The Buffalo Bills suffered their first loss of the 2022 season in heart-breaking fashion when they battled with the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, but even worse is that the team suffered yet another loss to their defensive roster during the game.
Bills’ rookie cornerback Christian Benford, who had been sharing duties with fellow rookie Kaiir Elam in Weeks 1 and 2 as the duo filled in for Tre’Davious White, suffered a broken hand during the game in Miami.
#Bills CB Christian Benford suffered a fractured hand on Sunday, source said. Rough reality for the impressive rookie.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 26, 2022
Benford initially exited the game and was listed as questionable to return, but when he did return, it was only on special teams with the rookie cornerback getting no more defensive snaps during the game.
For Buffalo, it made a tough night even tougher and could make a rough week even rougher. The Bills were starting both Benford and Elam for the first time. That’s beause along with cornerback Tre’Davious White who is recovering from an ACL tear suffered in the Thanksgiving Day game last season, Dane Jackson was unable to start due to a neck injury he incurred during the Bills’ Week 2 matchup with the Tennessee Titans.
To make it worse, both of Buffalo’s All-Pro safeties, Micah Hyde (IR, neck) and Jordan Poyer (foot), were not active for the game with Miami. Buffalo started Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin at the safety positions, and the pair teamed up with Benford and Elam to try and put the brakes on a red-hot Miami Dolphins offense that entered the game wtih the league’s leading passer.
When Benford exited the game, Buffalo was fored to send in Ja’Marcus Ingram, a rookie who had just been activated from the Bills’ practice squad.
When asked about the injury, Benford replied that he was going to let the coaches give the injury report, and while that hasn’t been released yet, it is feasible that Buffalo could be without yet another member of their defensive backfield for next Sunday’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens.
Buffalo currently has Elam, Ingram, and Siran Neal listed on their roster as available cornerbacks. While Neal has appeared in 66 games for the Bills since joining the league in 2018, he has only started one of those games.
A timetable for Jackson’s return hasn’t been given, but given the severity of the hit he took when he collided with teammate Tremaine Edmunds as the couple tackled Titans receiver Robert Brooks a week ago, it likely that the Bills will be cautious with his return.
White is not eligible to return to the team until after Week 4 as he started the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. While he can join the team at the start of Week 5, there have been no updates to cement that possibility at this time.
Buffalo doesn’t have another cornerback listed on their practice squad, although they have rookie Kyler McMichael who is listed as a defensive back out of North Carolina.
Could the Bills be in the market for a new cornerback this week? It seems reasonable to think that the team may have to explore that option.