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Jordan Poyer injury: collapsed lung changed travel plans for Bills-Chiefs

The lead up to the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6 was full of hype, as the two rivals met for the fifth time in three years. It was a game that no one wanted to miss — especially Jordan Poyer.

The Bills’ All-Pro safety, who has already missed multiple games due to injury this season, was on the injury report for a portion of this week with a rib injury — one that prevented him from flying with the team to Kansas City. Instead, he used a car service to make the 15-hour drive out to Arrowhead Stadium so that he could play, per Jon Scott of Spectrum News and Katherine Fitzgerald of The Buffalo News.

According to Tim Graham, senior writer with The Athletic, the Bills’ organization rented a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van to drive Poyer and his family to Missouri for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs. Graham went on to mention that the condition preventing Poyer from currently flying with the team is “still-healing pneumothorax (collapsed lung).”

The Bills’ All-Pro safety has had his ups and downs through the first five weeks of the 2022 NFL season. Poyer had four interceptions and six passes defended, along with 12 tackles, in the first five weeks of the season. He was also named the Week 4 AFC Defensive Player of the Week — a title that had eluded the 10-year veteran until this season.

Poyer set up Buffalo’s win in Baltimore when he read quarterback Lamar Jackson’s eyes and sprinted halfway across the end zone to jump in front of wide receiver Devin Duvernay to snag Jackson’s pass. Poyer’s pick gave Buffalo the ball at the 25-yard line to set up their game-winning drive.

But the great play came at a cost. Poyer was seen looking like he was in pain on the sidelines while quarterback Josh Allen and the Bills’ offense took over the game. Later, it was reported that he received x-rays in the locker room after the game, but Poyer played it off, saying that he would be alright and just had the wind knocked out of him.

However, Poyer showed up on the injury list a day later with a “ribs injury” and was a DNP that entire week before head coach Sean McDermott ruled him out for Week 5 when the Bills played host to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This week, as Buffalo prepared for yet another rematch in Kansas City, Poyer was limited in practice most of the week before being a full participant on Friday. After a full week of practice, the Bills’ starting safety was back in the game as Buffalo listed him as active Sunday morning.

What hadn’t been said until Graham’s report after the game, was that while Poyer was cleared to play football — a collision sport, he was not cleared to fly. While no specifics were given, it could be assumed that Poyer’s injury could have included cracked or bruised ribs and that the pressurized air inside an aircraft when at high altitudes would possibly have aggravated the injury. That meant that the safety could not join the team Saturday afternoon when they flew to Kansas City. Hence the ride.

Of course, now he’ll have to endure the 15-hour trek back to Orchard Park.

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