Matt Milano still questionable for Monday night as A.J. Klein shines at LB

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Matt Milano (58) tackles Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp (10) following a reception during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Brett Carlsen)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC)  —  Linebacker Matt Milano returned to practice earlier this week, but Sean McDermott is unsure if he will be available Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers.

Milano was placed on the injured reserve on November 7 after dealing with a partially torn pec muscle. The Bills have three weeks to determine whether or not to activate him to the active roster.

Even if Milano does not return to the lineup as early as Monday night, A.J. Klein has been playing some of the best football of his career. Klein was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after recording 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 tackles for loss, and one pass breakup in Sunday’s win against the Chargers.

“Matt’s a good football player, A.J.’s a good football player,” said McDermott. “I think it’s a good balance of a defense that’s growing and moving forward, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Earlier this week, Micah Hyde called him “Coach Klein” because he has been a teacher to everyone around him, almost assuming the role left by Lorenzo Alexander. McDermott acknowledged the comparison, but sees Klein as his own kind of leader in the locker room.

“The fact that he’s a stabilizing force, just from his experience in life, his experience in football I think is good,” said McDermott. “Not to say we expected him to be Lorenzo Alexander, but to be A.J. Klein, and that’s what he’s been. He’s been able to be himself and add value at the same time.”

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