BUFFALO, NY – The Buffalo Bills haven’t moved practice squad quarterback Matt Barkley to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, which means Josh Allen is in line to be active for the match and potentially a starter.
Allen, who suffers from a right elbow injury, and backup Case Keenum are the only quarterbacks on the 53-man roster, but the question remains as to which player will start.
The Bills elevated running back Duke Johnson and cornerback Xavier Rhodes to the active practice roster on Saturday. Rhodes provides additional depth with rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam (ankle) listed as questionable and uncertainty over when Tre’Davious White, who has spent the past two weeks as a full participant on the roster, will come back from a torn ACL.
Allen was listed as questionable on the injury report for Sunday’s game after being restricted in practice on Friday when he was seen wearing a practice shirt and sleeveless on his right arm. If he starts, he will have participated in only one day of training after being absent on Wednesday and Thursday.
“We’re literally in an hour-to-hour situation here just to see how he progresses through the day,” coach Sean McDermott said Friday. “And as he goes through these different tests, medically making sure he’s able to tick the boxes in a progression where we can see if we can continue through the day here.”
Allen is suffering from a right elbow injury to the ulnar collateral ligament and related nerves, sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen earlier in the week. It happened on the final practice of Sunday’s loss to the New York Jets. He hasn’t missed a game since 2018, when he missed four games with a UCL right elbow injury.
If Keenum does get the start, it will be his first with the Bills after being acquired in an offseason trade with the Cleveland Browns. He’s seen action this season in games that have gotten out of hand, participating in 2 of 7 pass attempts. Keenum won two games with the Browns last year.
“I think we planned [uncertainty at quarterback] potentially, right from the start. And so, we’ll see where that goes,” McDermott said. “I think the other thing you need to add now is the potential for game day weather. And here we are in terms of what it could be for the rest of the season. So we do the best we can. Ultimately, Josh has to be Josh, if he’s able to play. And if Case plays, then Case has to be Case and launch the attack.”
The offense, which hasn’t scored on a passing touchdown in the past six quarters, could change a bit if Allen isn’t in the lineup. Big revisions, however, are not expected if Keenum starts.
“I mean, you still want Josh there. There’s no perfect time for a replacement to come in,” center Mitch Morse said. “I mean, I guess so. But we have extreme faith in Case, if that’s how we’re going. I hope he has faith in us, and we’re just taking it one day at a time. , one moment at a time and let the chips fall where they may.”
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