News might not be good for Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde, one half of an All-Pro safety duo that has only allowed 87 touchdowns in the past five years, after he sustained a neck injury in the Bills’ dismantling of the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.
Hyde was making what appeared to be a routine tackle on Titans wide receiver Robert Brooks when he hit the ground hard with his head. Training staff attended to Hyde on the field before he was able to walk—albeit quite precariously—to the sideline where he was evaluated in the blue medical tent before being carted to the locker room. The team quickly announced that Hyde had suffered a neck injury and would not return to the game.
After the game, it was reported that Hyde had been taken to the Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation and tests on his injured neck, but since that time head coach Sean McDermott has declined to make any comment on Hyde’s status, diagnosis, or treatment other than to tell the media that he would not be practicing for the second day in a row.
However, The Buffalo News reported that Hyde was seeking a second opinion on his injury, and that he was looking “out of town” for that opinion.
When asked specifically if Hyde was with the team for Thursday’s practice, like several of the other injured Buffalo players including cornerback Dane Jackson who also sustained a neck injury in Monday’s game, McDermott’s only comment was to decline a comment.
“I’m not going there,” the head coach said when asked directly if Hyde was at the practice facility.
While it still hasn’t been stated what the extent of the injury is, or even what diagnosis Hyde may have already received, it isn’t a good sign for the Bills that the safety is seeking a second diagnosis.
Pure speculation would lead one to believe one of two things: either the diagnosis wasn’t good and Hyde, who is 31-years old and starting his tenth year in the NFL, does not like the amount of time and/or prognosis for his return, or the All-Pro safety is still feeling the effects of the injury (possibly headaches, numbness, tingling, balance issues) and wants better clarification on the injury.
It should also be noted that Hyde sustained a neck injury during a preseason game in 2015 as a member of the Green Bay Packers. Hyde had to be carted off the field with what was reported as “neck spasms” after making an interception in a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. The August 29 injury cleared up and Hyde was able to play, and make four tackles, in the team’s opening game against the Chicago Bears on September 13 that season.
While the previous injury may be insignificant in this case, it could, at the least, provide a reference point for the safety as he self-evaluates his condition.
Whatever his reason for seeking another medical opinion, Hyde is not at practice for the second day in a row and it would seem unlikely that he will be able to play in Sunday’s matchup with the currently undefeated Miami Dolphins.
Safety Jaquan Johnson, a third-year player out of Miami, is next-man-up on the Bills’ roster and may have his time to shine in front of his hometown crowd. Johnson will have his hands full helping rookie cornerbacks Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, who are currently filling in for Jackson and Tre’Davious White (PUP), cover speedy wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylon Waddle who combined to complete 24 catches for 361 yards and four touchdowns last week in the Dolphins’ 42-38 come-from-behind-win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Jordan Poyer also missed practice on Thursday, so Damar Hamlin may also be in the lineup.