The Buffalo Bills‘ stout protection simply absorbed a mighty blow with the lack of standout security Micah Hyde.
Hyde suffered a neck damage that can sideline him for the rest of the season as he’ll be positioned on injured reserve, per his agent, Jack Bechta. Hyde has a historical past of neck issues.
“Sadly shopper Micah Hyde can be placed on IR at this time as a consequence of his latest neck damage,” Bechta introduced on social media. “Thankfully, we count on a wholesome return for #23 in 2023.”
What are the Payments going to do subsequent with out Micah Hyde?
How the Payments proceed with out Hyde can be pivotal for a group that has emerged as a powerhouse general behind star quarterback Josh Allen, and a classy Tremendous Bowl choice.
The Payments are additionally dealing with a critical AFC East game Sunday in opposition to a resurgent Miami Dolphins group coached by extremely revered first-year coach Mike McDaniel and an improved Tua Tagovailoa, who’s making probably the most from his proficient huge receiver tandem of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Hyde, 31, is a brilliant, aggressive and instinctive playmaker. Thankfully, the Payments have one other security that firmly falls into that class in Jordan Poyer.
Sadly, Poyer isn’t wholesome. He has a foot damage, is listed as questionable and was restricted Friday. Poyer is considered more likely to play at this level, in line with a league supply.
Hyde excels in run help, is a hard-hitting presence within the secondary, and has a knack for taking the soccer away with 22 profession interceptions, together with a career-high tying 5 interceptions final season.
However that isn’t the one damage the hard-luck Payments are coping with as cornerback Dane Jackson prevented a worst-case situation when he suffered a scary neck damage.
The subsequent man up for the Payments is Jaquan Johnson, who has three tackles this season. A former College of Miami participant, Johnson has one profession interception and 29 tackles. He’s athletic and rangy, however he lacks Hyde’s expertise.
Between Hyde and Poyer, the Payments’ secondary, coached by secondary coach and defensive passing recreation coordinator John Butler, arguably had one of the best security beginning duo within the NFL.
It can check the Payments’ depth as they’re nonetheless taking part in with out prime cornerback Tre’Davious White.
And the Payments’ total protection is lacking some key personnel.
The Payments already dominated out Jackson and defensive tackles Ed Oliver and Jordan Phillips as a consequence of ankle and hamstring accidents, respectively. Jackson was their prime nook with White nonetheless working his manner again from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered final season.
However Jackson caught some pleasant hearth on a success from teammate Tremaine Edmunds on Monday night time. The excellent news is that Jackson is anticipated to return in some unspecified time in the future this season, however the Payments will clearly proceed with warning after he was taken off the sphere in an ambulance.
Youth motion coming
Moreover putting in Johnson at security, the Payments are going with an all-rookie beginning lineup at cornerback with Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford. Each have had their moments, particularly Benford.
This can be Elam’s first begin, and what a problem awaits the Payments’ revamped secondary.
Hill leads the NFL with 284 receiving yards and is likely one of the most harmful deep threats within the NFL.
Waddle is extraordinarily regular and has improved after the catch with 240 receiving yards, third-most within the league.
Adjusting on the fly
Payments veteran defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier instructed Buffalo reporters this week there must be lots of changes.
“On the finish of the day, it’s important to belief the fellows that would probably step into roles, if somebody is just not capable of play, that they’ll be capable to deal with the sport plan,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier mentioned. “And a part of it’s, once we begin again in April, we’re putting in the identical issues that we’re going to run within the fall, and I all the time inform our gamers that. In contrast to some groups that could be putting in simply to try some issues within the offseason, we’re engaged on issues we bought to do through the season, which I believe is likely one of the causes we’ve been capable of often get off to an excellent begin on protection.”
Backside line: The Payments’ protection has been depleted. And the timing is horrendous in opposition to a red-hot Dolphins offense.
The Payments are identified for being resourceful and well-coached, so it’s not out of the query that they may stay extraordinarily aggressive in opposition to Miami.
In fact, there’s all the time the enjoyable risk of a shootout between Allen and Tagovailoa.