Having returned from a disappointing trip abroad, the Buffalo Bills will hope to take their frustrations out on the visiting New York Giants when the two banged-up teams meet on “Sunday Night Football” in Orchard Park, N.Y.
The Bills (3-2) are hurting in more ways than one after losing 25-20 to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday in London. Linebacker Matt Milano, an All-Pro last year, and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones were placed on injured reserve for a knee injury and a torn pectoral, respectively.
But the Buffalo defense will get to feast on a New York offense without its starting quarterback and left tackle, and potentially its No. 1 running back, to boot.
Daniel Jones hurt his neck in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 31-16 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the Giants’ third straight defeat. He was ruled out Friday, lining up Tyrod Taylor to start at quarterback for New York.
Giants left tackle Andrew Thomas (hamstring), who’s been sidelined since Week 1, remains out, along with fellow offensive linemen Matt Peart (shoulder) and John Michael Schmitz (shoulder).
In slightly sunnier news, this could finally be the week star running back Saquon Barkley returns from a high ankle sprain. He was limited in practice each day this week and deemed questionable for the game.
“You want all your players out there, but ‘next man up’ mentality, so we’ve got to do a good job of coaching it and we’ve got to do a good job of executing,” coach Brian Daboll said.
Injuries are far from the only reason the Giants (1-4) own a league-worst minus-91 point differential through five games. They’ve been sacked 30 times, most in the league, with Jones going down 10 times two games ago against Seattle and six times against Miami.
“I think there are issues that we need to correct on the field, and we are working through correcting those issues, and we believe in one another and it’s a tight-knit group,” guard Ben Bredeson said. “It’s one that is driven to do the right things, play for one another and have results.”
Sunday also marks Daboll’s first game against his former team. He spent four seasons as Buffalo’s offensive coordinator and was largely credited with helping Josh Allen blossom into one of the league’s most dangerous quarterbacks.
Allen is looking forward to dapping Daboll up before the game.
“When you look at the grand scheme of things in terms of football and how to handle being a quarterback in this league, relying on my knowledge that he has and the guys that he’s been around in his career,” Allen said. “I spent a lot of time with him.”
The Bills were stymied in London for the first time since Week 1. An offense ranked second in the league in scoring entering the week managed just seven points through three quarters.
Allen led a late fourth-quarter comeback that fell short and finished 27-for-40 for a season-high 359 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. He added a rushing touchdown, but Buffalo gained just 29 yards on the ground.
Jacksonville was the first team in NFL history to spend two weeks in London and play consecutive games, whereas the Bills’ plane landed Friday morning, leaving some fans to second-guess Buffalo’s strategy.
“We need to evaluate everything, because I didn’t feel like our energy was good enough early in the game,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said postgame. “They had better energy than we did.”
Bills cornerback Dane Jackson (foot) and tight ends Dalton Kincaid (concussion) and Dawson Knox (wrist) are questionable for Sunday.
The Giants will also be missing defensive end Azeez Ojulari (ankle), while running back Gary Brightwell (ankle), defensive lineman D.J. Davidson (knee), linebacker Micah McFadden (ankle), tight end Darren Waller (groin) and O-linemen Shane Lemieux (groin) and Evan Neal (ankle) are questionable.