Bills HC provides timeline for former All-Pro LB's return from injury

Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano will not be a full participant in practice until this summer.
Buffalo Bills Matt Milano makes a face as he watches the action on the large screen hanging over the
Buffalo Bills Matt Milano makes a face as he watches the action on the large screen hanging over the / Tina MacIntyre-Yee/Rochester Democrat

Few Buffalo Bills defenders are more impactful, when healthy, than linebacker Matt Milano.

The rangy sideline-to-sideline backer is a dynamic threat when available, an effective coverage defender with a nose for the football who has a penchant for making splashy plays in opportune moments. His availability has been a bit of a question mark throughout his seven professional seasons, however; he’s missed at least one game due to injury in all but one of his NFL campaigns, suffering year-ending ailments in the 2018 and 2023 seasons.

It was a fractured right tibia suffered in Buffalo’s Week 5 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that sidelined him for the rest of the 2023 campaign. Though he’s spent the offseason at One Bills Drive rehabbing the injury, he hasn’t yet fully recovered; Bills head coach Sean McDermott spoke about Milano’s health while speaking to reporters ahead of Tuesday’s OTA practice, saying that the 29-year-old likely won’t be a full participant in practice until July.

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“You won’t see Milano out there [today],” McDermott said. “The word I’ve gotten from our training staff is that he’s on schedule. Matt’s here every day, I can tell you that he’s working hard. It’s probably going to more closer to training camp until we see him out there, maybe some drill work before that, maybe not. It’ll just be how he continues to progress at this point.”

Milano being “on schedule” is the most pertinent piece of information here; entering his eighth professional season (with the same team and same head coach), spring practices aren’t as important for the veteran as they once were. The former All-Pro will likely be a full-go when Buffalo commences its 2024 training camp at St. John Fisher University on July 24.

Kyle Silagyi