Bills Coach Delivers ‘Big’ Update on $28 Million LB’s Return

Matt Milano

Getty Bills linebacker Matt Milano at Highmark Stadium on January 15, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills kicked off mandatory minicamp on Monday, June 11. Before practice started Bills head coach Sean McDermott shared some positive news regarding linebacker Matt Milano.

Milano, who signed a two-year, $28 million extension last offseason, is a vital piece of the Bills defense. However, he missed most of the 2023 NFL season after fracturing his leg during the Bills’ 25-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5.

While there’s been a lot of secrecy around Milano’s status, McDermott revealed the 29-year-old is returning to practice on a limited basis. “It’s big,” McDermott told reporters.

“Credit to Matt and what he’s been able to do with our training staff. The work he’s put in, he’s so focused. He was focused before this. I feel like he is even more focused, if that’s even possible, now.”

The All-Pro will start with individual drills as the Bills continue to proceed with caution. The goal is to have Milano ready to go by training camp. “Hopefully, he’s at a spot where when we open up, he’s available,” McDermott said. It’s just a matter of putting it one day at a time and trying to put practices back to back.”

In addition to Milano, safety Mike Edwards and offensive tackle Spencer Brown are also limited to start minicamp. Players not practicing on Monday include Dorian Williams, Nick Morrow, Baylon Spector, Edefuan Ulofoshio, Ray Davis, Ty Johnson, and Reggie Gilliam.

Bills News: Matt Milano Underwent Surgery for a Fractured Tibia

Last season, Buffalo kept the details surrounding Milano’s injury a mystery for months. While Milano underwent what was expected to be season-ending surgery, McDermott didn’t officially rule him out until pressed on the topic in late December.

The incredibly private linebacker broke his silence on the injury in January. The Buffalo News Ryan O’Halloran wrote, “Milano revealed he sustained a fractured right tibia (the bone that runs down the front of the leg) just below the knee, but there was no damage to any knee ligaments.

“Milano said he could not put any weight on the leg for about eight weeks and he continues to rehabilitate at the Bills’ facility. He expects to have a normal offseason of training.”

During voluntary organized team activities, the Boston College alum was present and continued his rehab and conditioning.

Before getting injured, Milano recorded 2 interceptions, 2 passes defended, and 15 total tackles. Last season, he tallied 99 total tackles, 11 passes defensed, 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles recovered, 1.5 sacks and a pick-six.

The Bills Defense Will Look Very Different in 2024

Matt Milano

GettyBills linebacker Matt Milano #58 intercepts a pass and runs it back for a touchdown thrown by Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans at Highmark Stadium on September 19, 2022.

Milano’s return is key as a player and veteran leader in a Bills locker room that’s seen serious turnover this offseason. Buffalo released Jordan Poyer, Siran Neal, and Tre’Davious White before free agency started. It remains unclear if Micah Hyde is retiring or returning to play.

Milano is expected to start alongside middle linebacker Terrel Bernard in 2024, while Von Miller is hopefully returns to form. As for depth at linebacker, the Bills drafted Ulofoshio in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL draft and signed Nicholas Morrow and Deion Jones and in free agency.

Buffalo also has 2022 seventh-rounder Baylon Spector and 2023 third-rounder Dorian Williams.

Read More