Well that’s something. A major storyline across the NFL this week has been the Buffalo Bills’ handling of an elbow injury for franchise quarterback Josh Allen — who didn’t participate in practice all week, wasn’t seen on the field for warmups on Sunday morning, and was still activated for their Week 10 game with the Minnesota Vikings.
Now ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that “Bills officials spent a lot of time this past week leaning on the advice of their doctors and other arm specialists, and the team was reassured that Allen is not at risk to make the injury worse if he plays.”
It’s a curious approach, made curiouser and curiouser by a remark from New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas on social media. Thomas commented in response to this news from his official Twitter account that, “That’s how you do it.”
Thomas, of course, is ending his second consecutive season with the Saints on injured reserve after suffering a dislocated toe early in 2022; he missed the entire 2021 season after a setback in ankle surgery to his other foot. It all started in 2020 when he injured that ankle in the season-opener and played through it to try and help the team’s playoff push in Drew Brees’ final year, which didn’t help his health. Thomas and the Saints are still feeling the ramifications of that move years later.
So what’s his point in remarking on Allen’s situation? Did the Saints ignore advice of their doctors and push Thomas to keep playing back in 2020? Or did those doctors advise him to keep playing without concern for a worsened injury? All of those conversations happened behind closed doors in meetings no one reading this was privy to, but it’s hard to believe that Thomas isn’t reflecting on his tumultuous last few years as another big name in the league experiences a similar situation. If Allen is going to play through this injury, let’s hope it works out better for him and the Bills than it did for Thomas and the Saints.