The Buffalo Bills lost to the New York Jets in Week 9, an upset that keeps the Miami Dolphins and Jets within a half-game of the AFC East division leaders. While the Bills were looking to make a comeback late in the game, quarterback Josh Allen attempted to throw a pass but his arm was hit on the play, a situation that did not look good at the time. Allen managed to finish the game, throwing one pass short on the next play, then overthrowing a receiver on a deep pass, but he continually held his elbow between snaps and after the game.
Reports on Monday indicate there is concern about what happened to Allen on that play. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Bills will be keeping Allen limited in practice this week, hoping his elbow will recover with the belied that it’s a “situation to monitor rather than an ailment that would keep him out of the game” against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10.
While the Bills are hopeful that Allen’s injury is nothing too serious, ESPN’s Chris Mostensen identified the injury as an issue with Allen’s ulnar collateral ligament. The UCL is the same ligament that Allen injured in his rookie year, an injury that forced Allen to miss four games. And, it is the same ligament that leads to Tommy John surgery, the procedure most commonly performed on baseball pitchers and can lead to them missing a full year before their arm is fully recovered.
If Allen has to miss any playing time this year - whether it is a temporary thing as the elbow heals or if it is the rest of the season due to surgery - his absence could shake up the AFC playoff picture. As the NFL reaches the half-way point of the season, the Bills are 6-2, holding the top spot in the AFC playoffs, and remain the Super Bowl favorites. They are, however, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for that spot, relying on tiebreakers to hold the position. The Monday Night Football contest to close the NFL’s Week 9 schedule features the Baltimore Ravens at the New Orleans Saints, where a Ravens win would pull them to 6-3 on the year, a half-game behind the Bills.
Add in Miami and New York nipping at Buffalo’s heels in the AFC East, and any serious injury to Allen could be felt all across the AFC and the NFL.
For updates on Allen’s injury and all things Bills, check out Buffalo Rumblings.