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Bills GM raises concerns with five-word update on All-Pro LB’s injury

Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano was having one of the best seasons of his career through the first five games in 2023, but that came to an abrupt end when he suffered a broken leg.

Milano is now back at the team facility as he continues his rehabilitation, but general manager Brandon Beane’s update on the All-Pro’s timeline caused some concern among fans. Milano was present as players returned to Orchard Park for this week’s voluntary workout, with Beane saying the linebacker was “still working on his deal.”

The answer, along with some past uncertainty about the extent of Milano’s injury, led to some questions from fans.


Fans Question Bills GM

Some fans seized on the wording of Beane’s response, calling Milano’s rehabilitation “his deal” rather than delving into more details about the leg injury that ended his season.

“His deal”…so they still don’t want to talk about the injury. Don’t really get the secrecy benefit,” said one fan wrote on X.

The Bills have already been called out for their handling of Milano’s injury. In November, Jay Skurksi of the Buffalo News noted that the team had yet to provide details on how much damage Milano’s knee had sustained.

“With Milano, the question of how much damage was done to his knee, in addition to the broken leg he suffered, has yet to be answered,” Skurski wrote. “If he tore his ACL, forget it, he’s done for the year.

“However, that is not in the Bills. Why they’re being so secretive about it is a bit of a mystery – welcome to the world of NFL reporting – but the longer that goes on, the more hope there is that he might be able to return at some point.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott also hinted during the season that Milano had suffered a complicated injury and spoke about the team’s lack of candor around it. Speaking to reporters on October 24, McDermott said he wished the team could provide a less specific classification given the complexity of the injury.

“It was more complicated, or on my part, medically speaking – different terms that I’m not really familiar with. So can we just call it like NHL does… lower leg?” McDermott said.

Despite his previous concerns about the team’s secrecy, Skurski this week expressed no concerns about Beane’s wording and called it a good sign that Milano was back with the team.

“McDermott did say that turnout during the first week of the OTAs was very high, around 95%. That’s a good sign, as is the inclusion of linebacker Matt Milano, who ended last season on injured reserve,” Skurski wrote in a Buffalo News mailbag published on April 20.


Bills could look at changing the Linebacker Corps

While Milano is expected to return for the 2024 season, The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia wondered if he would be able to maintain the athletic level of last season. Buscaglia suggested the team could continue to develop second-year linebacker Dorian Williams to take on a more important role and take some of the pressure off Milano.

“Milano is also turning 30 and is struggling with a significant leg injury,” Buscaglia wrote. “They assure themselves that they have a player with a similar speed and explosiveness profile who can fill in for Milano if necessary, and no one comes as close as Williams.”