MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Buffalo Bills are finally headed back to the playoffs, but they might be going there without their best offensive player.
Running back LeSean McCoy left Sunday’s 22-16 victory over the Dolphins in the third quarter with a right ankle injury. McCoy was hurt at the end of a 3-yard carry as he was tackled by Dolphins linebacker Chase Allen.
Bills players immediately called for trainers to assist McCoy, who stayed down on the field for several minutes. After he was helped to his feet by trainers, McCoy appeared to try and put weight on his leg before nearly collapsing. At that point, the cart came to take McCoy off the field.
Bills coach Sean McDermott did not have an update on McCoy’s condition after the game, saying that the team would know more in the next day or two.
The Bills need some practice at recovering onside kicks. For the second straight game against Miami, a Buffalo player had the ball bounce off him with a chance to seal a victory, leading to a recovery for the Dolphins. Two weeks ago, it was linebacker Preston Brown. On Sunday, it was fullback Patrick DiMarco.
“I tried to make a play, and I got my clock cleaned pretty good,” DiMarco said. “Once I saw Jordan make that pick, I just completely relaxed. I wanted to make the play, but I knew the defense would come through. It stinks I wasn't able to make it, but we're in the playoffs, so that's all that matters.”
“Onside kicks are harder to catch than people believe,” Brown said. “At least I'm not the only one to drop one.”
Brown, who led the Bills with 12 tackles, thought he had a 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but the play got called back after it was ruled that Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry was out of bounds at the Bills’ 1-yard line before he fumbled.
After a lengthy review, Brown didn’t fully understand the call had been overturned, leading to a humorous moment when he started celebrating on the sideline.
“They said, 'stands,' so I was like (expletive), it stands, I can dance now" Brown said. "I used so much energy I was tired the rest of the game after that.”
Two weeks ago, it was rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White who sealed the Bills’ win with an interception of Cutler. On Sunday, safety Jordan Poyer played the role of hero with an interception of Miami quarterback David Fales.
“I’ve got good hands,” Poyer said. “I knew as soon as he released it, it was going to be my football. No thinking about it, just catch the ball.”
It was the only takeaway of the game, improving the Bills to 8-1 this season when winning the turnover battle.
“I just think that we work hard off the field, not just the secondary, it’s all 11 guys on the football field,” Poyer said. “We worked hard all week. It’s a tough group of guys. It’s a great group of guys. Crunch time is when you want to play for your brothers.”
Receiver Deonte Thompson, who was questionable for the game with a shoulder injury suffered during Thursday's practice, was in the lineup for the Bills. Thompson finished with two catches for 23 yards.
Inactive for the Bills were wide receivers Malachi Dupre and Brandon Reilly, guard John Miller, offensive tackle Conor McDermott, cornerback Breon Borders, tight end Logan Thomas and cornerback Shareece Wright (concussion).
Offensive lineman Ryan Groy, who was questionable for the game with an illness, also played.
You have to love the gamesmanship of the NFL. If you missed it Friday, the Dolphins claimed safety Trae Elston off waivers … from the Bills. Elston was released after the Bills activated Colt Anderson off injured reserve during the week.
By bringing Elston in now, the Dolphins will get a look at him as part of their offseason program since he’s under contract for one more year. Of course, the other, sexier idea is he could hand over the Bills’ defensive game plan. He didn’t get a chance to face his former team, though, as he was one of Miami’s inactive players.
Elston is just one of the four former Bills on Miami’s roster. Linebacker Kiko Alonso is the Dolphins’ second-leading tackler, with 110 tackles coming into the season finale. Right tackle Sam Young, who played 20 games for the Bills from 2011-13, started his game of the season at right tackle, while tight end MarQueis Gray was with Buffalo from 2014-15.
Story topics: Brandon Reilly/ Breon Borders/ Conor McDermott/ Deonte Thompson/ Jordan Poyer/ Kiko Alonso/ LeSean McCoy/ Logan Thomas/ Malachi Dupre/ MarQueis Gray/ Patrick DiMarco/ Preston Brown/ Ryan Groy/ Sam Young/ shareece wright/ Trae Elston/ Tre'davious White