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When Will Tre’Davious White Return?

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With the NFL schedule now out, the Primetime Bills are going to need their cupboards stocked all year long. Unfortunately, Tre’Davious White tore his ACL during the Thanksgiving game last year and had surgery on December 15th. So, when the Bills selected CB Kaiir Elam with their first pick, curiosity started to kill my cat. Do you want to know when Tre comes back too? Well, it’s complicated.

Recapping the Injury

Thigh Doctor on Twitter: “White’s ACL injury involved contact.Looks like WR Calloway’s hip bopped the knee at the end to cause the tear.Knee was in vulnerable position, but if no contact, probably doesn’t tear#BillsMafia https://t.co/0lh8Q7Yhbb pic.twitter.com/El5T3PwcKZ / Twitter”

White’s ACL injury involved contact.Looks like WR Calloway’s hip bopped the knee at the end to cause the tear.Knee was in vulnerable position, but if no contact, probably doesn’t tear#BillsMafia https://t.co/0lh8Q7Yhbb pic.twitter.com/El5T3PwcKZ

Tre went down with the ACL on Thanksgiving. However, it wasn’t a clean tear. Although commonly occurred, Tre also had a meniscus tear.

Bradley Gelber on Twitter: “According to @RapSheet on NFL Total Access, not only did #Bills CB Tre White tear his ACL, but there was also meniscus damage. Hadn’t seen that part mentioned. / Twitter”

According to @RapSheet on NFL Total Access, not only did #Bills CB Tre White tear his ACL, but there was also meniscus damage. Hadn’t seen that part mentioned.

Isolated ACL recoveries are quicker, compared to more complicated cases. The complications usually consist of additional injuries to the meniscus, MCL, and/or cartilage. More additions, prolong the process. As Bills fans, we can hang our hat on the fact we did not hear rumors of cartilage damage. This would be the worst of the bunch. However, the meniscus involvement was significant enough to delay his surgery for three weeks. In comparison, Isolated ACL tears have their surgery about one week from the date of injury. Fortunately, Tre is an experienced vet in the league, which bodes well for him to eventually return to form (1). However, the question is still,WHEN?

Tre’Davious White’s Recovery Timeline

Buffalo Fanatics on Twitter: “Injury Update: Tre’Davious WhiteIf you forgot or were wondering about Tre White’s recovery from a 2021 Thanksgiving ACL tear, you can just imagine how hard he’s working to get back. Estimated return is OCT-NOV, and the #Bills should be in no rush. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/I6GHTrZnd9 / Twitter”

Injury Update: Tre’Davious WhiteIf you forgot or were wondering about Tre White’s recovery from a 2021 Thanksgiving ACL tear, you can just imagine how hard he’s working to get back. Estimated return is OCT-NOV, and the #Bills should be in no rush. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/I6GHTrZnd9

The average return to play in the NFL after ACL surgery is 10.8 months (1). That timeline would land Tre to return in late October/early November. However, every rehab is different. Fortunately, all reports are that Tre is ‘on schedule’. That leaves his return to play in the hands of the team, as they can be aggressive or conservative. Below are the most viable options.

Aggressive 

Tre plays Week 1 vs the Rams. This would be 38 weeks post-surgery (9 months). This is definitely doable, but Tre will not be 100% in this scenario. He would likely need load management and higher risk for compensatory injuries, such as tendonitis for example. He will need several games/months to return to his old form.

Conservative

Tre’Davious White goes on the PUP list. This keeps him out the first six weeks of the season. Coupled with a bye at Week 7, Tre would return on October 30th vs the Green Bay Packers. This would mark nearly 46 weeks post-surgery (10.5 months). This would limit his exposure to compensatory injuries and require him minimal acclimation back to full form.

The Sweet Spot

Tre makes the initial 53 and goes on the three-week IR. This will give the team flexibility when to deploy him, yet not putting unnecessary lengthy limitations on his return. He could come back as early as Week 4 (9.5 months) or be a healthy scratch for an extra game or two. I personally like this option best if rehab remains pristine. With this route, he can get a few games with his load managed, while ramping up to full duty against the Chiefs. Then, he gets two weeks rest with the bye week, and then hits the ground running for the Packers game and beyond!

Citations

  1. Shah VM, Andrews JR, Fleisig GS, McMichael CS, Lemak LJ. Return to play after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in National Football League athletes. Am J Sports Med. 2010 Nov; 38 (11): 2233-9. doi: 10.1177/0363546510372798. Epub 2010 Jul 7. PMID: 20610771.
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ACL connoisseur

    May 14, 2022 at 1:02 pm

    Amazing breakdown. Tre should do great, he’s always had amazing thighs.

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