The Buffalo Bills may have won their home opener in overwhelming fashion, but it came at a heavy cost.
Bills cornerback Dane Jackson left the stadium in an ambulance after a scary clash just before the break, and on Tuesday the team announced another member of the defense was taken to the hospital after the game. The injuries come as the Bills face a difficult test against the Miami Dolphins and will be forced to prove themselves in a short-rest week.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Bills head coach Sean McDermott revealed that safety Micah Hyde was taken to the hospital for observation after suffering a head injury late in the third quarter. As reported by Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, Hyde underwent medical tests and was later released.
The Bills have yet to issue an injury designation for Hyde, but fellow safety Jordan Poyer said he got a good sign from Hyde after the game. Bill’s Beat reporter Dan Fetes reported Poyer texted both Hyde and Jackson, and both players said they were “okay”.
For many Bills fans, Jackson’s injury brought back memories of one of the most devastating injuries in the team’s history. In 2007, tight end Kevin Everett was left paralyzed after suffering a hit in Buffalo’s season opener. Despite having surgery at the end of his career, Everett was able to walk again after months of rehab.
Speaking to reporters, McDermott said the health of both players is more important than their availability.
“That’s the part that’s bigger than football,” McDermott said. “There’s a football slice of that, but the bigger slice of the pie is Dane’s health and well-being. This applies to each of our players and employees. We’re fucking trying to win games but at the end of the day it’s the quality of life and making sure everyone is doing so well.”
Despite some scary moments in Monday’s game, Jackson appeared to remain upbeat. He issued a statement on Tuesday, thanking fans for their support on Twitter.
“All glory be to God!! appreciate the love, support and prayers from everyone. Bill’s mafia the best in the world!” he tweeted.
The Bills’ secondary school was already exhausted, and All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White was still rehabilitating from a cruciate ligament tear he sustained at the team’s Thanksgiving night game.
The Bills will also be without a key offensive player against the Dolphins. The league announced Tuesday that offensive lineman Bobby Hart will be suspended for a game over an altercation following the team’s 41-7 win over the Titans.
“As soon as you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately closed-fisted him, hitting the head of a Tennessee coach,” wrote Jon Runyan, the vice president of football operations at the NFL, in a letter to Hart, about ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “Their aggressive behavior could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high sporting standards expected of a professional.”