PITTSFORD, N.Y. – The Buffalo Bills will have to shelve plans to incorporate Nyheim Hines’ versatility into their offense after the running back was struck by a jet ski and sustained a season-ending knee injury, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.
Word of Hines’ injury came as the Bills begin reporting for training camp, which is set to open Wednesday in the Rochester suburbs.
Hines was sitting on a stationary jet ski when he was struck by another water scooter, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the Bills had not made an announcement about his injury. Hines will require surgery, the person said.
The NFL Network first reported Hines’ injury.
It was not immediately known exactly when and where he was hurt.
With James Cook expected to take over the starting RB job this season, the Bills were counting on utilizing the 26-year-old Hines’ speed and pass-catching abilities to play a multifaceted role in their offense and on special teams.
Buffalo is moving on after losing starter Devin Singletary to free agency this offseason and has experienced depth at the position after signing free agents Damien Harris and Latavius Murray.
Hines, who is under contract through 2024, has five seasons of NFL experience and was acquired by Buffalo in a trade that sent backup running back Zack Moss to Indianapolis in November.
Though Hines had an extremely limited role in Buffalo’s offense to finish last season, he returned two kickoffs — from 96 and 101 yards — for touchdowns in the Bills’ regular season-ending 35-23 win over New England, which eliminated the Patriots from playoff contention. He became the first Bills player to return two kickoff for touchdowns in one game, and the first NFL player to do so since Leon Washington returned two for scores in 2010.
Overall, Hines has 306 carries for 1,202 yards rushing and 10 TDs, and 240 catches for 1,778 yards receiving and eight touchdowns.