Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Harrison Phillips tore his ACL early in the 2019 season and the hope was that he would be available for training camp following surgery. In this new era of self-isolation, the Bills are using telemedicine to track and follow his progress.
“He’s doing as well as could be expected, he’s very positive,” said team general manager Brandon Beane last week. “He texted me some this weekend saying he had reached out to all the new guys and he’s excited.”
Beane also discussed how Phillips and the rest of the players recovering from early offseason surgery are rehabbing with the training staff using digital means.
“With everything going on in our state in the area, there are some rules where they could come in and rehab, but we just wanted to be extra cautious and make sure it wasn’t in our building,” said Beane. “So what our guys are doing is, they’re doing some FaceTimes with him and Levi Wallace and some of these guys that you saw had surgeries. But trying to find different ways to make sure these guys are getting the rehab and Harrison falls in that category.”
Phillips was playing very well prior to his injury, pushing highly priced veteran Star Lotulelei for the starting job. In Week 2, they played the same number of snaps and in Week 3, Phillips eclipsed Lotulelei. It’s enough to make you wonder if the Bills would have restructured Lotulelei to keep him around in 2020 or just cut him outright if they were more confident on the rehab of Phillips.
Beane, for one, is pretty pumped for one of his first draft picks to return to the field.
“You guys know, this kid teared up last year, when he got hurt. And there’s nobody that’s gonna be more excited to run out of that tunnel this year than Harrison Phillips and I think I’ll be just as excited for him,” said Beane. “He’s worked so hard. But he’s doing as well as can be expected. He’s still got a ways to go. He’ll be a guy that we hope will be ready for training camp, but we’ll have to see. I don’t know how much testing we’re going to be able to do with him and depending on how long this coronavirus lasts.”