ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills will be without a key member of their defensive backfield for the big Week 4 AFC East clash against the Miami Dolphins, ruling out safety Jordan Poyer as he continues to deal with a knee injury that has kept him out of practice all week.
Poyer suffered the injury during the 37-3 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday. Backup safety Taylor Rapp, a free agent addition this offseason, is expected to start in his place alongside veteran safety Micah Hyde, who is also dealing with a hamstring injury but who participated in Thursday’s practice.
Rapp has played 23% of the team’s defensive snaps, as a third safety or nickel. Poyer, 32, has 14 tackles in 2023 and is in his seventh season with the Bills. He paired with Hyde at safety after re-signing with the team on a two-year deal this offseason. Poyer also missed last year’s road game against the Dolphins, which Miami won 21-19, because of injury. He missed four games because of various injuries in 2022.
The injury also means safety Damar Hamlin, who has been a healthy scratch through the first three regular-season games because of the number of defensive backs and special teams players on the roster, has a good chance of being active.
The Dolphins’ offense is coming off a 70-point performance and has scored 130 points this season, the second-most ever through the first three games.
While a number of other Bills players have been listed on the injury report this week, coach Sean McDermott said on his weekly radio appearance with WGR 550 in Buffalo he expected all but Poyer to practice Friday, ahead of Sunday’s home game (1 p.m. ET, CBS).
The Dolphins will be without one of their key defensive starters, as well, as linebacker Jaelan Phillips will miss Sunday’s game with an oblique injury, head coach Mike McDaniel said Friday.
Phillips left Sunday’s win over the Broncos in the second half after suffering the injury, and although he returned to the sideline, he did not return to the game. It will mark the second game this season Phillips has missed, and just the second game he has missed in his NFL career.
Andrew Van Ginkel will likely take his place at outside linebacker. The five-year veteran was electric in his lone start in place of Phillips this season, recording six pressures and a sack against the New England Patriots.
ESPN’s Marcel-Louis Jacques contributed to this report.