The bad news just keeps coming for the Buffalo Bills.
Already down one All-Pro safety when Micah Hyde was placed on season-ending injured reserve, the Bills will reportedly be losing another for the key game on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Saturday that the Bills will be without both of their veteran safeties.
“#Bills safety Jordan Poyer (questionable, foot) is not expected to play vs. #Dolphins, per source,” he tweeted. “Both of Buffalo’s Pro Bowl safeties are out, after Micah Hyde went on IR, along with two other defensive starters.”
Bills Bit by Injury Bug
Poyer had already been listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with a foot injury, and his absence will force the Bills to turn to a pair of veteran backups in Jaquan Johnson and Damar Hamlin.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott said the team will just have to roll with the punches.
“We believe in the next man up philosophy,” said McDermott. “We’d love to have those guys out there. We’ll see how it works out here.”
The Bills have rarely been without Hyde and Poyer during their five years together with the team, as the two have largely avoided significant injuries. That will change now, with Hyde out for the season and Poyer gone for at least this week.
“Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer have been heart-and-soul of Bills defense since arriving in 2017. Hyde has missed just 2 games over 5 years. Poyer, same,” noted the NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe. “Bills haven’t played a regular season game without at least one since 2016. Hard to imagine a BUF D without that elite safety duo.”
Aside from Hyde and Poyer, the Bills will also be missing a number of other starters and key reserves. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips has been ruled out, as has cornerback Dane Jackson. That leaves the Bills to play a pair of rookies at cornerback, Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford.
The Bills will be missing players on the other side of the ball as well, with reserve lineman Bobby Hart serving a one-game suspension for an altercation following last Monday’s win over the Tennessee Titans. Tight end Dawson Knox has also been listed as questionable for the game.
But the Bills could also get a boost from the return of wide receiver Gabe Davis, who missed last week’s game after suffering an ankle injury in practice.
Bills Could Have Tough Task Against Dolphins
The beat-up Bills secondary will have a difficult task on Sunday as they face two of the league’s fastest and most dangerous receivers, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. They combined to help the Dolphins erase a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday, with Hill catching a 48-yard touchdown and a 60-yard touchdown and Waddle catching the go-ahead touchdown with 14 seconds remaining.
McDermott shared some big praise for Hill, who tormented the Bills in two playoff losses to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“He’s a once-in-a-lifetime player with his speed and his ability to go up for the contested catches and everything,” said McDermott of Hill. “They’ve got tremendous speed on offense. They put a lot of points up and they do a great job offensively scheme wise and Mike (McDaniel) does a great job of putting them in position to be successful and so it’ll be a big challenge for us.”