ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Bills will be without second-team All-Pro safety Micah Hyde and starting cornerback Dane Jackson on Sunday when they face Miami’s explosive group of wide receivers. Both players suffered neck injuries in Monday night’s game against Tennessee.
Two other defensive starters, tackles Ed Oliver (ankle) and Jordan Phillips (hamstring), have also been ruled out. Oliver will miss his second straight game after being limited in practice throughout the week. Phillips got hurt late in the win against the Titans. Another interior lineman, Tim Settle (calf), is questionable to play.
On the offensive side, receiver Gabe Davis (ankle), tight end Dawson Knox (foot) and center Mitch Morse (elbow) were listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report. Davis was limited in practice all week after missing the previous game. Knox was held out of Wednesday’s practice and was a limited participant the next two days. Morse also has been limited, but was able to return from injury during Monday’s win.
Coach Sean McDermott wouldn’t say if any of the injuries appear long term.
The Bills’ other All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer (foot) is questionable to play Sunday. He was limited in two practices this week and held out on Thursday.
“We’re just going to take that one day at a time,” McDermott said of Poyer. “He’s one of those that are in that grouping — we’ve got a couple of those guys, maybe three or four of them, that still remains to be seen what they’re going to be able to get done on Sunday. I’ll know a little bit more [after Friday’s practice]; it may not still be definitive after today, but we’ll take it one day at a time.”
Jackson left Monday night’s game in an ambulance and was evaluated for a neck injury at ECMC. He was seen back at the practice field this week, though he did not participate in team drills.
Hyde also suffered a neck injury in the game, and McDermott revealed Tuesday that Hyde also visited the hospital for his injury. He did not participate in any practices this week.
The injuries to the secondary are especially concerning given that the Bills face a quarterback coming off a record-setting performance. Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns last week in a comeback win against Baltimore. Receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle became the first teammates to record at least 170 receiving yards and two touchdowns in a game.
“I know we have a number of injuries here, but I remain very confident in our football team and very confident in the back end,” McDermott said.
The absence of Jackson will thrust first-round pick Kaiir Elam into his first career start. He played 45% and 66% of defensive snaps in the team’s first two games, though fellow rookie Christian Benford started both games opposite Jackson. Tre’Davious White is not yet eligible to return while recovering from his ACL injury.
At safety, Damar Hamlin and possibly Jaquan Johnson appear in line for increased play time.
Phillips (hamstring) got the start in Week 2 after logging 1.5 sacks in the season opener. Linebacker Matt Milano (stinger) will be able to play, McDermott said.
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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.