The Buffalo Bills (7-3) appear to be back on track after defeating the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, their second consecutive win at Ford Field in five days, but the primetime victory, which put them back atop the AFC East, also took out one of the most important players, edge rusher Von Miller.
On November 24, Miller suffered a knee injury after getting stepped on by Lions center Frank Ragnow on his way to tackle quarterback Jard Goff with 2:44 left in the second quarter, was carted off the field and ruled out for the rest of the game. Miller injured the same knee back in 2013, during which he tore his ACL.
After undergoing tests on Friday, November 25, it was revealed that Miller did not tear his ACL, per ESPN‘s Adam Schefter, but he’s “considered out indefinitely” until the team gathers more information. An MRI revealed that the 33-year-old veteran suffered a lateral meniscus tear, per NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, and will be re-evaluated after seven to 10 days.
Bills head coach Sean McDermott has already ruled Miller out for their upcoming matchup against the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football in Week 13, but whether the eight-time Pro Bowler will be able to return to play at all this season remains to be seen.
On Saturday, November 26, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler revealed an updated timeline for when the Bills will learn the fate of their $120 million defensive star. “Miller is going to wait about a week, see how injury feels, then hopes to play with a brace, which he’s done before and is comfortable with,” WGR 550‘s Sal Capaccio tweeted. “However it might not be possible, and could still have to have surgery, ending season.”
Rapoport reported that Miller will definitely require surgery, but the big question is whether or not the Super Bowl 50 MVP can wait until after the season ends. The Bills will have a definite definitive answer within the next two weeks.
The Bills are Evaluating ‘Multiple Second Opinions’ Amid ‘Other Damage’ to Miller’s Knee
The waiting game regarding Miller’s status is going to be stressful for all of Bills Mafia, especially since CBS Sports‘ Josina Anderson reported that “there’s other damage” to his knee that’s cause for concern, and will be evaluated for multiple second opinions before making a final decision on the 2022 NFL season. “I’m told Miller is in no rush to decide,” Anderson tweeted.
Pro Football Doc David J. Chao believes Miller should be able to return since he did not tear his ACL. “Will take this ‘good news,'” Chao tweeted. With a lateral meniscus tear, “expect a scope with recovery for late season/playoff return.”
Banged Up Bills reported that Miller only missing two to four games “could be considered realistic,” without knowing the size of the tear, or how his knee responds to rest and rehab, an exact prognosis remains unclear.
Miller, who’s yet to miss a game this season, has recorded 18 solo tackles and a forced fumble.
Miller’s Coach & Teammates React to Miller Being Out
Losing Miller, who leads the team in sacks (8), pressure percentage (14.6%), and pass rush win rate (23.7%), for any amount of time is a huge blow for the Bills’ defense. “He’s a future Hall of Famer for a reason,” McDermott said on Friday. “That said, we’ve got to move forward this week. And the person or the people responsible to step in and step up have got to do the job, and that’s the way it goes.”
Miller’s teammates have the same mentality. “Next man up,” defensive end Shaq Lawson said after Thursday’s game. “I mean, shoot, everybody put their socks and drawers on too. So, I mean, nobody really blinked, like we just had the next man up. I was just ready for the moment. I was taking the most of my opportunity.”
“If he misses a couple games or whatever, or if he’s playing next week, I just hope he’s still around,” defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “I hope he’s still leading us from the sidelines. You got a guy like that — it don’t matter whether he playing, watching or coaching, it don’t matter — just having his presence, having his positive energy, the way he carry himself, like the messages that he portray to us. And just having a guy like that around is infectious.”