Following the initial prognosis of rookie quarterback Josh Allen, the Buffalo Bills may have to go into their Week Seven contest with a different starting quarterback.
During his Monday press conference, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said that following an elbow injury suffered on Sunday, Allen is considered "week-to-week," though he did not yet rule him out. However, when asked if Allen was a long-shot to play against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, McDermott said "we'll see," and that the team will know more on Tuesday when they get more information from doctors.
If Allen cannot play, the Bills will have to decide between the embattled second-year quarterback Nathan Peterman and the 35-year-old veteran Derek Anderson that has been with the roster for under one week.
In regards to Peterman, when pressed multiple times, McDermott continued to reiterate that he has confidence in every player on his roster -- and in their ability to start in the event that they need to.
The Bills will endure their fifth road game through the first seven weeks of the season -- and their fourth in five weeks -- when they take on the Colts on the road on Sunday.
Joe B's Take
Through the past nearly two years, I've been at almost every press conference that Sean McDermott has conducted, and with all things considered in regards to Josh Allen, my read is that it's likely that the Bills will have to take on the Colts without the rookie quarterback.
For context, over the past year plus when McDermott has used the term "week-to-week," it has mostly meant that the injured player will be out for at least that week, if not more. They would likely need to see a dramatic sign of improvement by the Wednesday or Thursday to even consider playing him on Sunday, and at that point, you might not even want to run the risk of a potential re-injury just by putting him out there too soon.
Regardless, the Bills aren't ruling him out just yet, which is the smart approach this early in the week especially if the possibility to play persists, no matter how remote it might be.
While Allen is likely a no go on Sunday, even though McDermott didn't completely rule out Nathan Peterman from starting against the Colts, I would be surprised if the Bills didn't instead go with the veteran Derek Anderson.
When you consider the on-field results from Peterman, that might be a bit obvious, but I think it was cinched when offensive coordinator Brian Daboll came up to the podium and started discussing having to narrow down smaller game plans for a player that just got in the door not that long ago.
Daboll also said that Anderson is "always upstairs" studying the playbook, and "grinding away" to get himself prepared. At this point, even though Anderson has only been with the team for all of six days, I just don't see how the Bills could trot Peterman out on the field as the starting quarterback.
He brings about too much of a competitive disadvantage, and especially in a game that they might be able to win against a 1-5 Colts team, I'm sure they'd rather have a steadier hand that has the experience to play in these exact types of situations.
Many fans wanted Peterman out the door on Monday following his two-interception implosion in the final two minutes, but with Allen likely due to miss time, the Bills have to hang on to him. Right now, he's the only healthy quarterback with a working knowledge of the entire offense. Should they start Anderson and he gets hurt on Sunday, they'd have no other choice but to put Peterman in because of his extensive knowledge of Daboll's playbook.
The most interesting part about Peterman will come when Allen is healthy enough to play, and if they elect to keep him on the active roster as a third quarterback, or instead maybe releasing him with the ability to put him on the practice squad if they so choose.
Regardless, it's going to be tough on Sunday for an already challenged offense in trying to be productive enough to eke out a victory. The Bills have their hands full, and will likely be big underdogs as a result -- even against a team that has only won once this season.