ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)Already thin at the cornerback spot, the Buffalo Bills defense will be further depleted with starting linebacker Matt Milano and starting tackle DaQuan Jones out indefinitely because of injuries.
Coach Sean McDermott on Monday said Milano will require surgery to repair an injury to his lower right leg, and Jones will require surgery to repair an injured pectoral muscle. McDermott did not provide any further details on the severity of the injuries, and said it was too early to determine a timetable on how much time both players will be sidelined.
Both players were hurt in a 25-20 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
Milano was hurt when his leg got tangled in a pile when Trevor Lawrence threw an incompletion over the middle on third-and-6 at the Buffalo 10 midway through the first quarter, with the play negated by a penalty called against Buffalo.
Milano was tended to on the field before being helped off to the sideline. After being examined, Milano was carted off with a protective brace placed on his right leg.
Jones was hurt in the first half.
Both have been key fixtures on a defense that entered the game having allowed the sixth-fewest yards and second-fewest points in the NFL through the first four weeks of the season. And their injuries come on the heels of Buffalo losing starting cornerback Tre’Davious White, who will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon against Miami the previous weekend.
Buffalo’s other starting cornerback Christian Benford did not play Sunday because of a shoulder injury. Meantime, the Bills were down two edge rushers in starter Greg Rousseau (foot) and backup Shaq Lawson (toe). McDermott said all three are improving and are considered day to day.
The only bright spot was veteran edge rusher Von Miller returning, while being limited to 20 snaps in his first game since tearing a right knee ligament in late November.
The Bills (3-2) returned home immediately following the game in London, and prepare to host the New York Giants (1-4) on Sunday night.
Milano, a seventh-year player, is considered the defense’s backbone because of his ability to drop back in coverage and also his ability in defending against the run. He’s coming off his first All-Pro season, and this year ranked second on the team with 27 tackles and tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
The Bills lack experienced depth at linebacker. Rookie Dorian Williams initially filled in for Milano before being replaced by Tyrel Dodson, a fourth-year player. Buffalo will likely promote A.J. Klein off the practice squad, with the 11th-year player having previous experience filling in for Milano.
Jones is a 10-year veteran and in his second season with Buffalo, where his 6-foot-4, 320 presence has been effective in plugging up the middle. He also had 2 1/2 sacks through four games.
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