Buffalo Bills CB Tre’Davious White expected to activate

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BUFFALO, NY — A familiar face returns to one of the league’s best defenses. Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is expected to join the team’s 53-man roster this week after spending more than 11 months in rehab after suffering a torn left cruciate ligament.

Coach Sean McDermott said Monday that the team intends to activate White this week. The team has to make a decision by 4:00 p.m. ET Wednesday, with the cornerback’s 21-day practice window on the reserve/PUP list ending this week. The status of the 2017 first-round pick for Sunday’s away game against the New York Jets is up in the air.

“He’s going to stay day to day and not really speculate on whether or not he’s going to play this week,” McDermott said. “We’re just going to keep doing it, day in and day out, like we’ve been doing up until now.”

White suffered the injury on Thanksgiving last season in a game against the New Orleans Saints in his home state. Before the injury, he had never missed more than two regular season games in a single season. He wore a red non-contact jersey during his first two days of practice in Week 6 prior to the team’s farewell. He wore a regular training jersey in practice ahead of the Week 8 game against the Green Bay Packers. He did not attend the portion of the Friday drills open to the media for either week.

White has been training with the team’s practice squad up to this point, but the team will now begin to integrate him with the rest of the regular defense.

“I think from a practice standpoint, being able to get him out there, committing to our defense, versus what he’s done before, will definitely make a difference, and that works with our practice team,” said defense coordinator Leslie Frazier . “How that would affect what we’re doing playing-wise has yet to be determined because we’ll need to watch him train with our defense to see where he is. It will only affect the rotation and the way we practice. We want to be able to get some views of him, but try not to keep Kaiir anyway [Elam] and christian [Benford] prevent them from getting the reps they need to be prepared for all eventualities.”

The Bills have dealt with a variety of secondary injuries this season away from White. Safety Micah Hyde (neck) is out for the season, and cornerbacks Dane Jackson (neck) and Christian Benford (hand) both missed time. Without the 2019 first-team All-Pro on the field, Jackson was the team’s No. 1 cornerback, while rookies Elam — the team’s first-round pick — and Benford rotated at the other outside corner when healthy. The rookies switched quarters in the team’s 27-17 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football.

“It’s a good issue to have Tre’Davious back and to be able to have these discussions about putting him into practice,” Frazier said. “I think we’re all happy to have this conversation, so we’re going to find out.” You know we’re going to do what’s best for Christian, along with Kaiir, you know what’s best for them, but also finding ways to rate Tre and just see where he is and without throwing Kaiir or Christian back. That is the goal. They want to keep pushing these guys forward until we absolutely know Tre’Davious is back on the field in the games, but we’ll manage, it turns out.”

McDermott said Bill’s safety Jordan Poyer (elbow) is still being evaluated after leaving the team’s win over the Packers in the fourth quarter. Poyer said after the game that he will have an MRI on Monday and that the injury “felt like a bang”. The All-Pro Safety had to deal with another elbow injury in training camp and also missed time this season with a rib injury. Backup safety Jaquan Johnson finished the game in his place. Linebacker Matt Milano also suffered an oblique injury in the game to be evaluated.

The defense has been successful this year despite the injuries. The group leads the league in interceptions (11) and has conceded 11 offensive touchdowns (fourth lowest). But with White’s long absence from the field, even having him back in practice has been a boost for his teammates.

“Tre is funny. I’m pretty sure the whole world knows about Tre, but Tre is fun,” Benford said. “… But it felt good to just watch him and just pick out some things that he does and really see him in action, other than YouTube videos, because I’m a little boy, so I did see it.” Check him out on YouTube. So just to really see him in action firsthand.”

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