In a surprising move, the Buffalo Bills have placed pass rusher Von Miller on injured reserve.
This isn’t news that anyone was looking for — especially after Miller himself had made a statement on his podcast show, The Voncast, on Wednesday evening saying that he hoped to be back before the New York Jets game that takes place 10 days from now.
Instead, Miller — who suffered a knee injury that was later confirmed to be lateral meniscus damage during Buffalo’s Thanksgiving Day win over the Detroit Lions — will be missing a minimum of four games.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott had ruled the 12-year veteran out for tonight’s game against the New England Patriots one day after the injury occurred. When questioned, both McDermott and Miller had said that the plan was to wait 7-10 days to let the swelling subside before making a decision on how to proceed.
Today is the seven-day mark. Today we know. It isn’t something the 33-year-old is going to be able to brace-up and play through, at least not right away.
Now, the Bills will attempt to regain the lead in the AFC East — their next three games are against division rivals — all without Miller. After their trip to Gillette Stadium tonight, Buffalo will host the Jets next weekend, and then the Miami Dolphins. The Bills have already lost to both of those teams this season, with Miller on the field for those contests.
The final game in the minimum four-game stretch that Miller will be sitting out is at Soldier Field, where the Bills will face the Chicago Bears.
Bills GM Brandon Beane: "We’ve been assessing Von this week and seeing how he is, and we don’t want to rush him back. This gives us a chance to go ahead and count tonight’s game and three more on injured reserve. And hopefully we can get him back for the stretch run.” https://t.co/1CQ4qXjD8I— Alaina Getzenberg (@agetzenberg) December 1, 2022
While the news isn’t good, it isn’t devastating. Miller did not tear his ACL, something he had done in 2013. That injury would have been season-ending. Miller’s injury also comes as the rest of the Bills’ defense — sans safety Micah Hyde, who is out for the year as he recovers from surgery on a herniated disc suffered in Week 2 — is otherwise looking healthier.
Buffalo is getting pass rushers Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa back at the same time that Miller is headed to IR. Earlier in the week, McDermott addressed the fact that it was time for the young players, including Boogie Basham, to step up in Miller’s absence.
With the secondary as healthy as it has been all season — they have both safety Jordan Poyer and cornerback Tre’Davious White back on the field — they may be able to take away opposing quarterbacks’ targets, letting the Bills’ pass rush work.
If the Bills can survive the next four weeks without Miller — and what’s more, if they can win their divisional games — getting Miller back in time for the playoffs will be just what the doctor ordered for this unlucky team that can’t stay out of the medical tent.