Open Letter: Bills Fans Who Are Unhappy Tre White Isn’t Back Yet
Dear Buffalo Bills fans.
The Bills are still regarded as one of the best teams in the league and outside of the Kansas City Chiefs, the best team in the AFC. I would argue the Bills should at least be tied with Kansas City, because an almost full healthy Bills team beat the Chiefs one months ago.
The Bills are 7-3 and are ready to play the Detroit Lions at Ford Field this Thursday for the traditional 12:30 pm game on Thanksgiving. It will be the second straight game at Ford Field and the third Turkey Day game for Buffalo in four years.
The Bills are still dealing with injuries, as Tremaine Edmunds, Mitch Morse and A.J. Epenesa didn't practice again on Tuesday and it's looking unlikely at least Edmunds and Epenesa will play.
Cornerback Tre'Davious White has not returned yet to a game and it's looking more and more like he won't play on Thanksgiving -- which is the one-year mark of his ACL injury, which required season-ending surgery.
It's been an interesting saga with White's injury.
The Bills activated him off the PUP list and then activated him to the 53-man roster three weeks ago. They have left him inactive on game days, however, since then.
Head coach Sean McDermott has been asked numerous questions about White's status and McDermott's answer has always been that Tre's recovery is a "day by day" process.
We have not really seen an ACL recovery like this, where the player is activated to the 53-man roster but inactive for almost a month straight.
I know Bills fans are frustrated and maybe are speculating it's all mental from White, which could be accurate, but is unfair to assume.
ACL tears are a brutal injury.
They take anywhere from 9-12 months to return to the field for professional athletes and you read online that sometimes it takes 12-16 months to fully recover, just because of the fact every ACL reconstruction involves creating a brand new ACL from a hamstring or cadaver. It's a very serious surgery.
We don't know what White's recovery went like.
For all we know, White had other damage to his knee joint. ACL tears can also be accompanied by MCL sprains, PCL injuries or meniscus tears or separations. We didn't hear anything about that but we truly don't know whether or not White went through any other aspect to his knee injury, outside of the torn ACL.
I had a knee injury in March. My meniscus separated from the joint capsule and I had swelling and significant pain. There's been a catching or snapping sensation in my knee since, although it's much better now; I went th conservative approach from my orthopedic doctor.
Knee injuries are physical and mental. You don't want to risk injury and maybe are a bit hesitant to get back to high-impact, physical activities. Even when the doctors say you're healed, you still may not feel right and not trust your joint yet to do high-impact activities.
There's also the turf at MetLife Stadium and Ford Field, which just so happen to be the fields in three of four games here in November.
MetLife and Ford Field use "slit film turf," which has come under fire by NFL players and the NFLPA for being less safe than other playing surfaces in the league. The New Orleans Saints also use this style of turf and that's where White was injured last November.
MetLife will change their playing surface in 2023.
That may be a deciding factor for the Bills coaches and White, but again, we don't know. It would at least make sense why McDermott doesn't want to let on much in press conferences. You don't want to rag on other franchises and the league.
All these factors could play into why White isn't back yet, which is totally understandable.
White should return when he's 100 percent confident and when the games matter most. Let's ease up on being mad at the Bills or White for him not returning to game action yet.