ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Bills safety Micah Hyde has rejoined the team, though in what can best be described as a quasi-coaching role after sustaining a season-ending neck injury in Week 2.
“Ask me in a couple of weeks because I don’t even know yet,” Hyde said, when asked to describe his role. “I’m just in the building, I’m trying to help out the younger guys.”
The backups have mostly held up with Buffalo leading the NFL in allowing the fewest yards and points, while leading the league with 10 interceptions.
Without describing the exact nature of the injury, Hyde said it was a lingering issue that built up over several years and deemed to require surgery. He expects to be healthy to return to play next season.
This is the first significant injury for Hyde, who had previously missed just three games over his first nine NFL seasons. He said he experienced feelings of loneliness while recuperating at home in San Diego, upon deciding to bring his wife and kids and return to Buffalo.
The hardest part, Hyde joked, will be having the training staff hold him back from attempting to return this year.
If he can’t be a part of the team on the field, the 32-year felt the next-best thing is to at least help out in practice and on the sideline.
“I want to be part of what’s going on,” he said.
“After all these years, to finally be in the position that we’re in, to know that we have a shot to win the Super Bowl, that I might not be a part of it, but then I thought again and I’m like, I am a part of it,” Hyde said. “I’m here. I’m helping the guys out. It’s a new role for me, but I’m excited.”
The AFC-leading Bills (5-1) come out of their bye week at the healthiest they’ve been since the start of the season. Right tackle Spencer Brown (ankle) was the team’s only regular who did not practice, while receiver Jake Kumerow returned to practice after missing three games with an ankle injury.
The week off also provided starting safety Jordan Poyer additional time to recover from an injury to his ribs which prevented him from flying to play in a 24-20 win at Kansas City on Oct. 16. The Bills instead hired a van and had Poyer make the 14-hour drive to Kansas City.
Though Poyer was cleared to play, the team’s medical staff prevented him from flying because the change in air pressure could have affected a punctured lung, which was caused by the rib injury.
Poyer said he’s now been cleared to fly, with Buffalo preparing to play at the New York Jets after hosting Green Bay.
Starting cornerback Tre’Davious White’s return from a left knee injury will have to wait at least one more week.
Coach Sean McDermott on Wednesday ruled out White from playing against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. White opened the season on the physically unable to perform list before being cleared to begin practicing two weeks ago after missing 11 months with a torn ligament.
Under NFL rules, the Bills have until 4 p.m. ET on Nov. 2. to add White to the active roster or place him on season-ending injured reserve. The delay in activating the sixth-year player allows White an additional week of practice, especially after missing last week when the Bills were off on their bye.
“Keep taking it one day at a time. He’ll play when he’s ready. He’s progressing,” McDermott said.
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was optimistic about White’s return, when asked about the player on Monday.
“He’s champing at the bit to get going,” Frazier said. “We’re looking forward to when he can go out there with our normal players and play in a game. It doesn’t seem like we’re that far away from that, but we’ll see how this week goes. But so far, so good.”
White was hurt during a 31-6 win at New Orleans on Nov. 25, and had surgery for a torn ACL a few weeks later. He was still spotted walking with a slight limp while spending training camp working out individually on the sideline.
He’s has been a starter since the Bills selected him in the first round of the 2017 draft, and was selected to the All-Pro team in 2019.