Bills’ Boettger, Jaguars’ Robinson suffer Achilles injuries
The Buffalo Bills’ already beleaguered offensive line was dealt another blow when left guard Ike Boettger was carted off the field with a ruptured Achilles tendon in a big win against New England, and Jacksonville running back James Robinson left the Jaguars’ game against the New York Jets with an torn Achilles tendon.
Those were the major injuries on a day when several teams had multiple players out after being placed on the COVID-19 list.
The Kansas City Chiefs were missing three starters — Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce, linebacker Nick Bolton and right tackle Lucas Niang — but still routed Pittsburgh 36-10 to clinch their sixth straight AFC West title. Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill tested out of protocol and played.
Also going on the COVID-19 reserve list were Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley, who had started in place of injured Lamar Jackson, and Minnesota Vikings backup quarterback Sean Mannion. Vikings running back Dalvin Cook landed on the list after testing positive earlier in the week. Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth went on the COVID-19 reserve list on Saturday.
Jets coach Robert Saleh was ruled out Saturday because he didn’t clear COVID-19 protocols. Tight ends coach Ron Middleton took over the head coaching duties. Jets quarterbacks coach Rob Calabrese also missed the game because of COVID-19 protocols.
The Houston Texans damaged the Los Angeles Chargers’ playoff chances in a 41-29 stunner in which both teams were missing more than a dozen players because COVID-19 protocols. The Chargers were without outside linebacker Joey Bosa, running back Austin Ekeler, receiver Mike Williams and center Corey Linsley. Houston had 16 players on the COVID-19 list, including top receiver Brandin Cooks, center Justin Britt, defensive end Jonathan Greenard and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, but won consecutive games for the first time this season.
Boettger was carted off early in the second half of the Bills’ 33-21 win at Foxborough. Buffalo looked to be on its way to being in decent shape health-wise up front after left tackle Dion Dawkins was cleared from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday. However, starting right guard Jon Feliciano wasn’t cleared from COVID-19 list in time to play.
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Robinson went down without contact on Trevor Lawrence’s handoff to Tavon Austin late in the first quarter. He remained down for a few moments, appearing to reach at his lower right leg. Robinson was checked on by doctors and trainers, who then helped him limp off the field to the medical tent on the sideline. He was taken to the locker room on a cart.
The Jaguars also lost linebacker Dakota Allen (shoulder) and defensive end/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (ankle), while the Jets lost center Connor McGovern (knee) and tight end Trevon Wesco (knee).
Also injured Sunday were Lions running back Jason Cabinda (right knee) and tight end Shane Zylstra (left knee); Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett (chest); Bengals defensive end Cam Sample (left hamstring); and Rams linebacker Ernest Jones (ankle), center Brian Allen (knee), nose tackle Greg Gaines (hand), running back Darrell Henderson Jr. (knee) and tight end Tyler Higbee (leg).
Also hurt were Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (ankle); Eagles running back Miles Sanders (hand); Chargers linebacker Drue Tranquill (leg); Texans wide receiver Phillip Dorsett (foot); Buccaneers Pro Bowl linebacker Shaquil Barrett (knee); Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore (groin); and Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (collarbone) and free safety Tyrann Mathieu (quad).
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