One of the most notable roster moves the Bills are making isn’t a significant release or trade, but rather a health-related transaction with major implications. The team is placing cornerback Tre’Davious White on the reserve/PUP list, meaning he will miss at least the first four weeks of the season (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).
White is continuing to recover from the torn ACL which ended his 2021 campaign in November. Throughout the offseason, the question of whether or not he would be available in time for Week 1 has hovered over the team, which waited until the last day possible to determine his September fate.
Initially, the two-time Pro Bowler was thought to be making steady progress, to the point where he return was expected. However, recent remarks from head coach Sean McDermott indicated that a PUP list stint to begin the campaign was a distinct possibility.
White has become one of the league’s top corners, earning All-Pro honors in 2019 en route to a four-year, $69MM extension. He was on track for another highly productive campaign before going down with the injury. In his absence, the Bills still made it to the Divisional Round of the playoffs, but he will be missed for however long he remains on the sidelines.
Even if White had been able to suit up by Week 1, corner was routinely identified as an area of need in Buffalo, especially after the free agent departure of Levi Wallace. The team used their first-round pick on Kaiir Elam, who will likely be forced into a more prominent role as a rookie than the team would have envisioned.