ORCHARD PARK — Josh Allen rested his sore throwing shoulder ahead of the Buffalo Bills’ biggest game of the season thus far.
Bills coach Sean McDermott initially said prior to practice that Allen would be limited after falling on his shoulder during a 24-18 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday, but Allen ultimately did not participate. Allen received an MRI and was limited after falling on his non-throwing shoulder against the New York Giants, but did not miss practice.
Allen said that a plan was discussed with trainer Nate Breske and didn’t throw much during practice with hope that he will return Thursday “like nothing happened.” Allen has started 79 consecutive games dating back to an elbow injury that cost him four games as a rookie in 2018.
Last season Allen played through a UCL injury in his right elbow, suffered against the New York Jets in Week 9.
“Obviously, unfortunate when it’s your throwing shoulder,” Allen said. “As a thrower, you don’t like feeling any sort of, I wouldn’t even call it pain, just discomfort in there. So we’re just trying to stay on top of it and get ahead of it when we can. Obviously, I hate not practicing, I hate not being involved in what we’re doing, but at the same time I know this is probably what’s best and putting myself in the best situation to make sure that I’m ready to go tomorrow and for Sunday.”
After practice Allen said he didn’t feel the injury would linger much and was rested to ensure the injury didn’t linger. He also said that it feels better than it did after the game against the Buccaneers, while McDermott said the injury hadn’t worsened.
“If I had to practice today, absolutely would have,” Allen said. “If the game was today, I’m playing in the game. Just in terms of making sure that it’s not going to be super sore and I wanna be smart when we’re throwing it and that’s up to our training staff and I trust those guys and gals in there implicitly and just making sure we’re on track for that.”
Through the midway point in the season, Allen is on track for another top-five statistical season. He leads the NFL in total touchdowns (22), completion percentage (71.7) and QBR (77.1), while ranking third in passing touchdowns (17), fourth in yards passing (2,174) and quarterback rating (101.5).
Meanwhile, the Buffalo offense is fourth in points (27.8) and fifth in total yards (376.9) per game. And yet the Bills are trying to come out of a rough patch that saw slow starts and an inability to close games.
Allen is tied with Patrick Mahomes and Green Bay’s Jordan Love for second in the league with eight interceptions and his 23.6 yards rushing per game are his fewest since 2020. The Bills have not scored 30 points in a game since Week 4 and Allen has thrown an interception in four consecutive games, along with six of the eight games this season.
Although Allen admits that statistics look “pretty dang good,” he also said you can’t trust stats all the time. The Bills utilized an uptempo offense at times and rarely huddled against the Buccaneers, and while it created results at times, McDermott felt the offense let up in the second half and that contributed to the game coming down to a Hail Mary attempt.
“Honestly what it comes down to — our guys and myself being put in the right positions and making the plays,” Allen said. “And sometimes it’s not so much about the X’s and O’s and the Jimmys and Joes and going out there and playing together. And like I said earlier, playing complementary football and not putting our defense in bad situations.”
NOTES: CB Rasul Douglas did not participate after arriving late from Green Bay. … CB Kaiir Elam (ankle), S Damar Hamlin (illness) and LB Baylon Spector (hamstring) did not practice, while TE Quintin Morris (ankle) was limited. … Cincinnati’s Trey Hendrickson (foot) did not practice, while OT Orlando Brown Jr. (groin) and RB Joe Mixon (chest) were limited.