Allen's Injury Situation Has Provided Opportunity to Grow
Josh Allen has shown enough improvement in his recovery from sprained right elbow that there is actually discussions about him returning to the field for the Buffalo Bills for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
That would create an interesting showdown – Allen, the No. 7 pick in the last NFL draft, for the Bills, and Sam Darnold, the No. 3 selection in that draft, for the Jets.
“He threw a couple times over the weekend, and then he threw again (Monday) morning,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said during his Monday media session. “I thought he had a good day – threw about 100 balls which, in the course of a practice, is about average workload for a normal practice. He has progressed well with our medical staff and we will continue to evaluate that moving forward.”
There is, however, a consideration for the Bills. While the Bills play the Jets on Sunday, the next Sunday is their off week. So if Allen sat out one more game, he could get another 13 days before returning to game action.
“We’re aware of that. We know the value of that,” McDermott said. “At the end of the day, I’m going to depend on our docs to give us the full evaluation as to where he is and the risks that might be in terms of him playing. We’re going to make sure he’s healthy before we send him out there.”
If Allen can’t go, the Bills would start veteran Derek Anderson if he clears concussion protocol. If Anderson isn’t ready, Nathan Peterman would again get the call. Peterman started Sunday in a 41-9 loss to the Chicago Bears at New Era Field. Although they weren’t all on him, Peterman threw three interceptions as the Bills continued to turn the ball over at a dizzying rate.
At 2-7, the playoffs are all but an afterthought. The rest of this season is about finding something to build on heading into 2019. That’s why Allen’s return is so anxiously awaited.
“I’ve had a chance to spend some time with Josh over this last couple days in particular, just meeting with him and working with him in his development,” McDermott said. “Everything happens for a reason. 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 type of approach in terms of his development. He’s had a chance to watch, take a step back, and learn while being on the sideline.”
And he has benefited from the presence of Anderson, who was signed days before Allen was hurt with the idea the 35-year-old NFL veteran could be a mentor for Allen.
Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has seen Allen take a mental leap while healing his injury, crediting some of that progress to Anderson.
“He has learned quite a bit, I’d say, from Derek, just in the few weeks Derek’s been here,” Daboll told the Bills website. “In terms of his preparation and, some of the things, the way D.A. sees the game. You’re always in constant communication with your quarterbacks.
“The hard thing is, when you’re not playing, you’ve really got to focus as much as you can on the other guy that’s playing. But at the same time, Josh is such an important part of our organization. We’ve had a lot of good conversations these last few weeks since he’s been down, hopefully we’ll be getting him back as soon as we can.”
Daboll thinks that Allen’s entire outlook has changed over the past number of weeks, and he feels as though the 22-year-old will start strong once he’s cleared to return.
“I think he has a different perspective,” Daboll said. “From playing a few games and then sitting out rather than not playing and just coming in, I think he’s got a good schedule down in terms of his off study, both at home and here. He spends a lot of time here. For a young guy, he’ll be on the right track.”