Latest Dolphins injury update will have Josh Allen licking his lips

Josh Allen and the Bills' offense are getting a big injury break in their high-stakes regular season finale against the Dolphins.

Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs
Buffalo Bills v Kansas City Chiefs / Jamie Squire/GettyImages

Josh Allen and his Buffalo Bills teammates face one of the most pressure-packed regular-season finales in history. Win and Buffalo could enter the postseason as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Losing would open up the possibility of the Bills missing the playoffs altogether.

That's a big reason why Allen will be looking to take advantage of any potential weakness in the Miami Dolphins' defense in their high-profile matchup. The reality that veteran cornerback Xavien Howard is poised to miss the game due to injury will tempt Allen to test the Miami secondary early and often.

The news that Howard will miss out due to injury is not a big surprise, but it does put Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel in a tough spot. Trotting Eli Apple out in Howard's place is going to represent a mismatch against Buffalo's talented receiving corps on a down-to-down basis.

Xavien Howard injury update: CB's absence gives Bills an edge vs. Dolphins

Miami will likely try to match Jalen Ramsey up against Stefon Diggs whenever possible. He should travel to take on Buffalo's top wideout anytime the team lines up in man coverage. That means Apple will see a lot of Gabe Davis on the outside. Expect Allen to take several deep shots down the field when he sees that matchup absent of significant safety help.

The good news for the Dolphins is that this game doesn't mean quite as much to them as it does to their opponent. They'd love to win the game to make sure they can host a playoff game for the first time since 2008. They still make the postseason even if they lose the regular season finale to their division rivals.

The Bills need Josh Allen to head into the postseason with momentum. Howard's absence in this game will allow him to rack up yards against Apple. That's bad news for AFC opponents who might be preparing to face Buffalo's big-play offense in the postseason. Howard's injury could have an impact far beyond this week's game.

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