The Buffalo Bills could have Tre’Davious White back on the field much sooner than initially feared, one insider shares.
White suffered a torn ACL during the team’s Thanksgiving night game last season, putting him out for the rest of the season and dealing a major blow to the defense. While this injury has often had a recovery time of a year or more, Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News noted that there are some encouraging recent examples that show White could be back in time for the start of the season.
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Good News for White
As Gaughan pointed out in a July 2 mailbag, there have been a number of players able to come back from a torn ACL in nine months or less. By that timeframe, White would be able to rejoin his teammates for the season opener in Los Angeles on September 8.
“It’s not out of the question that White starts Week 1 in Los Angeles,” Gaughan wrote. “Former Broncos star cornerback Chris Harris tore an ACL in January 2014, recovered and played all 16 games of the 2014 season. And he made the Pro Bowl. Rams receiver Cooper Kupp had ACL surgery on Nov. 15, 2018, and played all 16 games in 2019.”
Gaughan added that there are plenty of counter-examples, players who took longer than a year to come back and others who suffered subsequent injuries after their knees healed. The Bills have also taken a more conservative approach to injuries in the past, leading Gaughan to believe he will be back sometime in the first half of the season.
“The Bills surely will be cautious not to rush him back,” he wrote. “Conservatively, he’ll be playing within the first eight games of the regular season. We’ll know more in camp.”
Teammates Confident in White
The Bills have not given much insight into White’s recovery process, and likely won’t for at least a few more weeks. The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia noted that Bills general manager Brandon Beane said the recovery timetable is going according to plan, and that the team would be able to offer a more substantive update once training camp starts later in the month.
Teammates don’t seem worried about what shape White will be in whenever he does return. All-Pro safety Micah Hyde said White has been working hard in his recovery and will be even better when he gets back.
“I don’t think anybody understands what he’s been doing in the dark. That boy — he’s been working. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of the stuff he’s been doing. He’s working. He’s working his a** off. I know I’ll put every single penny I have on Tre’Davious coming back a better player,” Hyde said via video conference. “I’m that confident in him.”
While the Bills are waiting for White’s return, they will be looking to rookie Kaiir Elam to take on an important role in the secondary. Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said the team will need the first-round pick to step up right away, and Elam will likely be moving into a starting role until White can return.