The Buffalo Bills received gut-wrenching news concerning their $120 million edge rusher, Von Miller, on Wednesday, December 7. While Miller personally announced that he planned to be back on the field for the Bills’ upcoming home game against the New York Jets in Week 14 after suffering a knee injury against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day, any plans for a return are now moot.
NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted, “A significant change for the #Bills: Coach Sean McDermott announces that Von Miller did have exploratory surgery yesterday and they ended up repairing his ACL. He’s out for the season.”
While Miller mentioned his desire to suit up against the Jets, Buffalo subsequently placed the eight-time Pro Bowler on IR, which meant he’d be out for at least four weeks. “Then, exploratory surgery yesterday revealed the ACL was, in fact, torn. Now, out for the season. A crushing loss,” Rapoport added.
After the news broke, Miller sent a personal message to Bills Mafia from his hospital bed. He captioned the self-taped clip on Twitter, “Don’t Blink!!.. I’ll be back! Better than ever! #BillsMafia I love you guys! Thank u.”
“Bills mafia what’s good. I’m good,” Miller says in the video. “I’ll be right back, man. Mentally, I couldn’t be in a better spot, man. And I think that is the majority of it, man. Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t say, ‘I hate it for you,’ none of that stuff. because I am GOOD!
“I’m excited for the opportunity to show my teammates how tough I am. How hard I work. How important that this means to me, man. I love you guys and I appreciate you guys. All love and respect. DON’T BLINK, BABY.” Before getting injured, Miller, who was active for every game, recorded eight sacks, 18 solo tackles, and a forced fumble.
Bills’ general manager is confident that Miller will a huge contributor next year. “We believe with successful surgery and rehab we’ll have Von Miller back for most of 2023,” Beane said, per One Bills Live host Chris Brown.
During Surgery, ‘They Found Significant Enough ACL Damage to Repair’
Fueling the belief that Miller could possibly return this season was the fact that his initial tests showed that he did not tear his ACL. An MRI revealed that the 33-year-old veteran suffered a lateral meniscus tear. Rapoport tweeted on November 25 that Miller will definitely require surgery, but the big question was whether or not the Super Bowl 50 MVP could wait until after the season ends.
Learning Miller underwent surgery on Tuesday and was done for the season still came as a huge surprise since the Bills star was so confident that he’d be back. Even some of Miller’s teammates were in the dark. WROC-TV‘s Thad Brown tweeted, “Shaq Lawson said #Bills players found out about the Von Miller injury on Twitter, same as everyone else.”
Rapoport offered some insight into how the about-face happened. He tweeted, “Details on Von Miller’s surgery: — MRI and other images did not adequately show a torn ACL. — Original plan for surgery was to reposition the lateral meniscus that had moved into another channel, while also cleaning up cartilage damage. — During surgery, they found ACL torn.”
“Miller also tore the ACL in this same knee in 2013. — Had the repositioning of the lateral meniscus been all that was needed, Von Miller had a chance to return late in the regular season.– When they went in, they found significant enough ACL damage to repair.”
Bills QB Josh Allen & Bills Mafia Strongly Reacted to Losing Miller
After reclaiming the No. 1 spot in the AFC, the news about Miller caused analysts, fans, and his teammates extreme grief. Bills reporter Maddy Glab tweeted, “Josh Allen says he talked to Von Miller yesterday after his surgery. Allen says the injury ‘sucks’ and they wish he was out there with the group, adds they’ll come together and try to make up for the loss as much as possible.”
WKBW‘s Matthew Bové tweeted, “Simply put, this is a crushing loss for the Bills. Von Miller made an immediate impact on and off the field after joining the team and now they’ll be without him for the remainder of the season,” while WGR 550‘s Nate Geary couldn’t help but get angry about losing Miller, especially since the Bills already lost All-Pro safety Micah Hyde in Week 2.
Geary tweeted, “Losing Von Miller and Micah Hyde was exactly why I was so frustrated with :13 seconds. In the moment, it’s easy to console yourself into believing, ‘there’s always next year.’ I fear I’ll will look back a years from now and never forgive this coaching staff for blowing that game. It’s also why the BS deflecting and lack of accountability will never ever sit right with me. If they don’t win a Super Bowl with Josh Allen, I will have a LOT of resentment. A LOT.”
One fan pointed that it was a Thanksgiving Day game that also took out their defensive superstars, corneberack Tre’Davious White, last year. He tweeted, “Another great player on our defense tears his ACL on Thanksgiving. Last year it was Tre Day. This year Von Miller. This hurts A lot. Stop putting us on Thanksgiving. Please and thanks😡.”