The Buffalo Bills have lost one of their most important players for the remainder of 2021.
Cornerback Tre'Davious White suffered a torn ACL in Buffalo's Thanksgiving win over the New Orleans Saints, the team announced following an MRI on White's knee. White's injury means he's done for this season.
A former first-round pick out of LSU in 2017, White is a two-time All-Pro (one first-team, one second-team) and Pro Bowler who has become an integral part of Buffalo's defense in the last two seasons. His 2021 campaign wasn't quite as stellar up until his injury, as he'd posted an overall defensive grade that placed him in a tie for 43rd in the NFL among all cornerbacks, per Pro Football Focus.
White's 2021 season ended with just one interception and six passes defensed, but he remained excellent at preventing expected completions, posting a completion percentage allowed over expectation of -12.3 percent, per Next Gen Stats. Teammate Taron Johnson was the only other Bills corner with a better CPOE allowed (-25.7 percent) on 13 less targets as the nearest defender through 12 weeks.
Johnson is listed behind White on Buffalo's depth chart, but he's spent 2021 as Buffalo's primary slot corner, where he's found success. With Dane Jackson and Siran Neal available behind them, it'll be interesting to see if Buffalo moves Johnson out to the perimeter to replace White, or keeps him in his slot corner role and relies on the aforementioned backups to fill the void. On Thursday night, Johnson spent most of his snaps aligning near the slot receiver, while Jackson replaced White.
At 7-4, Buffalo is tied with the upstart New England Patriots atop the AFC East, riding a hot start to build its lead before weathering a tumultuous last month to remain in contention for the division crown. The Bills will play their first full game without White against the Patriots in Week 13 in front of a national audience, as Buffalo hosts New England at Highmark Stadium on Monday Night Football.