Buffalo Bills All-Pro safety Micah Hyde recently underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. While the surgery was deemed successful, Hyde has a long road of recovery ahead. The report comes via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, who notes that Hyde will need six to nine months for recovery.
#Bills All-Pro safety Micah Hyde, placed on season-ending IR last month, recently underwent successful surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck and has a six-to-9-month recovery ahead, per source. Surgery was performed by spine specialist Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 12, 2022
Hyde is cleared to travel and will be back with the team soon. Hyde plans to have a banner 2023 season and the surgery is expected to stabilize the neck issue moving forward.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 12, 2022
Hyde injured his neck during the Bills’ Week 2 home opener against the Tennessee Titans when he completed what would seem to have been a routine tackle on wide receiver Robert Woods. However, Hyde’s head hit the receiver and was snapped backwards before he hit the ground.
#Bills Micah Hyde neck injury.— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) September 20, 2022
He did not return to the game & was later evaluated at the hospital.
Possibility of a stinger based on how he hit face first & injury designation.
Good chance he could play Sunday if it’s a stinger, will have to watch practice reports. pic.twitter.com/8IppDI1OqI
Hyde initially was seen shaking his right arm and then having some instability issues as he left the field with Buffalo trainers, and went directly to the blue medical tent on the sideline. After an initial evaluation, Hyde rode the cart to the locker room for x-rays, and the Bills listed him as out for the remainder of the game. Before the night was over, the defensive captain would visit Erie County Medical Center for further tests.
In the days that followed, head coach Sean McDermott remained tight-lipped when asked about Hyde’s status, refusing to comment on his whereabouts when the media asked about his absence at One Bills Drive.
Eventually, it was announced that Hyde had suffered a neck injury and was seeking a second opinion “out of town,” although the first opinion—or the extent of his injury—had yet to be disclosed.
On September 24, Jack Bechta, the agent who had helped Hyde secure a two-year, $19.25 million extension in 2021, announced that the safety would be put on season-ending IR, and that Hyde were expecting a healthy return next year—prompting a new hashtag of #23in23 among Bills fans.
Ian Rapoport was the first to call the injury a herniated disc, which proved to be the case as Hyde underwent what is being described as a successful surgery performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins.
While Bills fans had hoped that the 2023 return might possibly mean in time for a run at the playoffs, it has now been estimated that the recovery time for Hyde’s surgery is in the six to nine month range, which, if true, would put him back to work between April and July of 2023—hopefully in time for the start of training camp.
Hyde will be missed in the lineup. During the game and a half he played this season, he recorded seven tackles, and his numbers from last season—74 tackles, one sack, five interceptions (including the one he returned for a touchdown) and two fumble recoveries—earned him second-team All-Pro honors and a place (50th) on The Top 100 Players of 2022 list.
The Bills have been using safety Damar Hamlin, who is in just his second NFL season, to fill in for Hyde in the backfield. Hamlin—who lines up beside another of Buffalo’s All-Pro safeties, Jordan Poyer—has held his own, recording 21 tackles and half a sack since taking over for Hyde. (He also had two tackles in Buffalo’s Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams).
Hyde has experienced several neck injuries during his nine years in the NFL, but has no intentions of calling it a career just yet, and expects to be back full force next year. While his presence on the field will be missed this season, Hyde still has plans to be a part of what is happening in Buffalo as the Bills chase a championship.