Harrison Phillips was making serious progress in his play for the Buffalo Bills after an uneven 2020 season, the result of a slow recovery from ACL surgery the year before.
The defensive tackle was by all accounts looking like he had finally hit pre-injury form this summer. But he exited Saturday's preseason game at Chicago early with an injury to the same knee and may be out for some time, coach Sean McDermott said today.
"That [injury] might be a while," McDermott said of the 25-year-old Phillips, who batted a pass on the first play from scrimmage against the Bears and was beginning to look like a valuable force in the middle who would again be a part of the interior rotation with the likes of Star Lotulelei, Ed Oliver and Vernon Butler.
His injury could test the Bills' depth heading into the season, as Justin Zimmer, Treyvon Hester and Eli Ankou likely will come under more scrutiny during the Bills' third and final preseason game next Saturday at home against Green Bay.
Most of the other Bills dealing with injuries are not facing similarly ominous situations.
Fellow defensive tackle Justin Zimmer left the game briefly with an elbow injury but was able to return. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs (knee) was held out of practice again Sunday but is "trending in the right direction," according to McDermott, who also expects rookie offensive linemen Spencer Brown and Tommy Doyle not to miss too much more time with knee injuries suffered in that game.
However, guard Forrest Lamp (calf) has missed a lot of time and may not make the team because of it. Running back Christian Wade is still dealing with a shoulder injury. And TE Tommy Sweeney (foot) has not been able to play since the first preseason game. He is battling Quintin Morris and Nate Becker for the third (and almost certainly final) spot behind Dawson Knox and Jacob Hollister.