Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen was knocked out of the game against the New England Patriots after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit, leaving for the locker room and not returning in his team’s 16-10 loss.
Allen went down early in the fourth quarter after rushing for six yards on a third down, taking a helmet-to-helmet hit from Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones. He went down motionless and remained down for several seconds. The Patriots were flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play, but the penalty was offset by a holding penalty for the Bills.
The Bills confirmed after the incident that Allen was being evaluated for a head injury.
After being attended to by the team’s medical staff, Allen went to the sidelines to be evaluated for a concussion. David J. Chao, the former team doctor for the Los Angeles Chargers who know gives live analysis of injuries on Twitter, said that Allen’s return would be unlikely.
Allen jogged to the locker room shortly after going to the sidelines for his evaluation, raising his arms to the crowd and drawing a cheer from Bills fans. He was expected to be given a full concussion evaluation.
Allen was relieved by backup Matt Barkley, who converted the third down and moved the Bills into the red zone before the team failed to convert a fourth down inside the 5-yard line. Barkley later tried to rally the Bills and led a drive into Patriots territory, but the Patriots intercepted a deflected pass with less than two minutes remaining to seal the game.
Josh Allen had struggled in the game leading up to the injury, throwing three interceptions while completing just 13 of 28 passes for 153 yards. Allen did lead the Bills on a scoring drive just after halftime, capping it off with a 1-yard plunge over the top of the line for a touchdown.
As Fansided noted in its analysis of the first half, Allen’s struggles seemed to offset a strong performance from running back Frank Gore, who already had more than 100 yards at the time Allen went down early in the fourth quarter.
“Despite Gore’s success on the ground and Allen’s own 25 yards on four carries, the young quarterback failed to find any openings against a stingy Patriots defense,” the report noted.
“Yes, the Patriots are a tough team and Bill Belichick is a genius at confounding young quarterbacks, but Allen’s mistakes and lack of accuracy were hard to excuse.”
There were some who questioned why Jones was not disqualified for the play, as officials have discretion to eject players for targeted hits to the head. Earlier in the day, Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected on a similar play, an illegal late hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle.
“Burfict lowered his head and slammed into Doyle’s helmet after the Colts’ Pro Bowler was down on a knee after a short first-down catch on third-and-3 midway through the second quarter,” the Mercury News noted.
“The play resulted in a 15-yard penalty on Burfict for unneccesary roughness. Upon further review in New York, Burfict was ejected when his illegal hit was detected.”
The Buffalo Bills were still evaluating Josh Allen after the game, and an update was expected to come later.