Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White on PUP list, out at least first four games

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ORCHARD PARK, NY — One of the big questions of the Buffalo Bills offseason 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 be happening any time soon.

The Bills on Tuesday placed White on the reserve/physically unable to perform list to start the 2022 NFL season. He will miss at least the first four games of the season — at the Los Angeles Rams, etc. the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football, at the Miami Dolphins and at 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 training camp, White was visible rehabbing to the side and steadily increasing his workout. There appeared to be optimism that he would return to the field, however, he was last seen working out July 29.

When the 2020 All-Pro was the nearest defender last season, he allowed a 50.8% completion percentage and 58.9 passer rating, both fourth-best among defensive backs with 50-plus targets this season, per NFL Next Gen Stats, at the time of his injury. The Bills had the best passing defense in the league last year, allowing just 12 passing touchdowns and a 56% completion percentage.

A lack of a clear return date remains, although it would not be a surprise for White to miss more than four games as the team would like to see him get considerable practice time in first. White’s surgery was also done by an outside doctor, per general manager Brandon Beane, not one of the team’s.

“You’re meshing how we rehab people to what they want to see,” Beane said last week. “And so, getting that, you have to all kind of collaboratively work together in what’s in Tre’s best interest before we put him out there. So, we’re going to make sure we’re all in agreement that he’s ready to start practicing And we’re not just going to say, ‘Hey, on a Wednesday, Thursday, Tre, get out there and play him on Sunday.’

“…These other guys getting ready for the season, have practiced a lot, and calloused themselves up. We need to do that to be fair to him, too.”

In his absence last year, 2020 seventh-round pick Dane Jackson filled in for the rest of the 2021 season alongside outside corner Levi Wallace. Wallace is now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the team traded up two spots to draft Kaiir Elam with the 23rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Jackson is set to be one of the team’s starters and Elam has been battling with fellow rookie Christian Benford, a sixth-round pick out of Villanova, for the other role.

Jackson is set to be one of the team’s starters and Elam has been battling with fellow rookie Christian Benford, a sixth-round pick out of 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 that we have,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said last week. “Those guys will continue to progress and get better as we go along, but still believe that Dane is ahead at this point. As far as Kaiir and Christian, those guys are battling to be able to give us an option if Tre’Davious is not active for the Rams game.”

The rest of the Bills’ moves to get the roster down to 53 by the 4 pm ET deadline Tuesday were largely expected. One of the team’s biggest transactions was releasing tight end OJ Howard after signing him to a one-year, $3.5 million deal. The team’s backup tight ends — Tommy Sweeney and Quintin Morris — impressed enough to both make the roster.

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