The Buffalo Bills had a mixed day in London on Sunday, as they saw the return of star defensive end Von Miller, but also lost linebacker Matt Milano to a serious leg injury. The Bills fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars 25-20 in their second consecutive game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Von Miller makes his season debut after ACL recovery
Miller, who tore his ACL on Thanksgiving Day in 2022 and missed the rest of the season, was activated from the physically unable to perform list on Saturday and played 20 snaps against the Jaguars. He recorded one tackle and said he felt good to be back on the field, although he admitted he was not at his best yet.
“This is just a starting point,” Miller said after the game. “I felt good going out there. I definitely felt like I could have done more, I definitely felt like I wasn’t all the way there yet, but I felt like it was a great starting point for me and I’ll just continue and most likely – definitely – I’ll be able to be the player I’ve been in the past for sure.”
Head coach Sean McDermott said that Miller was on a “pitch count” and praised his work ethic to get back to playing shape. “It’s been a long road back for Von and he’s worked his tail off to get back here and good to have him back out there with us,” McDermott said.
Miller’s teammates were also happy to see him line up with them again and expressed confidence in his ability to regain his form. “It was huge just seeing 40 line up. He gives a lot of guys confidence, including myself,” said safety Micah Hyde. “Obviously, he was out there on a pitch count, you can’t just throw him in the fire and Von’s going to continue to progress and we’re excited for that.”
Matt Milano suffers a potentially season-ending injury
While Miller’s return was a positive sign for the Bills defense, they also suffered a major blow when Milano went down with a leg injury in the first quarter. Milano, who was named to the First-Team All-Pro in 2022 after leading the league in tackles and interceptions, was carted off the field and did not return.
The extent of his injury is not yet known, but McDermott said it was “significant” and that he would undergo further tests. Milano’s absence was felt by the Bills defense, which allowed 25 points and 376 yards to the Jaguars offense.
“It was tough. I saw him in the blue tent and I was trying to check him out, looking at it to see if it was just minor,” Miller said. “Thoughts and prayers go to Matt Milano for sure.”
Milano’s injury could have long-term implications for the Bills, who are already without defensive end Greg Rousseau, who missed the game with a foot injury. Milano is one of the leaders and playmakers of the defense, which ranks among the best in the league.
Bills lose second straight game in London
The Bills’ trip to London did not go as planned, as they lost both games they played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. After falling to the Miami Dolphins 23-17 last week, they could not overcome the Jaguars, who won their second straight game in London.
The Bills trailed 19-3 at halftime, but rallied in the second half to cut the deficit to 22-20 with 6:35 left in the fourth quarter. However, they could not complete the comeback, as they failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 41-yard line with 2:12 remaining. The Jaguars then added a field goal to seal the win.
The Bills’ offense struggled to find its rhythm, as quarterback Josh Allen completed 22 of 38 passes for 232 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 41 yards and a score, but was sacked four times. The running game was ineffective, as Devin Singletary and Zack Moss combined for 49 yards on 16 carries.
The Bills’ defense had some bright spots, such as an interception by Tre’Davious White and a sack by Ed Oliver, but also gave up some big plays to the Jaguars’ offense. Trevor Lawrence threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, while James Robinson ran for 101 yards and a score. Marvin Jones Jr. and DJ Chark Jr. each caught a touchdown pass from Lawrence.
The Bills fell to 3-3 with the loss, while the Jaguars improved to 2-4. The Bills will return home next week to face the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, while the Jaguars will have a bye week before hosting the Houston Texans in Week 7.