Bills' Hyde, Crowder resume practicing for potential return

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills opened the window of possibility for starting safety Micah Hyde and backup receiver Jamison Crowder to return from injury at some point during the playoffs after both were cleared Wednesday to return to practice.

Hyde has been out since he required surgery to repair a herniated disc after being hurt in a 41-7 win against Tennessee in Week 2. Crowder has been sidelined since breaking his ankle in a win over Baltimore two weeks later.

Both remain on the injured reserve list, but are eligible to resume practicing over a three-week period after which the Bills have the option of activating them to the roster or ending their season.

Coach Sean McDermott already ruled both out from playing Sunday, when the Bills (13-3) host their division rival Miami Dolphins (9-8) in a wild card playoff game.

Hyde was initially projected to miss between six and eight months. After having surgery, he rejoined the team in Buffalo to rehab and also serve as a quasi-assistant coaching role.

Last month, Hyde was open to the possibility of returning to play but said the final decision rested on his doctors’ recommendations and evaluation of his neck.

Hyde is a 10-year NFL veteran and in his sixth season in Buffalo, where he’s been a member of one of the NFL’s top secondaries.

His potential return comes at a time when the Bills are thin at safety after Damar Hamlin was placed on IR last week. Hamlin, who was starting in place of Hyde, is out while recovering after going into cardiac arrest and needing to be resuscitated on the field in a game at Cincinnati.

Bills starting safety Jordan Poyer, meanwhile, continues to play despite a nagging knee injury.

Crowder, an offseason free agent addition, opened the season sharing the duties in the slot receiver spot.

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John Wawrow, The Associated Press