9:20pm: Poyer is not expected to play tomorrow, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (Twitter link). The news confirms what was feared about the status of his foot injury, and means that Buffalo will indeed be without both members of their highly-touted safety duo against the Dolphins.
10:40am: The Bills have suffered a major blow to their secondary. Safety Micah Hyde will miss the rest of the season with a neck injury, agent Jack Bechta announced on Twitter. The veteran is expected to make a full recovery in time for the 2023 season. Hyde will land on injured reserve later today.
Hyde suffered a neck injury during Monday’s win over the Titans. The injury limited him to only 64 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in Week 2, and he was held out of practice all this week. While Hyde had already been ruled out for Week 3 prior to today’s news, there wasn’t any hint that the injury would ultimately sideline him for the entire 2022 campaign.
While the Bills have been rolling through the first two weeks of the season, it’ll be hard for them to make up the absence of Hyde, who has established himself as one of the team’s defensive leaders. The veteran had one of the best seasons of his career in 2021, finishing with 74 tackles, five interceptions, and 10 passes defended. He finished the season ranked fifth among 92 qualifying safeties on Pro Football Focus. Through one-plus games in 2022, the 31-year-old was still plenty productive, with PFF ranking him 21st among 67 qualifying safeties. Hyde totaled seven tackles between his two appearances.
NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe tweets that fourth-year safety Jaquan Johnson will likely slide into the starting lineup in place of Hyde. Johnson saw time in 44 games between his first three seasons in the NFL, but he was limited to only one start while mostly playing a special teams role. He’s already seen a jump in playing time in 2022, with the 26-year-old compiling three tackles through two games. The Bills don’t have much else for depth at strong safety, with Jordan Poyer and 2021 sixth-round pick Damar Hamlin serving as the other safeties on the roster.
Speaking of, the Bills are also awaiting the status of Poyer for tomorrow’s contest against the Dolphins, as the safety is currently dealing with a foot injury and is “very much questionable,” per Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic (on Twitter). If Poyer is forced to sit out tomorrow’s game, the Bills will be eyeing an inexperienced safeties corps heading into a showdown with a Miami offense that scored six touchdowns last weekend.