Bills GM Discusses All-Pro Safety’s Possible Return This Season

Micah Hyde

Getty Micah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills waits to catch a punt during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2022 in Buffalo, New York.

While safety Micah Hyde is thrilled that the Buffalo Bills (11-3) have already clinched their spot in the postseason and are No. 1 in the AFC heading into Week 16, he wishes that he was out on the field with his teammates, not watching from the sidelines.

Hyde suffered a herniated disc in his neck during the third quarter of the Bills’ win over the Tennesee Titans back in Week 2 and was officially placed on injured reserve on September 24, which effectively put an end to his season.

On October 12, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Hyde underwent successful surgery to repair the herniated disc “and has a six-to-9-month recovery ahead,” however, after recent videos of the 31-year-old safety working out at practice were shared on Twitter, rumors that he may be able to return before the season ends picked up steam.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane was asked if there was a possibility for the former fifth-round pick from the 2013 NFL Draft to make a comeback before the year was done. “Haven’t ruled anything out,” Beane said last week. “But I think it’s still too far off to really know whether that’s a real possibility.”

In an interview with The Atheltic‘s Joe Buscaglia just before Thanksgiving, Hyde left the door open for a possible return. “I would love to. I would love to. We’ll see,” Hyde said. “It’s not really up to me. It’s kind of up to the doctors. Historically, no. But I’m not dealing with… those are other people, other situations. So, we’ll see what happens.”

While it’s difficult to see a world where Hyde can get back in the mix, the messages he and his agent, Jake Bechta, sent back in September about 23’s (his jersey number) comeback in 2023, have fueled speculation that he could return for the postseason push.

Bechta tweeted on September 24, “Fortunately, we expect a healthy return for #23 in 2023,” while Hyde tweeted on September 28, “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.”

Hyde Admitted “It’s Been Frustrating’ Not Being Able to Play, Taking Things ‘Day By Day’

Prior to getting injured this season, Hyde had only missed three regular seasons in his entire NFL career, per ESPN‘s Alaina Getzenberg. While Hyde has taken on an active coaching role during his recovery, it doesn’t quite fill the void of suiting up and playing.

“It’s been frustrating, but at the same time, you know, my role is a little bit different, so it’s been rewarding in a sense, too,” Hyde told ESPN. “Just to be able to see a lot of guys that I play a lot of ball with continue to ball, but also some young guys go out there, make a name for themselves… I still have that same mindset of how to beat this team, but at the same time, not being on the field and having a coach’s perspective on each game has turned on some light bulbs in my mind.”

“I’m not a coach and I’m a player, but I’m not able to play, so I’m able to coach,” Hyde continued. “I love where I’m at right now, but obviously, that’s not like a career that you can do long-term. So, I’m just taking it day by day, and I enjoy the coaching aspect right now.”

Bills Defensive Coordinator Credited Hyde for Getting the Young Guys Prepared

Micah Hyde

GettyMicah Hyde #23 of the Buffalo Bills underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his neck.

While Hyde isn’t ready to become a coach, his mentorship has been invaluable this season, according to Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. “[Hyde’s] been really good for us,” Frazier told ESPN. “In the meetings, I’ve referenced him so many times with Damar [Hamlin],” who took over Hyde’s starting role, and “with Jaquan Johnson… Trying to get those guys to go back and look at some of Micah’s tape and get a feel for how he operated.”

“His words of encouragement to those guys, his being at practice, his watching tape with them, all those things have to help them,” Frazier noted.

Even fellow All-Pro safety Jordan Poyer keeps looking to Hyde for advice, and makes sure to sit next to him in the meeting rooms. “So if I have a question, it’s, ‘Hey Micah, how do you see this?’”