ProFootballDoc: Josh Allen Will Miss Vikings Game & Likely Several More

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is poised to miss multiple weeks — starting this week against the Minnesota Vikings — due to his elbow UCL sprain with ulnar nerve issues. This is opinion based on video analysis and using my knowledge having been a head team physician in the NFL. I treated these injuries and had regular discussions with general managers and head coaches. I have no insider information on Allen’s specific case.

You can’t win a Super Bowl in November, but you can lose one. The Bills are championship or bust. There is no question that Josh Allen could play if this were a playoff game. After all, he did throw a ball 70 yards on the final play of Sunday’s loss to the Jets.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass against the Jets, prior to injuring his elbow.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass against the Jets, prior to injuring his elbow. (Photo via Getty Images)

The point is that the team can’t risk turning this short-term injury into “Tommy John” surgery. Even if it doesn’t hurt him to throw, how can one protect against a similar strip sack play that could turn the sprain into a complete tear? A tear would end Allen’s season, and likely Buffalo’s Super Bowl aspirations.

Multi-Week Absence Makes Sense for Bills & Josh Allen

Sunday at Outkick, we first reported the our analysis of UCL sprain and nerve issue. On Monday, we indicated the likelihood of missing time.

Now, after logging a DNP (did not practice) on Wednesday, Allen seems poised for a multi-week absence.

In his rookie year, Josh Allen missed four weeks with a similar UCL sprain. The Bills play the Vikings, Browns and Lions over the next three weeks. They are all non-divisional opponents and two are NFC games which are lower on the tier-breaker spectrum. In four weeks, the Bills face back-to-back AFC East opponents as they travel to New England and host the Jets in a rematch from last week’s loss.

Based on our insider knowledge of NFL injuries and front offices, it seems the smartest play is to rest Allen for the next three games, and allow him to return in December with an eye towards a deep playoff run and potential Super Bowl berth.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.

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