The Buffalo Bills received devastating news on Saturday, September 24, as it was revealed that safety Micah Hyde suffered a cervical herniated disc, and would be out for the remainder of the 2022 NFL season.
The 31-year-old veteran injured his neck during the third quarter of the Bills’ Monday Night Football matchup against the Tennessee Titans on September 19, which landed him at Erie County Medical Center for further evaluation. After missing practices on Wednesday and Thursday, The Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan reported that Hyde was going out of town to receive a second opinion, which didn’t sound like good news.
While losing a player who’s been an integral part of the Bills’ defense over the past five years is awful, in particular during the season they’re favored to win the Super Bowl, Hyde sent a strong message on Saturday afternoon indicating that he’ll back stronger than ever. Hyde tweeted, “Thank you so much for the love and support you’ve shown me and my family. It is truly unreal. Bills Mafia, we love you! #23in23”
On Instagram, Hyde shared a complication of photos a videos throughout the season thus far and wrote, “Thankful | Blessed.”
Hyde’s wife, Amanda, with whom he shares two children, also shared a message on Instagram. She wrote on her Stories, “Forever proud of this man, now more than ever! Look at what 23 has done thus for, now imagine what he’s about to do when he’s actually 100%. Get excited.”
Mrs. Hyde added, “#BillsMafia, I need you to hype my man up because comeback season has officially commenced. Everybody look out for #23 in 2023. We ain’t done just yet. Thank you for all the messages, thoughts and prayers. Beyond thankful for our Buffalo family. We love you all so damn much.”
There’s Concern Hyde Will Be Forced to Retire
Hyde, a former fifth-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft has suffered a few neck injuries throughout his career. 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 preseason and sat out one game, per Banged Up Bills. However, Hyde’s most recent injury is clearly way more serious.
According to the Mayfield Clinic, “A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of a spinal disc ruptures through a weak area in the tough outer wall, similar to the filling being squeezed out of a jelly doughnut. Neck or arm pain, numbness or tingling may result when the disc material touches or compresses a spinal nerve. Treatment with rest, pain medication, spinal injections, and physical therapy is the first step to recovery. Most people improve in 6 weeks and return to normal activity. If symptoms continue, surgery may be recommended.”
Whether or not Hyde will need survey has yet to be revealed. However, Bills fans and analysts are hoping Hyde can overcome this latest injury, as many are concerned that he may be forced into early retirement like former Bills center Eric Wood. One fan tweeted in part, “Above all else though, I hope he makes a full recovery. Some things are bigger than football.”
Buffalo FamBase’s editor-in-chief tweeted, “News on Micah Hyde’s herniated cervical disc is a stark reminder about how quickly things change. Eric Wood knows. Having experienced this myself, I pray for Micah’s sake he seriously considers retirement.”
However, one person who believes Hyde will return next season is quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills star wrote on his Instagram stories, “Love ya 23. He’ll be back.”
Jaquan Johnson Is Expected to Take Over Hyde’s Starting Role
With Hyde on IR, the team is expected to look toward backup safety Jaquan Johnson to take over the reins when the Bills have their first divisional matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, September 25.
Johnson has been in Buffalo since the team drafted him in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and while how it came to be is tragic, analysts are excited for the 26-year-old safety’s opportunity to start.
WGR 550’s Howard Simon tweeted, “Good news is Jaquan Johnson is in his 4th season so he’s familiar/comfortable in the system and has been able to learn from Hyde,” while WKBW’s Matthew Bové wrote, “Johnson has been waiting for his opportunity. It sucks that this is what it took to get him on the field, but he’s been in that room for a long time and I think he’ll be ready for his shot.
USA today’s Bradley Gelber tweeted, “Losing Micah Hyde for the season is brutal but what a huge opportunity for Jaquan Johnson to step into a starting spot on a Super Bowl caliber team. He’s paid his dues and earned the shot.”