Bills put Micah Hyde on injured reserve; agent says season is over

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – For the second consecutive season, the Buffalo Bills have been dealt a major blow to their secondary.

The agent for safety Micah Hyde announced Saturday on social media that his client will be placed on season-ending injured reserve by the team because of a neck injury. The Bills later made the move official.

Hyde, 31, left Monday’s victory over the Tennessee Titans in the second half and was taken to Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation after the game. The Buffalo News reported Thursday that Hyde was seeking a second opinion on the injury. The Bills declined comment when asked about that topic.

On Friday, Bills coach Sean McDermott was asked whether he could share any additional information on the condition of either Hyde or cornerback Dane Jackson, who left Monday’s game in an ambulance and was also taken to ECMC for evaluation of a neck injury.

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“They’re both coming off of obviously significant situations, serious situations, like all injuries, in particular, when it involves the areas of the body that they did,” McDermott said. “So really going anything beyond that I think would be irresponsible on my part because I really don’t know anything more. They both seem to be moving around or walking around or in the building here. And they’re in there going about their business, trying to improve each and every day. Obviously not going to make this game. Other than that, I don’t have anything else for you at this point. We’re just going to work with them on their cadence and their timing at this point.”

Hyde’s agent, Jack Bechta, said that Hyde is expected to be able to make a full recovery and return for the 2023 season.

Hyde later tweeted, “Thank you so much for the love and support you’ve shown me and my family. It’s truly unreal. Bills Mafia, we love you! #23in23.”

Jackson and Hyde had previously been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. So too, are defensive tackles Ed Oliver (ankle) and Jordan Phillips (hamstring), leaving the Bills quite shorthanded against a high-powered Miami offense.

Losing Hyde for the season, however, has potential ramifications far beyond just Week 3. Since coming to the Bills in 2017, he has been a rock in McDermott’s secondary, starting 81 of a possible 83 games in the regular season and all seven postseason games . A team captain, Hyde has made 363 tackles, 14 interceptions, 35 passes defended, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one sack in the regular season with the Bills. Hyde was voted No. 50 in the NFL Network Top 100 by players around the league. Through two games this year, he recorded seven tackles and is coming off a season in which he had 74 tackles, five interceptions and a touchdown.

Hyde, who will go down as one of the best free agent signings in team history, has one year remaining on his contract. Along with Jordan Poyer, the Bills have long had one of the best safety duos in the NFL. Together, they are so in tune with the defensive scheme that they could easily stand in front of the defensive meeting room and teach its principles to their teammates.

“We give them the freedom to have input on the game plan, about what type of looks we want to give the quarterback, or what’s the best strategy in this particular defense,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said last year. “Just to hear their input, because they study the tape just like we do, and they know the defense well enough that you can trust their input. … Their talent, as well as their commitment to their craft, has a lot to do with the success that they have on the field. Some guys are very talented, but may not have the same commitment level to being the best that they can be. These guys are very committed.”

Poyer is dealing with a foot injury that has him questionable for Sunday’s game.

Last year, the Bills lost All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White to a torn knee ligament during a Thanksgiving night victory over the New Orleans Saints. White has still not returned from that injury, starting this year on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen responded to the news by posting on Instagram, “Love ya 23. He’ll be back.”

Hyde is expected to be replaced in the starting lineup by Jaquan Johnson, a fourth-year veteran who was a sixth-round draft pick out of Miami (Fla.) in 2019. Johnson has appeared in 46 games in his career, although most of that time has been spent on special teams. He has 29 career tackles and an interception. His lone career start came last year in the regular-season finale.

Damar Hamlin, a sixth-round pick in 2021, is the team’s third safety and could be called upon to play more against the Dolphins if Poyer either can’t play or is limited by his injury.

The Bills signed defensive tackles Brandin Bryant and Prince Emily to the active roster from the practice squad.

Buffalo had two spots on the 53-man roster because of Micah Hyde being placed on injured reserve and offensive lineman Bobby Hart being suspended for Sunday’s game for a postgame incident against Tennessee.

The Bills also elevated offensive lineman Greg Mancz, who spent last season with the Dolphins, and cornerback Ja’Marcus Ingram, a University at Buffalo product.

Bryant played 27 snaps against the Titans with one tackle after being elevated from the practice squad. Emily is an undrafted rookie free agent from Penn who spent the spring and summer with the Bills.

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