ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The decision on whether quarterback Josh Allen will play is an “hour-to-hour situation.,” Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said Friday, and he expects it’ll come down to game time on Sunday.
McDermott wasn’t ready to rule Allen out from playing the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings (7-1) - even though he wasn’t sure whether the quarterback would participate in the team’s final practice of the week later in the day.
Allen has yet to practice after he sprained his right throwing elbow in the final minutes of a loss to the New York Jets last weekend.
“We are literally in an hour-to-hour situation here,” McDermott said. “Just looking at how he’s going to progress through the day, and as he goes through these different tests, medically, making sure that he’s able to check the boxes in a progression to where we can see if we can proceed through the course of the day here.”
The coach then provided a vague response when asked what he needs to see from Allen in determining whether Allen can play: “That’s probably getting too far down the road at this point or into the weeds.”
McDermott added: “Respectfully, we’ve just got to continue to take it through the day here and we’ll see. Listen, I’m going to do a great job of being a listener also in terms of listening to our medical team.”
The next update on Allen will come later Friday when the Bills release their final injury report.
McDermott ruled out starting safety Jordan Poyer (elbow) and starting defensive end Greg Rousseau (ankle), but that starting linebacker Matt Milano (oblique) “should be ready to go” after missing one game.
Allen hasn’t missed a start since sustaining a similar injury in 2018, which forced him to miss four games in his rookie season.
If he can’t go, the AFC-leading Bills (6-2) would turn over the NFL’s top-ranked offense in yards gained to journeyman backup Case Keenum. He’s a 10-year veteran who enjoyed his best season playing for the Vikings in 2017, when he went 11-3.
“Case is a true pro and we have all the confidence in Case and Matt Barkley for that matter,” McDermott said, referring to Buffalo’s two veteran backups. ”(Keenum) has earned all the respect in the world around here. And and I know he’ll be ready if called upon.”
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