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Buffalo Bills place LB Matt Milano on injured reserve

What the heck?

Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills have placed linebacker Matt Milano on injured reserve. Milano originally left the Week 4 game against the Las Vegas Raiders with a pectoral injury but has been trying to gut it out the last couple weeks. The move will shut him down for at least three games and allow him to heal.

Milano was also injured in Week 1 against the New York Jets, which cost him a game and a half of playing time. As the team’s top coverage linebacker, they missed him plenty while he was out. That’s one reason they used him in limited action over the last two weeks, mainly bringing him in on third down.

With the move, the team had an open roster spot and activated LB Del’Shawn Phillips from injured reserve. In addition to Phillips, the team is going to have to more heavily rely on A.J. Klein, who has not played up to the level of his contract in 2020. They also have Andre Smith on the roster, who came in for a few plays last week. Tyrel Dodson is eligible to return from IR soon. Deon Lacey could get a call up but recent signing Darron Lee is likely a few weeks away from knowing the defense.

This injury feels mismanaged by the Bills. He came back after only a couple weeks away and played sparingly in big moments but that didn’t allow his pec to heal properly.