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Micah Hyde will miss rest of season with neck injury, per his agent

The Bills’ All-Pro safety is expected to make a healthy return in 2023

Buffalo Bills v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

When Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde left the field shaking out his arm after hitting his head on a play during the Bills’ victory over the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium this past Monday night, things looked interesting.

When Micah Hyde went to the locker room after spending five minutes in the blue medical tent along the Bills’ sideline, things looked questionable.

When Micah Hyde went to the hospital after getting to the locker room, things looked scary.

When head coach Sean McDermott refused to comment on Hyde’s whereabouts in the first few days of practice for Week 3’s matchup with the Miami Dolphins, things looked suspicious.

Today, all of those concerns, fears, and suspicions were validated. Hyde’s agent, Jack Bechta, announced that he would be having surgery and will be out for the remainder of 2022. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network called it a herniated disc.

Hyde joined the Bills in 2017 as part of the beginning of the “McBeane Era.” Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane began what has become known as “The Process” upon their arrival at One Bills Drive. A true team role model, Hyde has been a key component of what the duo has built in Buffalo.

In his first year with the Bills, Hyde had the best year of his career logging 82 tackles and five interceptions as well as being named Defensive Player of the Month for October 2017. He was a part of the team that broke the playoff drought in Buffalo, helping the team to a 9-7 record and an NFL Wild Card berth.

Over the next four years, the Bills’ safety recorded 274 tackles, nine interceptions (one of which he returned for his first career touchdown last season), three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

Hyde’s 74 tackles, one sack, five interceptions—including the one he returned for a touchdown—and two fumble recoveries last season earned him second-team All-Pro honors for 2021 and a place (50th) on The Top 100 Players of 2022 list.

In the first two games of the 2022 season, one of which he wasn’t able to finish due to the neck injury, Hyde had already recorded seven combined tackles. That pace would have put him near 80 tackles by the end of the season had he been able to sustain it.

Hyde’s aggressive play didn’t come without a price, however, as the safety has had his share of injuries over his nine-year career. A series of minor injuries piled up for Hyde in his time with the Green Bay Packers, the team that drafted him in 2013, but he was only forced to miss one game over those four years. Since signing with Buffalo, he has missed three games—but two of those were due to either a concussion (2020) or a neck injury (peseason 2019)

Neck injuries in 2015, 2019, and 2021 may or may not have played a part in the significance of the current injury that will have him miss at least the next four months of football.

The good news for Buffalo is that Hyde has been part of an All-Pro defensive backfield that includes fellow safety Jordan Poyer, also a 2017 signee when the “McBeane Era” started, and cornerback Tre’Davious White. The bad news for Buffalo is that White is also on Injured Reserve as he continues to recover from an ACL tear that occured in last season’s Thanksgiving Day game against the New Orleans Saints and Jordan Poyer has been dealing with a foot injury that occurred in the same game as Hyde’s most current neck injury.

While Buffalo will be playing this week with two rookie cornerbacks, Christian Benford and Kaiir Elam, and a couple of safeties without much game-time experience (second year Damar Hamlin and the fourth-year Jaquan Johnson) they will know after Sunday just how strong the depth of their roster is, and whether they will need to look outside of the organization—one they have been growing through “The Process” for the past five and a half years—for more help.

As for Hyde, while his 2022 season is over, and as difficult a pill as that will be to swallow for a player who has devoted time and effort into making the Buffalo Bills a legitmate Super Bowl contender this season, the good news is that he will still be under contract for his return.

Prior to the 2021 season, Hyde signed a two-year, $19.25 million contract extension with the Bills on March 5, 2021, keeping him under contract through 2023. For the Bills, that means that next season, being a contract-year and possibly a prove-it year for the will-be-32-year-old safety, could be one of Micah Hyde’s best seasons yet.

But first, he must heal.