In a key sign that Josh Allen may start tomorrow against our Minnesota Vikings in Buffalo, the Buffalo Bills did not elevate 3rd string QB Matt Barkeley for the game, leaving only Allen and backup Case Keenum as active QBs for the game.
The #Bills are not elevating QB Matt Barkley from the practice squad, source said, leaving the team with two on the roster.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2022
A sign QB Josh Allen is set to start. He is listed as questionable with an elbow sprain.
Josh Allen did not practice Wednesday and Thursday and was limited on Friday. Ian Rapoport reports that Allen was able to grip a football and did some throwing Friday, so that was enough for the Bills to keep Allen available for the Vikings game.
#Bills QB Josh Allen is able to grip a football and he did some throwing on Friday. That gave enough confidence to proceed without elevating Matt Barkley from the practice squad and put Allen in line to play against the #Vikings despite an elbow sprain.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 12, 2022
Still, it’s not 100% certain that Allen will start on Sunday. Whether he does or not depends on the Bills' calculus and their assessment of Allen’s elbow injury.
Many in Buffalo feel that the Bills cannot afford a loss given their narrow division lead and how that would affect playoff seeding as well. A loss would put them in a 3-way tie for the division lead at 6-3, but the Bills have lost to both the Jets and Dolphins, so both teams have that tie-breaker advantage over the Bills.
On the other hand, if Allen plays and somehow aggravates his elbow injury- the same injury kept him sidelined for four games in 2018- that would be viewed as a catastrophic mistake.
And so while Josh Allen could start for the Bills, they may also have decided to rest Allen, but that he’s also healthy enough to be the backup if need be.
On the Vikings side, all the players and coaches interviewed this week said they were preparing as if Josh Allen would be the starter. This makes sense as Allen is easily the better quarterback, and it makes sense to prepare for the better, not worse quarterback.
In the meantime, the Bills line went from -3 to -3.5 to -4.5 to off the board to now -6.5 Saturday afternoon as news of Josh Allen and Matt Barkeley’s status became known. That suggests the betting community now believes Josh Allen will start for the Bills tomorrow.
Will Josh Allen start for the Bills against the Vikings?
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