Bills QB Allen resumes practice 3 weeks after elbow injury
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills might have some good news on offense, for once.
Rookie quarterback Josh Allen resumed throwing for the first time in three weeks since spraining his right elbow, and there’s a possibility he could play against the New York Jets this weekend.
Coach Sean McDermott wouldn’t rule out Allen from playing Sunday, but was cautious in adding, “I’m going to take it day to day at this point.”
Allen began testing his arm on Friday, and continued through the weekend, McDermott said. On Monday, Allen threw about 100 passes during a workout, which translates into an average workload during a normal practice.
McDermott stressed he’s going to take a cautious approach regarding Allen, and noted one option is providing him additional time to heal with Buffalo (2-7) entering its bye week after playing at New York.
Should he play, the matchup against the Jets (3-6) would pit the Bills rookie against quarterback Sam Darnold, who was drafted third overall, four spots ahead of Allen.
Allen has been out since being hurt during a 20-13 loss at Houston on Oct. 14, which began the Bills’ four-game skid.
Buffalo’s quarterback position has been in flux since and contributed to a sputtering offense which has scored 20 points in its past three games and an NFL-worst 96 overall this season.
Derek Anderson turned the ball over six times in two starts before sustaining a concussion in a 25-6 loss to New England last week. Nathan Peterman threw three interceptions in a 41-9 loss to Chicago on Sunday.
Anderson remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
Should Allen not be ready, McDermott said Anderson would be the next in line to start if he’s cleared to play.
In updating other injuries, McDermott said running back Chris Ivory has been released from the hospital after being evaluated for what he called “internal issues” separate from a shoulder injury he sustained against Chicago. Ivory is considered day to day.
Starting tight end Charles Clay is listed week to week after hurting his hamstring on Sunday.
Allen’s pending return is an encouraging sign for an offense that’s been anemic no matter who’s behind center. The 22-year-old has a 2-3 record since taking over the job in Week 2, and lost plenty of developmental opportunities while being sidelined.
“It’s never easy for a young player to miss reps, valuable reps. But it’s offered a nice perspective in kind of a glass-half-full in terms of his development,” McDermott said. “He’s had a chance to watch, take a step back and learn while being on the sideline.”
It couldn’t have been easy watching.
Buffalo has scored just two touchdowns in its past five games, and Peterman’s 1-yard run against Chicago ended a TD drought that spanned 187 minutes and 19 seconds. With just eight touchdowns all season, the Bills are one of just 13 teams since 1940 with that many or fewer through nine games, according to Pro Football Reference.
“To get the results we’ve gotten on that side of the ball in particular leaves you frustrated, leaves you empty-handed,” McDermott said. “Our fan base deserves better. That’s what we’re committed to do. That’s what I came here to do, and to do it the right way. It takes some time.”
And, though McDermott won’t acknowledge it publicly, it’ll take more talent.
Buffalo’s offensive line is a patchwork unit that lost two starters — center Eric Wood and guard Richie Incognito — this offseason.
Protection is an issue. Buffalo’s 33 sacks are the second-most allowed in the NFL.
And the running attack has ground to a halt with LeSean McCoy having combined for 23 yards on 22 carries over the past two games.
“We have a lot of work to do, a lot of getting better to do. Not where we need to be,” offensive coordinator Brian Daboll said.
The Bills claimed receiver Isaiah McKenzie on Monday, three days after he was placed on waivers by Denver. He was used mostly as a kickoff and punt returner in 12 career games, including one this season, since being selected in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of Georgia.
Buffalo created a roster spot by releasing receiver Cam Phillips.