While the Buffalo Bills absolutely dominated the Tennesee Titans 41-7 on Monday Night Football, the win was bittersweet as several key members of the team’s starting lineup went down with injuries, including safety Micah Hyde.
While Bills cornerback Dane Jackson exited the field in an ambulance after taking a horrific hit to the head just before halftime, it was revealed after the game that Hyde also landed up at the hospital on September 19 for a neck injury.
The All-Pro safety exited the game late in the third quarter after getting hit in the head. While Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams shared a positive update on Tuesday, reporting that Hyde was released from the hospital after undergoing medical tests, the 31-year-old veteran hasn’t participated in practice since.
On Thursday, September 222, The Buffalo News’ Mark Gaughan shared a troubling update, reporting that Hyde was “getting further consultation” and seeking “a more expert opinion on his injury out of town.” When Bills head coach Sean McDermott was directly asked on Thursday about whether or not Hyde was present at Highmark Stadium for practice, “I’m not going to go there,” he said.
However, both The Athletic‘s Joe Buscaglia and ESPN reporter Alaina Getzenberg tweeted that they saw Hyde in the locker room in Orchard Park on Thursday, which seems to indicate he didn’t have to travel too far to receive a second opinion.
While his presence at Orchard Park is a good sign, it seems highly unlikely the team captain will be ready to go when the Bills (2-0) take on their first divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins (2-0) on Sunday, September 25. If that is the case, the Bills may need to look to Jaquan Johnson, their sixth-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft, to start in his place.
“We believe in the next man up,” McDermott said. “We’d love to have those guys out there,” referring to Jackson, Hyde, and the lengthy list of injured Bills players, “But we’ll see how it plays out.”
Hyde Suffered a Neck Injury Back in 2015
While the team has not specifically defined or detailed the seriousness of Hyde’s injury, there’s worry concerning this isn’t the first time he’s suffered a neck injury. Back in 2015, when Hyde was a member of the Green Bay Packers, he was carted off the field after catching an interception during a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles with what The Score‘s Dan Wilkins reported as “neck spasms.”
Thankfully, the injury wasn’t serious, and he was back on the field two weeks later for the Packers’ season opener against the Chicago bears. In 2019, he suffered a neck injury during the miss preseason and sat out one game, per Banged Up Bills. During the 2020 NFL season, the Bills starter suffered a concussion while playing against the New York Jets and missed one game.
Hyde Was Listed as the Top-12 Best Safety in the NFL
Over the summer, USA Today’s Doug Farrar ranked Hyde as the 12th-best safety in the league. “Hyde ranked seventh on our safety list last year after a 2020 season in which he allowed 15 catches on 27 targets for 143 yards, 46 yards after the catch, one touchdown, one interception, and an opponent passer rating of 67.4,” Farrar wrote. “In 2021, Hyde was more opportunistic and more vulnerable, which puts him a bit below where he was before.”
Hyde, a former fifth-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft, is “one-half of the NFL’s best safety tandem (along with Jordan Poyer),” Farrar continued.
“Hyde played all over the field while Poyer played mostly free safety. Hyde had 278 snaps in the box, 185 in the slot, 628 at free safety, 51 at the line, and four at outside cornerback. And on all those snaps, he allowed 20 catches on 29 targets for 211 yards, 38 yards after the catch, four touchdowns, six interceptions, and an opponent passer rating of 89.9. Not quite the shutdown performer he was in 2020, but Hyde was also responsible for many more takeaways.”
Heading into Week 3, Poyer’s status is also unknown. While the veteran safety was limited in practice on Wednesday with a foot injury, he did not participate on Thursday. On the FinSide host Brian Catanzaro tweeted, “Bills SS Jordan Poyer has started 81 of his last 82 games with the Bills. FS Micah Hyde has started 64 of his last 65. They never leave the field on gameday and Lezlie Frazier’s D relies heavily on their instincts in 2-high safety looks. If they both miss Sunday? Whoo boy.”