Buffalo Bills Face Setback as Nyheim Hines Ruled Out for 2023 Season

The Buffalo Bills are gearing up for their 2023 training camp, but they’ll be facing a significant setback as running back and return specialist Nyheim Hines will be sidelined for the entire season due to an unfortunate off-field injury. The 26-year-old veteran suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries, including an ACL injury to his left knee, in a jet ski accident. The injury is expected to require surgery, effectively placing Hines on the non-football injury list for the remainder of the season.

Hines, who was acquired by the Bills in a trade with the Colts last year, was a valuable player expected to make an impact on both special teams and offense. As the team’s primary kick and punt returner, he showcased his skills by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns during Week 18, in an emotional game following Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest. His performance in 2022 saw him accumulate a career-best 707 combined return yards.

The loss of Hines will undoubtedly be felt on special teams, but the Bills are not lacking in running back depth. Despite Hines agreeing to a pay cut to remain with the team in the offseason, the Bills bolstered their running back roster by signing veterans Damien Harris and Latavius Murray, both with starting experience. Additionally, second-year back James Cook is expected to take on a more prominent role after serving as a third-down option in the previous season.

In response to Hines’ injury, the Bills have reportedly worked out a trio of running backs, including Darrynton Evans, Kylin Hill, and Abram Smith. Evans, a former third-round pick of the Titans in 2020, was recently cut by the Colts. Smith, who went undrafted in 2022 out of Baylor, had a successful stint with the XFL’s DC Defenders, showcasing his rushing abilities. Hill, a seventh-round pick from Mississippi State in 2021, spent the last two years with the Packers.

The loss of Hines undoubtedly presents a challenge for the Bills as they prepare for the upcoming season. His versatility and contribution on special teams will be missed, but the team remains confident in their running back depth and looks to move forward with Harris, Murray, and Cook carrying a heavier workload.

As the Bills kick off training camp, they will have to adapt and adjust their strategies without Hines on the field. The injury serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of the game and the importance of depth in a competitive league like the NFL. Fans and teammates alike will be rooting for Hines’ successful recovery, hoping to see him back in action and making an impact on the field in the future.

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