ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — A little more than 10 months ago, Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White returned to football, a year after tearing his left ACL. On Sunday, just four games into the 2023 season, White suffered another non-contact injury.
White suffered a suspected ruptured right Achilles tendon in the third quarter of the Bills’ commanding 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said after the game that White is still being evaluated. An MRI is scheduled for Monday.
“He’s been through a lot. And sometimes you wonder, right? “Why do things like this happen to someone twice,” McDermott said. “I’m not saying what it is and what it isn’t. I’m just saying, you know, you’re just wondering why.”
“Because you watch him and how hard he worked to get back. And yeah, you know, I just know that he’s a man of faith. And I know how strong he is. And you know he will, he will recover.” “
White suffered the injury while covering wide receiver Tyreek Hill on a fourth-and-1 play in the final minute of the third quarter. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver sacked Tua Tagovailoa on the play.
White was attended to by athletic trainers and threw his helmet in frustration. The entire Bills sideline surrounded him before he was carried into the locker room.
Safety Micah Hyde said they were all around White trying to talk to him.
“Sometimes you really can’t say anything at that point,” Hyde said. “It’s one of those situations where words can’t really help Tre’Davious at this point. He understands that we are there for him. We love him. And like I said, 2-7 is a big part of this team.”
The crowd at Highmark Stadium chanted “Tre” as he was driven into the tunnel.
The injury came less than two years after White tore his left ACL on Thanksgiving in 2021. It took exactly a year for the cornerback to return to a game after that injury, but he started every game this season after six regular seasons and two playoff games last year. White had an interception in last week’s win over the Washington Commanders. According to Next Gen Stats, White allowed eight receptions on 15 targets, two touchdowns, two passes defended and just 3.2 tackles per attempt this season, making him the closest defender in coverage.
“This game that people really don’t understand takes a toll on you,” wide receiver Stefon Diggs said. “…With everything he’s already been through, it’s pretty difficult. Include him in your prayers. It’s easy to say it’s unfortunate, but football means the world to him. You can tell by the way he works, the way he works, the way he works. He approaches it anew every day. He really doesn’t care about the spotlight; it’s about being the player and teammate he can be. … It’s hard at a time like this.”
McDermott’s first draft pick with the Bills was White in 2017. Since then, the 28-year-old White has started 81 games, totaled 18 interceptions and 67 passes defended. He is a two-time Pro Bowler and was named first-team All-Pro in 2019.
After a difficult recovery, it was a big and exciting step for the cornerback to be healthy again and begin a full season.
“He embodies what it means to be a Buffalo Bill. His family is great,” an emotional McDermott said. “And he works as hard as anyone I’ve ever been with. And I love him.”
“I mean, it’s hard to see him on that field with the way he was injured. It’s hard to watch him. But I’m so proud of the team and the way they rallied around him. And I know, like I said, I know he will recover. He’s just too tough.”
Bills cornerback Christian Benford also suffered a shoulder injury in the game and was x-rayed but was able to return in White’s absence. Dane Jackson filled in for Benford when he was sidelined with an injury and then played the rest of the game after serving as a backup and special teams contributor in the first three games of the season.
If Benford is healthy, he is expected to continue starting alongside Jackson.
Kaiir Elam, the team’s 2022 first-round pick, has a good lead through the first four games. Due to White’s injury, he will be able to get opportunities on the active matchday squad.
The Bills’ secondary is dealing with a number of injuries, as safety Jordan Poyer (knee) missed the game and a full week of practice. Nickel corner Taron Johnson left the team briefly in the fourth quarter.
Despite the injuries, the defense kept the Dolphins in check and adjusted well after giving up consecutive touchdown attempts early in the game. Miami had four consecutive three-and-out drives after its early success. The Bills forced two turnovers – a fumble forced by linebacker Matt Milano and recovered by linebacker Terrel Bernard and an interception by Hyde – and sacked Tagovailoa four times.
Miami was successful on just 3 of 10 third-down conversion attempts and scored just six points after the first drive of the second quarter. The Dolphins gained an average of 6.8 yards per play, compared to an average of 7.6 yards in Weeks 1-3.
“At the end of the day, we’re a defense that tries not to give up big plays,” Hyde said. “Anyone in the league can say that, but we’ve been able to do that successfully since 2017. So, you know, we stick with our DNA. And from there, let’s roll the ball out and see what happens. So.” That’s kind of our way of thinking.”
When answering a question about his own return to game action on Sunday, safety Damar Hamlin made a point to talk about White.
“I was in the hospital in Cincinnati [recovering from cardiac arrest]Watch out [White] I sit at this podium and speak so highly of myself. I saw him come into the building every day and, you know, work his ass off,” Hamlin said. “He’s probably the hardest worker on the team.”
“And because you’re a young player, they always tell you to get some older players who can deal with the routine, the way they act, just who they are, who they will become over the course of the league. … From a distance.” I admire his work ethic, I admire who he is as a person, his consistency, his discipline, everything. So we’re definitely on his side.”