As the Buffalo Bills prepare for their season opener against the New York Jets on Monday Night Football, All-Pro safety Micah Hyde is preparing to return to the field for the first time in nearly a year.
Hyde suffered a season-ending neck injury in Week 2 of last season, and worked through a separate back injury near the end of the preseason that initially had him listed as limited for this week’s game. But the Bills took Hyde off the final injury report ahead of the September 11 season opener, paving the way for his return to the field.
The safety spoke out about his injury this week, saying he felt great and was ready to play.
Micah Hyde: ‘I’m Good’
Hyde spoke to reports on Thursday, saying he was feeling better by the day and anticipated being ready for Monday Night Football.
“I feel great,” Hyde said, via the Buffalo News. “Did a little bit more today. Just taking it day by day, but it felt great today to go out there and do a little more than I did yesterday. Still got a few days to Monday night, so I’m good.”
Hyde also stressed that this back ailment was not related to the neck injury he suffered in a win over the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 of last year.
“You know, it just comes with old age,” said the 32-year-old safety. “Probably wrestling with my son or something. I don’t know. Just woke up and felt a little tightness, but I’m feeling a lot better now.”
Hyde didn’t always have so much optimism about his neck injury. Speaking to reporters at the start of the team’s training camp in July, Hyde said he initially feared that it could be career-ending.
“When it first happened, I didn’t know what the outcome was going to be. I thought I was done,” Hyde said. “But I had a conversation with the doctor a couple of weeks ago, and the realization that it’s way better.”
But Hyde appears to be all the way back, with the Bills taking him off the final injury report. The Bills had no active players on the injury report ahead of Monday’s game.
Micah Hyde Fought His Way Back Last Season
As the Bills were preparing for the NFL playoffs late last season, there was speculation that Hyde may have been able to make an early return to the field. Bills head coach Sean McDermott said at a January press conference that Hyde was able to return to practice, and hinted that he may have been able to return for the playoffs.
“You never count Micah Hyde out,” McDermott said.
Though Hyde was ruled out for the team’s Wild Card round win over the Miami Dolphins and did not take the field the following week for the divisional-round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the All-Pro safety said he would have been able to take the field the following week had the Bills advancted to the AFC Championship game.
“Well, actually, I got cleared,” Hyde revealed during a video conference the day after his team’s 27-10 loss to the Bengals. “Next game I was going to be able to go out there and play.”
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This article was originally published on Heavy.com