On Saturday. head coach Sean McDermott ruled out both safety Micah Hyde, who is dealing with a stinger suffered last Sunday night in Cincinnati, and cornerback Christian Benford, who tried to play through a hamstring injury last weekend but only lasted through the first half of the game. This move means that the Bills will officially be without four members of their starting defensive secondary.
Saturday injury report pic.twitter.com/snvA5W9B76— Buffalo Bills PR (@BuffaloBillsPR) November 11, 2023
With Benford ruled out, and Tre’Davious White on Injured Reserve (IR), that means the Bills will be playing without both their CB1 and CB2 from the start of the 2023 season. Their fourth cornerback, Kaiir Elam, is also on IR. They do still have Dane Jackson, and they brought in Rasul Douglas in a last-minute trade with the Green Bay Packers on October 30. Buffalo has Ja’Marcus Ingram and Josh Norman, both of whom can only be called up once more before they will have to add them to the 53-man roster, on the practice squad. They also have Kyron Brown, Herb Miller, and Tre Norwood on the practice squad.
As for Hyde, the fact that he’s experiencing enough symptoms to keep him out of a game is concerning. The 32 year old missed all but two weeks of last season after requiring surgery to repair a disc in his neck, so another neck injury isn’t a good sign for the 11-year veteran. However, there is always the possibility that Hyde’s injury is short-term this time and the Bills are choosing to let him sit and rest for a week as the Broncos rank 27th in passing yards per game this season. With Hyde out, Buffalo has Cam Lewis and Damar Hamlin available to fill in. They also have Taylor Rapp, but they list him as a strong safety rather than behind Hyde. We’ll have to wait and see what they choose to do here.
To make things even more worrisome for Buffalo, however, is that linebacker Terrel Bernard is questionable for Monday as he’s still trying to work through the league’s concussion protocol. Bernard took over at middle linebacker this season and has recorded 36 solo tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. If he can’t play, and quite honestly “Questionable” is being generous as the second-year linebacker hasn’t been out of the red-no-contact jersey yet this week, that means that the Bills will be playing without both of their starting linebackers (Matt Milano is on IR) for a total of five of their seven original starters in the backfield.
On a positive note, both Baylon Spector and A.J. Klein have been able to practice all week, giving the Bills a few options at linebacker for Monday night. Along with Spector and Klein, the Bills have Tyrel Dodson, rookie Dorian Williams, and Tyler Matakevich on the active roster.
The best news of the day came from wide receiver Stefon Diggs. While he was limited in practice again today, he said that he’s 100% playing on Monday, and that the limited practice the last couple of days was “proactive instead of reactive” as he works through some soreness that he claims was “lingering” after last week’s game.
Stefon Diggs says “100%” he has the full expectation he’ll play Monday. He said the back injury was lingering a bit from last game, so wanted to be “proactive instead of reactive” with managing it— katherine fitzgerald (@kfitz134) November 11, 2023