Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano broke his leg early in October. Since then, the All-Pro, who had started 2023 with 30 combined tackles along with a forced fumble and two interceptions in the four and a half games before his injury, has been on the Injured Reserve list and pretty much completely disappeared from the public eye. Not surprising since Milano has been a man of few words since he entered the league in 2017.
What had been strange about the injury was the lack of information coming from the Bills as well. While the injury took place on October 8 when the Bills played the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, it wasn’t until a few days later that One Bills Drive announced Milano was undergoing surgery to repair a leg injury. No further details were given, which caused plenty of speculation to take place.
Sean McDermott said on LB Matt Milano's specific injury that head athletic trainer Nate Breske could better describe it.— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) October 24, 2023
"It was more complicated, or from my end, medically ... different terms that I'm not really familiar with. So, can we just call it like NHL does — lower leg?"
But now, Milano has been seen around the team’s facilities, on the sidelines at the last two Bills’ games, and pictures of him in the team locker room have surfaced. And on Thursday, the All-Pro linebacker opened up about what his actual injury was and what he has been going through over the past 12 weeks.
Finally got clarity on #Bills Milano’s inj he suffered in Wk 5.— Banged Up Bills (@BangedUpBills) January 4, 2024
He did indeed suffer a R tibia fracture just below the knee, known as a tibial plateau fracture.
That was my initial thought at the time.https://t.co/dbs0bFEKVf
Buffalo News https://t.co/83fuHuIa64 pic.twitter.com/w0BqhGAcqN
According to The Buffalo News, Milano revealed that he had suffered a tibia fracture in his right leg, but the good news was that there was no ligament damage affecting his knee. The fracture occurred just below his knee and that it prevented him from being able to put any weight on the leg for eight weeks. Now, the 29-year-old linebacker is rehabilitating at the Bills facility in Orchard Park, NY.
Last week, head coach Sean McDermott told reporters that he didn’t expect Milano to be available to the team for the playoffs. While there had never been any indication that the seven-year NFL veteran would be available, fans had held out hope that he might return by the playoffs.
Bills HC Sean McDermott said "I believe that's a no go" when asked about LB Matt Milano returning for the playoffs.— Joe Buscaglia (@JoeBuscaglia) December 29, 2023
While Milano has been sidelined, fourth-year linebacker Tyrel Dodson and rookie Dorian Williams have held down the outside linebacker position, putting up a combined 111 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries, and five passes defended. The combination of Dodson and Williams has been solid enough for Buffalo, but getting Milano back next season will be a huge boost to the Bills’ defense. And, according to Milano, he expects to be back like nothing happened, saying on Thursday that he expects to be able to go through his normal offseason training routines.