ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen remains in concussion protocol following a hit to the head from New England Patriots safety Jonathan Jones, coach Sean McDermott said Wednesday.
McDermott also said Allen would participate in individual drills, suggesting the former first-round draft pick has progressed to Step 4 of the league’s Return-to-Participation protocol — which allows players to engage in football-specific activities. Allen will be in meetings with the team throughout the day, as well.
Backup quarterback Matt Barkley will work in with the Bills’ first-team offense; McDermott said the team is “extremely confident” in Barkley should Allen be unable to play Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
“We’ll get them both ready — I mean, as much as we can with Josh being in the protocol,” McDermott said. “He’ll do some drill work out there, some individual drill work, but other than that all I can see is he’s in the protocol.”
Allen left last week’s 16-10 loss to the Patriots in the fourth quarter after the hit from Jones on a scramble. Jones was flagged for the hit but the penalty was offset by an offensive holding call. Jones was not ejected from the game.
Multiple players or former players, including New England’s Tom Brady, have commented on the importance of a quarterback learning how to protect himself in certain situations on the field. Allen did not slide as he ran with the ball before the hit and McDermott suggested it’s something the second-year player should learn to do in the effort of self-preservation.
“I think he continues to learn. He’s still a very young player. Every young player has to figure out how to play in this league — number one, to be effective, and number two, so that they can play for a long time. I think that’s what happens to young players.”
In other injury news, running back Devin Singletary (hamstring) and cornerback Taron Johnson (hamstring) will be limited in Wednesday’s practice while safety Dean Marlowe and fullback Pat DiMarco are in concussion protocol.