Josh Allen’s Status for Sunday Is What Your Mom Used to Say
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen is the frontrunner to win the NFL MVP award, and his status against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 is in jeopardy.
The 26-year-old injured his elbow, UCL, and perhaps nerves in a loss to the New York Jets last weekend. And his head coach, Sean McDermott, sounds like a loving mother in describing his status for Week 10.
“We’ll see,” McDermott told reporters Wednesday morning about Allen’s trajectory to play against the Vikings.
Normally, a head coach would sound more optimistic if a player is on track to play. Conversely, though, McDermott could be baiting Minnesota into believing Allen will or won’t play as a strategy. If Allen cannot play, Buffalo will pivot to Case Keenum, a player that the Vikings know well.
Keenum was Minnesota’s QB2 in 2017, climbing the depth chart to QB1 after an injury to Sam Bradford. Keenum helped drag the Vikings to an NFC Championship appearance, lost to the Eagles, and jettisoned to the Denver Broncos a little over a month later. Since departing the Vikings, who opted for Kirk Cousins in free agency instead of Keenum, he’s bounced around the NFL, attempting to replicate his 2017 lightning-in-a-bottle season, with little success. Minnesota was 11-3 (.785) with Keenum at the helm in 2017, but the Broncos, Washington Commanders, and Cleveland Browns were 9-17 (.346) with Keenum at QB1 from 2018 to 2021.
When dropping the we’ll-see-mom nugget on the press, McDermott also stated that his club would take the “common sense” approach regarding Allen — a slight nod to potentially putting the man on the shelf for a week or two.
Earlier this week, notable “Pro Football Doc” David J. Chao predicted Allen’s absence in Week 10. Chao tweeted Tuesday that he “anticipate[s] Josh Allen missing the next start for the Buffalo Bills and potentially a couple more.”
What’s more, the Vegas line for Bills-Vikings opened at -7.5 in favor of Buffalo. At the time of this article’s publication, the spread fell to -4.0 for the Bills, indicating oddsmakers foreshadow a Keenum start versus Minnesota. Vegas is rarely wrong.
Regardless, the Vikings have struggled against some backup quarterbacks in recent years — Andy Dalton (Cowboys), Cooper Rush (Cowboys), Chase Daniel (Bears), and Matt Moore (Chiefs). So, it wouldn’t be astonishing for Keenum to pull a rabbit out of a hat, especially versus a Vikings team that wasn’t very proficient on the road until the start of 2022.
The Vikings haven’t won a game in Buffalo in 25 years.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).