A lot of credit has been given to Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott for building a roster that’s said to be one of the best in the NFL this season. This week, that claim may be put to the test.
The Bills are headed to South Beach in a few days to take on the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium for a Week 3 matchup that will determine who gains early control of the AFC East. Buffalo has the disadvantage of having a short week to prepare, having played the Tennessee Titans on Monday night, and they are far from healthy as they finished their first full practice of the week.
Cornerback Dane Jackson, both safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, and defensive tackle Jordan Phillips were all non-particiapnts today when the pads went on.
This isn’t good news for a Bills team that has already been using a rotation of rookie corner backs to fill in for injured cornerback Tre’Davious White who started the season on the PUP list while recovering from an ACL tear sustained in last season’s Thanksgiving Day game against the New Orleans Saints.
Defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier said that the team has complete confidence in the rookie duo of Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, should Jackson (neck) not be able to play. However, it’s looking like they won’t have the benefit of All-Pro Micah Hyde there to help from the safety position as Hyde also sustained a neck injury in Monday’s game and is reported to be seeking a second opinion (although no information on what the first opinion was has been given).
The other half of the All-Pro safety duo that Buffalo has depended on for the past five years, Jordan Poyer, also did not practice and is listed with a foot injury. Poyer, however, was seen at practice standing with the secondary while they were working out.
Should Hyde and Poyer both be out of Sunday’s game, the secondary will have to dig into their depth chart and bring out Jaquan Johnson, a third-year player out of Miami, and Damar Hamlin, a second-year player out of Pittsburgh. A lot of pressure could be put on Taron Johnson, the team’s fifth-year nickel corner, to help the rest of the less-experienced secondary as they try to keep up with wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
On a positive note for the Bills, wide receiver Gabe Davis (ankle),defensive tackle Ed Oliver (ankle), defensive tackle Tim Settle (calf), and cornerback Cam Lewis (forearm) who all missed Monday night’s game were back on the field. In addition, center Mitch Morse (elbow), tight end Dawson Knox (foot), and linebacker Matt Milano (neck) participated in Thursday’s practice.
Running back Taiwan Jones missed practice, but it was a scheduled veteran rest day and not anything to cause concern.