Bills nickel Taron Johnson cleared, back vs. Eagles

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills will have a key member of the team's defense back for Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles with nickel corner Taron Johnson clearing concussion protocol.

Johnson was injured in the second quarter of the team's win last week vs. the New York Jets on the same play that safety Taylor Rapp was injured. Rapp was taken off the field in an ambulance with a neck injury, and despite being limited in practice Thursday, has been ruled out of Sunday's game.

"Nah, just still feeling it," coach Sean McDermott said when asked whether Rapp had any setback. "So, just based on where we think it's headed, just going to rule him out for the game at this point."

Having Johnson clear concussion protocol is a significant development for the Bills' defense. He has played over 80% of snaps in all but two games this season and is third on the team in tackles (56). Johnson, 27, has allowed six yards per target as the nearest defender per Next Gen Stats, lowest among Bills defenders who have been targeted 17 or more times, despite being the most targeted player on the team (41).

"I think just the nickel position overall around the league has gained in popularity, in value and I think Taron has been a big part of that really with how he has played and how we use him," McDermott said. "So, he's had a, not just this year, but he's had, to me, very solid seasons the last couple of years and to watch him grow in his career, watch him grow with his family, has been one of the joys of coaching."

The Bills have dealt with several injuries to starters on the defensive side of the ball this year with linebacker Matt Milano (right leg), defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (pec) and cornerback Tre'Davious White (right Achilles) all on injured reserve. Both White and Milano are expected to be out for the season.

Cornerback Dane Jackson (concussion protocol) has also been ruled out of Sunday's game. Christian Benford and former Eagle Rasul Douglas are in line to start on Sunday.