The Buffalo Bills may have won their home opener in blowout fashion, but it came at a high price.
Bills cornerback Dane Jackson left the stadium in an ambulance after a scary collision just before halftime, and on Tuesday the team revealed that another member of the defense was taken to the hospital after the game. The injuries come as the Bills face a difficult test against the Miami Dolphins, and will be forced to do so on a week of short rest.
Bills Send Two Players to the Hospital
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott revealed that safety Micah Hyde was taken to the hospital for observation after he suffered a head injury late in the third quarter. As Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams reported, Hyde underwent medical tests and was later released.
The Bills have not yet issued an injury designation for Hyde, but fellow safety Jordan Poyer said he got a good sign from Hyde after the game. Bills beat reporter Dan Fetes reported that Poyer texted both Hyde and Jackson, and both players said they were “okay.”
For many Bills fans, Jackson’s injury evoked memories of one of the most devastating injuries in the team’s history. In 2007, tight end Kevin Everett was paralyzed after taking a hit on a kickoff in Buffalo’s season opener. Though Everett ended up undergoing career-ending surgery, he was able to walk again after months of rehab.
Speaking to reporters, McDermott said the health of both players is more important than their availability.
“That’s the part that’s bigger than football,” McDermott said. “There’s a football piece of that, but the bigger piece of the pie there is Dane’s health and well-being. That’s true for every one of our players and staff. We’re trying like heck to win games, but at the end of the day it’s quality of life and making sure everyone’s doing well that way.”
Jackson Speaks Out After Injury
Despite some scary moments in Monday’s game, Jackson appeared to remain optimistic. He issued a statement on Tuesday, taking to Twitter to thank fans for their support.
“All glory to God!! appreciate the love, support, and prayers from everyone. Bills mafia the best in the world!” he tweeted.
The Bills’ secondary had already been depleted, with All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White still rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered in the team’s Thanksgiving night game.
The Bills will also be without a key offensive player against the Dolphins. The league announced on Tuesday that offensive lineman Bobby Hart would be suspended for one game for an altercation that took place after the team’s 41-7 win over the Titans.
“Once you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately swung at him with a closed fist, striking the head of a Tennessee coach,” NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Hart, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”