It's Official: Josh Allen Won't Need Surgery, But He's Sidelined for Now
With Josh Allen sidelined on a week-to-week basis by what is described as a sprained right elbow, the Bills will turn to Derek Anderson at quarterback. Two weeks ago, Anderson was at home, thinking his playing career was over.
Then the Bills called and asked him to sign a contract, even if it meant being on the taxi squad, with the idea he could help Allen adjust to the NFL. A week later, he is replacing Allen, who was injured when Houston Texans linebacker Whitney Mercilus appeared to lower his helmet as he struck Allen in the pocket putting the crown of his helmet directly on Allen’s throwing elbow.
Allen is anxious to get a first-hand look at the efforts of Anderson, who will be working on a limited game plan in light of the fact he just joined the Bills.
“I want to be back as quickly as possible, but I trust our medical staff,” said Allen, the former Wyoming quarterback who went to the Bills with the No. 7 pick in the first round of last spring’s NFL draft. “It’s a blessing in disguise because I’ll be able to stand back and learn from Derek Anderson.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott is familiar with Anderson from when McDermott was an assistant coach and Anderson the backup quarterback in Carolina.
“He brings experience, leadership, presence to the table and he’s worked hard the last week and a half to get himself up to speed.” McDermott said, according to the Bills website.
McDermott, 35, has not started an NFL game since Dec. 4, 2016, when Carolina benched Cam Newton for the first series of a game against the Seahawks for violating a team rule.
For Allen, the most positive development was official word on Wednesday that he will not need elbow surgery.
“Josh has an elbow sprain and we’ll list him as week to week,” said McDermott. “There’s no plan at this point for surgery, but he will be out this week.”
McDermott feels Allen will benefit from witnessing a veteran running things through the course of the week in preparing for a game as well as performing on Sunday.
“For however long he is out it’s important that we handle that the right way as a staff and that Josh handles it the right way so he continues to develop,” said McDermott. “The great part about it right now is he can watch a veteran handle things the way they need to be handled. So this will give Josh a front row seat to experience that.”
McDermott did affirm that there is an expectation that Allen will play again at some point this season, but would not get into percentages on the likelihood of that taking place. The team did send the MRI results from Allen’s arm to renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
When asked if he had an issue with the hit by Mercilus on Allen, McDermott said he did have a problem with it, but, “I’m not going to go into that. I’ve addressed that with the powers that be. I’m not going to go any further on that. I’ve learned my lesson.”
Allen said the pain from his injury was limited to his elbow and did not cause any numbness or tingling. Allen avoided getting involved in a controversy over Mercilus’ hit.
“I saw the replay, and whether it was late or not, that’s not up for me to decide,” Allen was quoted as saying in the Buffalo News. “I threw the ball and took the brunt of the hit, and like I said, that’s football. It’s a man’s game. It’s a tough game.”
Allen stayed in the game for one more play after absorbing the hit, but fell to his knees after an incompletion to Zay Jones. That brought trainers out on the field, and Allen was removed from the game.
“The competitor in me, and not just in me, but every person who plays this game, they want to be out on the field,” Allen said. “It (stinks) being sidelined, but it’s a part of the game. It’s football; it’s going to happen one time or another.”