” Allen said. “I’m confident with where he’s at and where our timing and relationship is. Dude is really fast. I’m anxious to get throwing with (Deonte Thompson) and seeing what Isaiah (McKenzie) can do and how he develops here. They all add their own little element to the game. That’s going to help the team.”
Allen watched Jacksonville’s game on Sunday against Pittsburgh live and saw how tight the throwing windows were against the Jaguars talented secondary. He was impressed with how Ben Roethlisberger bounced back from a poor first half to rally his team to victory with help from his receiving corps.
“Seeing what he did during that game, just kind of picking away at them, he finally got some shots and his receivers made some plays for him,” said Allen of Roethlisberger. “With a really good defense that’s what it comes down to. Sometimes you’ve got to go up and make some spectacular plays and that’s what Pittsburgh did.”
And Buffalo’s receivers know they must do that for Allen on Sunday.
“We’ve just got to make plays for him. It’s all about making that connection,” said Foster. “That’s what we want to do so we’ll keep working at it every day. I’m ready to do everything I can to help him and him help me. We just have to keep practicing and hope it shows up in the game.”
The last five weeks have forced Allen to learn lessons from the sideline. There has unquestionably been value in that, but the quarterback is eager to learn the rest of his rookie season on the game field. He knows that will serve his game best.
“I’m thankful I could sit out for one more week and Matt (Barkley) could come in and get us a victory,” he said. “I got to learn a lot from that game as well. To see some of our guys to go out and make some plays and see our offense perform, I was excited to see that and I’m looking forward to what comes.”