Newspaper that inspires change. Breaking stories that shake the world. Be informed, Don't Settle for Fake News.

feat shape 1
feat shape 2
feat shape 3

Impact of Nyheim Hines' injury on Buffalo Bills examined

Buffalo Bills running back Nyheim Hines suffers season-ending knee injury.

The 2023 season is approaching, and Bills fans are eager for answers to their burning questions. In the coming weeks, we will address 23 of these questions to provide clarity and insight. If you have a question you'd like answered, feel free to email [email protected] or send a message in the "Shout!" text group.

Today, we focus on the impact of Nyheim Hines' season-ending injury on the Buffalo Bills.

Reports surfaced on Monday morning that Bills running back Nyheim Hines suffered a significant knee injury outside of the team facility just before training camp. It is expected that Hines will miss the entire season due to this injury.

Hines, who was acquired by the Bills at the trade deadline last season, was anticipated to have an expanded role in the offense this year, including handling return duties. With Hines now out for the season, let's examine the implications of his injury for the Bills.

The running back situation now becomes clearer, with the top three options solidified. Prior to Hines' injury, the Bills had a crowded running back room, including James Cook, Damien Harris, Latavius Murray, and Hines. There was a possibility that all four would make the final 53-man roster. However, the team may have considered moving Hines or releasing Murray during final cuts and potentially signing him to the practice squad, similar to what they did with Duke Johnson last season. But now, with Hines out for the season, Murray can be considered a roster lock behind Cook and Harris. While Hines could have been valuable as a receiving back, his absence will not significantly impact the rushing workload.

The return game is now up for grabs. Hines' two kick returns for touchdowns against the Patriots in the final game of the 2022 regular season played a crucial role in the outcome. He was expected to resume his role as the return man in 2023, but the Bills have another option in Deonte Harty, who is currently on the roster. Harty, a 25-year-old receiver, was signed in free agency to provide the Bills' offense with a big-play threat. He has also demonstrated success in the return game. As an undrafted free agent, Harty made the Saints' 53-man roster in his rookie season as their primary returner. He led the NFL in punt returns, combined returns, and punt return yards that year, earning first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. Since 2019, Harty ranks in the top seven in kickoff and punt return yardage. Having Harty on the roster gives the Bills an internal option for the return game. Another potential option is second-year receiver Khalil Shakir. The Bills do not necessarily need to look outside of their roster to replace Hines, as they have viable alternatives.

If the Bills do decide to explore external options to replace Hines, there are several possibilities. One option is Darrynton Evans, who is currently working out for the Bills. Evans was the Titans' third-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and is known for his explosive speed, running a 4.41 40-yard dash. He has also proven himself as a reliable return man, with nine kick returns for 206 yards during his time with the Titans. In college, Evans excelled as a returner, accumulating 56 kick returns for 1,439 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, the Bills worked out running backs Kylin Hill and Abram Smith on Monday, providing further options for consideration.

In summary, Nyheim Hines' season-ending injury has significant implications for the Buffalo Bills. It clarifies the running back situation, solidifying the top three options. It also opens up the return game for competition, with Deonte Harty and Khalil Shakir as internal options and the possibility of exploring external options such as Darrynton Evans, Kylin Hill, or Abram Smith. The Bills will need to carefully evaluate these alternatives to determine the best course of action moving forward. Stay tuned for more updates on the Bills' preparations for the 2023 season.

Make sure to tune in and subscribe to "SHOUT! The Buffalo Football Podcast" with beat writers Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot, and don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter for weekly updates on Bills news delivered straight to your inbox.

Share With Others

Comments on Impact of Nyheim Hines' injury on Buffalo Bills examined