ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)Josh Allen is nursing a sore right throwing elbow, leaving cause for concern over the Buffalo Bills starter’s status against the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings this weekend.
Coach Sean McDermott on Monday would only say he’s awaiting the results of tests to determine the severity of the injury sustained a day earlier in a 20-17 loss to the New York Jets.
He said it was premature to say whether Allen could practice this week or play.
”The one definite thing I can tell you is we all know how competitive he is, and I would never count him out,” McDermott said. ”We’re just taking it one day at a time.”
Allen played down the injury following the game by saying: ”There’s some slight pain, but we’ll get through it.”
If Allen is unavailable for this weekend, the Bills (6-2) would turn to veteran backup Case Keenum to face the Vikings (7-1), one of the 10-year journeyman’s former teams. Acquired in a trade with Cleveland in March, Keenum has appeared in two games this season in mop-up duty.
Allen was hurt two plays into Buffalo’s desperation final drive when Jets defensive lineman Bryce Huff knocked the ball loose as the quarterback had has arm ready to pass.
Huff burst in from Allen’s right and got both hands down on the quarterback’s arm to bend his elbow awkwardly.
The fumble was recovered by Bills lineman Ryan Bates for a 19-yard loss, and left Allen flexing his right hand afterward. On the next play, Allen bounced a pass short intended for Stefon Diggs, but then showed no limitations in launching a deep pass up the left sideline, where Gabe Davis couldn’t bring the ball in on fourth down.
McDermott did announce starting defensive tackle Greg Rousseau sustained a high ankle sprain and will be listed as week to week.
Allen is in his fifth season and hasn’t missed a start since his rookie year when he was sidelined for four games because of a sprained elbow. The 2018 first-round pick out of Wyoming entered Monday ranking fourth in the NFL with 2,403 yards passing with 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and also leads the team with 392 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
He holds the Bills single-season records in almost every passing and scoring category.
Keenum last started in the Browns’ 2021 season-ending 21-16 win over Cincinnati in which he finished 17 of 24 for 176 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Keenum’s best season came with the Vikings in 2017, when he finished 11-3, and was most remembered for his 61-yard touchdown pass to now-Bills teammate Stefon Diggs as time expired to secure a 29-24 win over New Orleans in the NFC divisional round of the playoffs.
Overall, Keenum has a 29-35 record with just two starts – both wins – since going 1-7 with Washington in 2019.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP-NFL