The Buffalo Bills continued their electric start to the new season on Monday night – beating the Tennessee Titans 41-7 – but the evening was mired by a scary-looking injury to one of their defenders.
Bills cornerback Dane Jackson was taken to the hospital in an ambulance after suffering a neck injury during a collision with a teammate near the end of the first half.
Jackson’s neck bent backwards awkwardly after colliding with Tremaine Edmunds while making a tackle late in the first half. He was placed on a stretcher before being loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
In a statement, the Bills said Jackson was “taken to ECMC (Hospital) for evaluation of a neck injury” where he would get a CT scan and an X-ray. The team also said he had “full movement in extremities.”
After the game, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said he was “awaiting more updates” about Jackson’s status, but the team was “all sending our prayers for him.”
Jackson’s injury was one of the few negatives to what was an extremely fruitful Monday night for the Bills as they thrashed the Titans.
Quarterback Josh Allen threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns – including three to Stefon Diggs and one to Reggie Gilliam – as he dissected the Titans.
On the other side of the ball, the Bills defense managed to stifle Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and the Titans offense.
Although Henry was able to score an opening-drive touchdown, the 2020 Offensive Player of the Year wasn’t able to really get going against a stout run defense.
Both Matt Milano and Jordan Poyer intercepted Tannehill – with Milano running his back 43 yards for a touchdown – as Buffalo forced four turnovers to keep their foot on the pedal.
Such was the level of dominance, both teams introduced their back-up quarterbacks near the end of the game to avoid injuring their starters.
The connection between Allen and Diggs has proved pivotal in the Bills’ rise to the top as many people’s Super Bowl favorites, with Diggs ending Monday night with 12 receptions for 148 yards and the three TDs.
After a dynamic game in the season-opening victory against the Los Angeles Rams last week, Diggs became the first NFL player since Steve Smith in 2007 with at least 250 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in his team’s first two games of a season.
And Allen – who leads the NFL with eight touchdowns after two weeks – said he is loving playing with such a skilled wide receiver.
“It felt good getting him the ball early and often. He did a great job getting open, making plays, making some great catches, ”Allen said after the game.
“He is what he is: it’s Stefon Diggs. We know he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, receivers in the game right now. I trust him implicitly. ”
The Bills are now 2-0 and still among the favorites to challenge for a Super Bowl berth while the Titans – who were the No. 1 seed in the AFC conference last year – remain winless.