Injury Update on Buffalo Bills Offensive Lineman

The Buffalo Bills clawed out a tough 20-12 win over their division rival New York Jets in Week 15, but their offensive lineman Ryan Bates paid the price, exiting in the second half with an ankle injury. Thankfully, he appears to have avoided catastrophe. ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that the center suffered a low-ankle sprain on Sunday.

Bates departed after 40 plays in yesterday's game. Typically, he logs 100% of the offensive snaps for the Bills, but he topped out at 68% against the Jets. It was the worst offensive performance of the year for the Bills; they set season lows in yards (232) and first downs (14).

The relative mildness of Bates' injury comes as a huge relief for a Bills team entering a crucial stretch of their season. They play the Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, and New England Patriots over the final four weeks. If Bates can play, they'll be that much closer to full strength as they attempt to hold onto home-field advantage in the AFC.

Bates joined the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He served primarily as depth over his first three seasons, starting in four of his 41 appearances. He has emerged as a key cog along the offensive line this year, starting all 13 of the Bills' games and playing in 94% of their offensive snaps.   

Photo Credit: © Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports