The Bills quarterback situation has somehow gotten worse since the start of the season. Buffalo traded AJ McCarron to the Raiders during the preseason, electing to go with just rookie Josh Allen and second-year man Nathan Peterman as the only quarterbacks of record.
Allen's played well enough as a raw rookie with no discernible talent around him, but he suffered an elbow injury during Sunday's game that might be a serious long-term issue. Allen, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, suffered an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament, or his UCL. For those that don't know, a UCL injury is basically what requires baseball pitchers to undergo the famous Tommy John surgery.
Tommy John would be rare for an NFL quarterback, but it's happened before. Carson Palmer considered the surgery but elected not to have it, while Jake Delhomme underwent Tommy John. Terry Bradshaw dealt with an elbow injury late in his career too.
The primary reason to be worried about Allen is a video that emerged of the Bills quarterback on the sideline of Sunday's game, being attended to by trainers, who were poking at his elbow and causing him an immense amount of pain.
While the trainers were working on Josh Allen yesterday, someone tripped a nerve that really stung the rookie. Never seen a player sent to his knees in pain on the sideline during an examination.— Thad Brown (@thadbrown7) October 15, 2018
Clearly, whatever happened to his elbow didn't tickle. #Bills #Billsmafia pic.twitter.com/qT2lUM684A
The Bills already ruled out Allen for Week 7 (more on that in a second), but if he suffered UCL damage and requires surgery to repair his elbow, there is potential for him to miss up to a year of action. I'm not trying to ring the alarm bell here, but there is already concern that Allen could miss "weeks" according to Dianna Russini of ESPN.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, Buffalo doesn't want "to rush him back" and the injury is "not considered serious." But any UCL injury is serious by the very virtue of the situation.
Weeks to recover from a UCL tear would be a major win, considering the downside of this injury would be surgery and Allen potentially missing part of the 2019 season. That's not hyperbole: It's just the recovery time for Tommy John surgery. His MRI is being sent to Dr. James Andrews; anyone who has played fantasy baseball or has followed MLB knows having Andrews involved is a very bad sign for a pitcher. Bills fans panicking right now would be perfectly fine.
Bills players appear to be panicking a bit as well -- according to Russini, there's some less than enthusiastic response to the idea of Peterman starting again in Week 7 after his relief appearance against the Texans resulted in a pick six that snuffed out the Bills chances of winning.
Russini reports the Bills are looking at Derek Anderson, recently signed as a free agent, and if they don't, it might result in the Bills "losing the locker room."
I’m also told the Bills haven’t decided who will start at QB...There is a feeling in the organization that veteran QB Derek Anderson has to start or Sean McDermott is in danger of losing the locker room after Nathan Peterman’s latest performance— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) October 16, 2018
Peterman has been the subject of much mocking since his latest appearance -- including the playoffs, Peterman has 82 career passes. In those 82 passes, he has thrown 10 interceptions. His regular-season interception percentage is 11.4. 11.4! He throws interceptions on more than 11 percent of his passes. For veterans in the locker room, it's understandable they might not want to keep grinding through a potentially lost season fueled by Peterman throwing picks all over the place.
Buffalo has one of the worst offenses in football regardless of who is under center. The Bills are going to struggle to score points every game. The fact they have a 2-4 record and could nearly be 3-3 is a testament to the coaching job done by McDermott and the guys underneath him.
Allen might be fine and he might be back in a couple of weeks. The Bills might reel off some wins here. Things could be fine. But right now the quarterback situation should be a major concern: the rookie face of the franchise has a concerning elbow injury, the backup they continue to love might cause a fracture within the locker room and the only viable option is 35-year-old backup who was a free agent until this week.