ORCHARD PARK, NY — One of the big questions for the Buffalo Bills off-season was when cornerback Tre’Davious White would be able to return to the field from a torn ACL. Unfortunately for the Bills, that won’t happen anytime soon.
The Bills on Tuesday placed White on the reserve list/physically unable to start the 2022 NFL season. He will miss at least the first four games of the season — with the Los Angeles Rams, vs. the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football, with the Miami Dolphins and with the Baltimore Ravens.
White tore his ACL on Thanksgiving in a night game against the New Orleans Saints, a game played in his home state. During the opening period of the training camp, White was visibly rehabilitating on the side and steadily increasing his training. There seemed to be optimism that he would return to the field, but he was last seen on July 29.
When the 2020 All-Pro was closest defender last season, he allowed a 50.8% completion rate and a passer score of 58.9, both fourth best among defensive backs with more than 50 goals this season, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, at the time of his injury. The Bills had the best passing defense in the league last year, with just 12 passing touchdowns and a 56% completion rate.
It still lacks a clear return date, although it wouldn’t come as a surprise to White to miss more than four games as the team would like to see him get plenty of practice time in the first. White’s surgery was also done by an outside physician, according to general manager Brandon Beane, not one of those on the team.
“You bring how we rehabilitate people to what they want to see,” Beane said last week. “And so, to get that, you all have to work together in what’s in Tre’s best interest before we bring him out. So we’re going to make sure we all agree that he’s ready to start practicing.” And we’re not just going to say, ‘Hey, on a Wednesday, Thursday, Tre, go out and play it on Sunday.’
“…These other guys are getting ready for the season, have practiced a lot and have calloused themselves. We have to do that too to be honest with him.”
In his absence last year, Dane Jackson filled in the seventh round of 2020 for the remainder of the 2021 season alongside outside corner Levi Wallace. Wallace is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the team has traded two spots to draft Kaiir Elam with the 23rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Jackson will be one of the team’s starters, and Elam has battled with fellow rookie Christian Benford, a sixth round pick from Villanova, for the other role.
Jackson will be one of the team’s starters and Elam has battled fellow rookie Christian Benford, a sixth-round pick from Villanova, for the other role.
“I think Dane’s experience, along with his talent level, puts him just a notch above the two young rookies we have,” said defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier last week. “Those guys will continue and get better as we go along but still believe that Dane is at the forefront on this point. As for Kaiir and Christian, those guys are fighting to be able to give us an option if Tre’Davious isn’t active for the game Rams.”
The rest of the Bills’ moves to narrow the roster down to 53 by 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday were largely expected. One of the team’s biggest deals was the release of tight end OJ Howard after signing him to a $3.5 million one-year deal. The team’s tight back ends—Tommy Sweeney and Quintin Morris—impressed enough to make both of them on the list.