Instead of celebrating a return to limited participation in the final official practice after two straight misses, Josh Allen ran off the Buffalo Bills field instead of basking in the progress. Why?
He quickly exits without his helmet even though he pauses to pick up his gloves, etc. Did he not have one? Yes others are helmetless but theirs are on the ground nearby, at their feet or in their hand. For a football player to leave his helmet behind while grabbing other things is akin to you or I leaving our cellphone on the table but grabbing our bottle of water and pen. I guess he could have given it to equipment staff earlier.
The explanation is simple. The Bills want to continue the gamesmanship. I don’t believe that this was staged as some media have suspected. Every NFL QB I know would not participate in this choreographed silliness. Simply, the plan was for Allen to leave practice before media was let in at the end since it is team policy for any players who practice to speak to reporters as the locker room is open on Fridays. My belief is Allen hung around with his teammates a little too long and noticed the media had arrived. The early sprint and exit (Allen was not around in the locker room) allowed an escape without speaking to reporters and thus the possibility of playing remains without Allen having to lie.
As expected, Josh Allen was officially listed as “questionable” to leave the possibility of playing open. If this were a playoff game the Sports Injury Central NFL team doctors believe he would play. But the risk is not worth it as you can’t win a Super Bowl in November but you sure can lose one if your star QB makes his elbow injury worse. We continue to believe he will miss the Vikings game and likely more.
This allows the Bills to continue the rouse to make the Vikings prepare for Josh Allen and back up Case Keenum for the time being. The betting markets don’t believe it as the line started at Bills -7.5 and has dropped to -3.
We won’t have to wait until 90 minutes before the game to find out. The Bills only have two QBs on the active roster. Matt Barkley will need to be activated off the practice squad today if Allen is not playing. However, all the Vikings practices will be over by then and the gamesmanship will have done its job.
To me, the question remains how many games and not if Josh Allen misses this week. After non-conference Vikings, comes non-divisional Browns, then non-conference Lions. The targeted return has to be Week 13 versus the divisional rival Patriots followed by the divisional Jets to whom they just lost. The need these two wins as the Bills division record (first tie breaker) is 0-2 right now and they need to even the tie breaker with the Jets.
Listen and watch here for the full breakdown. And remember Bills Mafia, we are just the messenger and not the one who injured your QB. Allen wants to play but the Bills brass will do the best thing for the team.