The Bills passed a huge test in Atlanta with flying colors on Sunday.
They’ll have another one this week that has little to do with the opponent.
Sean McDermott said Jordan Matthews and Ramon Humber are both having surgery on thumb injuries.
He did not say how long either would be out, but did acknowledge this week is virtually a certainty.
“We’ll know more in 24-48 hours,” McDermott said.
A broken hand has receiver Corey Coleman out 4-6 weeks in Cleveland. The Bills may not see Matthews again until Halloween.
The nature of the position makes Humber’s injury potentially easier to get over.
Walt Powell is eligible to come off the suspended list this week and provide the Bills help at receiver. McDermott wasn’t sure if that would happen.
He was asked about Anquan Boldin as well Monday. For now, the Bills will go with what they have.
“We’ll have a lot of conversations this afternoon (with GM Brandon Beane),” McDermott said. “This is why we develop and count on players to develop in our system. Injuries are going to hit any team. You need depth in this league to sustain winning.”
McDermott pointed out that things happen fast in the NFL. He’s interested to see how his team can handle that.
“Throw this under headline of how long can a group of men and women can hang together,” he said. “We’ve faced adversity before. We’ll face it again. Make us stronger. Leadership has to step up and get in front of it. “This will only make us stronger”
The Bills were quite excited immediately after the win over the Falcons, as they should be. LeSean McCoy shouted at media entering the locker room, “Y’all picked us to lose. Come talk to the winners!”
This week will show if this young and promising team can back that upset win up with another one in Cincinnati. A win that will now be much more expected.
“Handling winning is a big part of sustaining success,” McDermott said. “It’s a big challenge for our building. To keep things in perspective.”
McDermott fell back on his favorite catch phrase to explain how the Bills must handle their success.
“You go back and you focus on the grind and the process of what got us to winning in the first place. That’s what winners do. That’s what teams that are used to winning do,” he said.
“If we’re gonna get addicted to anything, lets get addicted to the process.”
The Bills have a third surger coming this week, with safety Colt Anderson.
Shaq Lawson is still a question mark to practice Wednesday, but E.J. Gaines is only day to day with his groin injury.
The last 3-1 start for the Bills ended with a 6-10 season. Eric Wood noted Sunday night that injuries played a big role in that collapse.
McDermott thinks the experience of those failures from guys like Wood and Kyle Williams can help, too.
This is a different team. We can learn a lot of lessons from those guys that were here when they went through that,” he said. “We’ve got to stay hungry, we’ve got to stay humble.”
“Our team loves that challenge. They embrace that role.”
There will still be plenty of challenge to wrap their arms around this week.