Bills GM Sparks Concern With 5-Word Update on All-Pro LB’s Injury

Matt Milano

Getty Bills linebacker Matt Milano at MetLife Stadium on September 11, 2023.

Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano was having one of the best seasons of his career through the first five games in 2023, then saw it come to an abrupt end when he suffered a fractured leg.

Milano is now back at the team facility as he continues rehab, but general manager Brandon Beane’s update on the All-Pro’s timeline sparked some concern among fans. Milano was present when players returned to Orchard Park for this week’s voluntary workout, with Beane saying the linebacker was “still working through his deal.”

The reply, along with some past uncertainty about the extent of Milano’s injury, led to some questions from fans.

Fans Question Bills GM

Some fans latched onto the wording of Beane’s reply, calling Milano’s rehab “his deal” rather than delving into more specifics on the leg injury that ended his season.

“‘His deal’… so they still won’t say the injury. Don’t really get the secrecy benefit,” one fan wrote on X.

The Bills have already been called out for their handling of Milano’s injury. In November, Jay Skurksi of the Buffalo News noted that the team had yet to give specifics on just how much damage Milano’s knee had suffered.

“With Milano, the question of just how much damage was done to his knee in addition to the broken leg he suffered has yet to be answered,” Skurski wrote. “If he tore his ACL, forget it, he’s done for the year.

“The Bills haven’t said that, though. Why they’re treating it with such secrecy is a bit of a mystery – welcome to the world of covering the NFL – but the longer that goes on, the more hope builds that he might be able to return at some point.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott also hinted during the season that Milano had suffered a complicated injury and addressed the team’s lack of candor around it. Speaking to reporters on October 24, McDermott said he wished the team could give a less specific classification given the injury’s complexity.

“It was more complicated, or from my end, medically — different terms that I’m not really familiar with. So, can we just call it like NHL does… lower leg?” McDermott said.

Despite his previous concerns about the team’s secrecy, Skurski did not voice any concern about Beane’s wording this week and called it a good sign that Milano was back with the team.

“McDermott did say attendance at the first week of OTAs was very strong, in the range of 95%. That’s a good sign, as is the participation of linebacker Matt Milano, who ended last season on injured reserve,” Skurski wrote in a Buffalo News mailbag published on April 20.

Bills Could Look at Changing Linebacker Corps

While Milano is expected to return for the 2024 season, The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia questioned whether he would maintain the level of athleticism he showed last season. Buscaglia suggested that the team could continue developing second-year linebacker Dorian Williams to take on a more significant role and lessen some of the pressure on Milano.

“Milano also is turning 30 years old and is coming off a significant leg injury,” Buscaglia wrote. “Assuring themselves they have a player with a similar speed and explosiveness profile to step in for Milano if necessary, and no one comes close to that as much as Williams.”

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