Bills LB’s Monster Hit Sends Jets QB Mike White to Hospital: Report

Mike White, Matt Milano

Getty Jets quarterback Mike White (L) went to the hospital for further evaluation following the monster hit he took from Bills linebacker Matt Milano (R).

The Buffalo Bills redemption win over the New York Jets on Sunday, December 11, was not pretty, but a win nonetheless. The Bills are now 10-3 after defeating New York 20-12 and will hold onto their first-place standing in the AFC. While the Bills’ offense made several mistakes, of which only some could be blamed on the inclement weather, their defense did quite a number on Jets quarterback Mike White.

After the final whistle blew, ESPN‘s Rich Cimini reported that White left Highmark Stadium in an ambulance. NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted that Jets head coach “Robert Saleh told reporters that QB Mike White is headed to the hospital as a precaution. They announced two rib injuries and tests are for potential internal injuries.”

During the third quarter, White took a hit from Bills linebacker Matt Milano that left viewers’ jaws on the floor. White, who appeared to be folded in half during the tackle, exited the game for the second time and was deemed questionable to return with a rib injury.

The 27-year-old Western Kentucky alum first briefly exited the game during the second quarter after taking a huge hit from Bills’ defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Before again leaving in the third quarter, White was performing admirably against their AFC East division rival, completing 15-of-23 passes for 155 yards.

Prior to Milano’s crushing play, the Bills’ defense had already recorded five quarterback hits and three sacks. While White was somehow able to return to play with 12:23 left in the fourth quarter, he took another hard hit from Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson before the game ended.

White was Applauded for Being Able to Return & Play

Mike White

GettyMike White #5 of the New York Jets lays on the field in the second half of a game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Orchard Park, New York.

Video of Milano’s hit on White quickly went viral on Twitter, and immediately after he went down, it was hard to imagine the former fifth-round pick from the 2018 NFL Draft being able to return. Jets left tackle Duane Brown said that White’s ability to come back in the fourth quarter meant a lot to the team.

“He didn’t say much,” Brown said of White. “I’m sure he was hurting, man. But just him being there… he didn’t have to say anything. We got the message just seeing him the huddle. He’s a dog, that’s all I can say. We just gotta be better. Better at protecting him. He can’t take those types of hits. He gave a chance to win, or tie it up at least — we just got to play better.”

Saleh said of White after the game, “I thought he showed resolve, toughness, everything that we’ve been seeing,” Saleh said. “He’s a good player.”

White took over for Zach Wilson back in Week 11 and his ability to power through and finish against the Bills bolstered his chances to stay as the starter. NFL analyst Will Parkinson tweeted, “White is the Jets starting QB next week and the rest of the season if he’s healthy. It’s not even close,” and Saleh agreed. He said after that game that if White is okay, he’ll “for sure” be starting when the Jets face the Lions next week.

Even CBS game commentator Tony Romo was impressed. The former Cowboys quarterback said, “Daniel LaRusso is going to fight,” after White made his way back onto the field.

Twitter Strongly Reacted to Milano’s ‘Perfect’ Hit

While there have been several questionable flags across the league regarding hard hits, there was no penalty called on Milano’s hit. Cover 1 host Greg Thompsett tweeted, “That might have been the nastiest shot a quarterback can legally take in the current NFL rules… wow what a perfect textbook hit by Matt Milano,” while retired NFL safety Ryan Clarke wrote, “Milano with the perfect tackle on the QB. Perfect strike zone play. Mike White is too dang tough.”

The bulk of viewers couldn’t get over the intensity of the hit. NFL analyst Warren Sharpe tweeted after seeing Milano’s hit, “They killed Mike White,” while Bally Sports analyst Pete Blackburn tweeted, “If you look closely you can see Mike White’s soul leaving his body.”

One Bills analyst tweeted, “Milano folded White like a tailgate table,” while former two-time Super Bowl champ Damien Woody got mad at the Jets’ offensive line for not better protecting White. He tweeted, “My pissed off for Mike White right now! WTF!!! Protect the man!! 🤬.”

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