Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott announced on Wednesday that the 21-day practice windows for two players on injured reserve have been opened: safety Micah Hyde and wide receiver Jamison Crowder. Both will practice with the team today, but McDermott also quickly ruled both out from playing against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC playoffs this weekend.
Hyde was injured in the Bills’ September 19 win over the Tennessee Titans. He was placed on IR five days later, on September 24, after seeking multiple medical opinions about the injury. He had surgery days later, and it was assumed that he’d miss the rest of the season.
In mid-November, however — shortly before the Bills played back-to-back games at Ford Field in Detroit — Hyde was spotted working off to the side during practices with other injured teammates, and he told Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic that he’d “love to come back” before the end of the season. Bills general manager Brandon Beane said on December 14 that the team hadn’t ruled out Hyde returning this season, and with his returning to the practice field today, his chances of playing again this season have obviously increased dramatically.
Hyde is less than four months post-op from significant spinal surgery, so it would not be surprising if he begins practices wearing a red non-contact jersey as the Bills’ medical staff evaluates him during his return to football activities.
Crowder, meanwhile, broke his ankle during the Bills’ October 2 road win over the Baltimore Ravens. He, like Hyde, had been working off to the side since having surgery to fix the issue, and will presumably follow a similar evaluation over the next week (and beyond, if the Bills can record a playoff win on Sunday) to see if it’s viable for him to return to action this season.
Buffalo hosts the Miami Dolphins at 1:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, January 15 at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY.