NFL Insider Offers Warning Ahead of Von Miller’s Return in Week 5

Von Miller

Getty Bills edge rusher Von Miller at Highmark Stadium on August 12, 2023.

The Buffalo Bills edge rusher Von Miller is notorious for making bold claims that never come to fruition, so when he said there was a “94.5%” chance he’d make his debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, it was taken with a grain of salt.

Miller hasn’t played since he tore his ACL on Thanksgiving Day last year and while he only participated in two practices before traveling with the team across the pond, the Bills announced on Saturday, October 7 that they activated the eight-time Pro Bowler off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

Bills Mafia is thrilled to have their $120 million star back in action, but ESPN’s Alaina Getzenberg issued a warning to temper expectations for his season debut.

Getzenerg posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that while Miller is “on track to play in some capacity,” it will “likely [be] limited tomorrow.”

This won’t come as a surprise to Miller. The 34-year-old admitted that while he’s ready to suit up, he’s far from being ready to step in as a starter. “I never said anything about ‘game shape,’” Miller told reporters on Friday with a laugh. “That takes a lot. I wasn’t able to do training camp, wasn’t able to do preseason. I wasn’t able to play the first four games of the season.”

“I have so much respect for this sport,” Miller continued, “and I don’t expect me to jump right into things. I expect to just put my toe in a little bit and work my way into the deep end so I can start swimming.”

Before getting injured in Week 11 last year, Miller recorded eight sacks, 21 tackles, 12 quarterback hits and one forced fumble. The future Hall-of-Fame has tallied a total of 123.5 sacks throughout his NFL career.

Von Miller’s Return Comes Amid Several Key Defensive Injuries

In order to make room for Miller on the 53-man roster, Buffalo officially placed cornerback Tre’Davious White on IR, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear against the Miami Dolphins last week.

Losing an All-Pro like White is obviously a huge hit for the Bills, but he’s not the only key defensive player the team will be without in Week 5. Defensive end Greg Rousseau, who’s having a breakout season, was ruled out with a foot injury.

While the Bills could use Miller to step up big time with Rousseau out, head coach Sean McDermott said Miller’s usage would not be dependent on whether Rousseau could play.

Thus far this season, Rousseau, who’s participated in 59% of the team’s defensive snaps throughout four games, has tallied three sacks, nine tackles, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble. The Bills former first-round pick from the 2021 NFL draft has an outstanding 81.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus.

When the Bills injury report was released on Saturday morning, it was surprise to see defensive end Shaq Lawson added to the list with a toe injury, which makes depth at the position quite thin against the Jaguars. With starting cornerback Christian Benford also questionable to play, the Bills elevated Ja’marcus Ingram and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers from the practice squad.

Von Miller Is Thrilled With How the Bills are Performing This Season

Save for the Bills’ disastrous Week 1 performance, Buffalo (3-1) has looked every bit a Super Bowl contender during their three-game win streak, and Miller is proud.

“I’m coming into a really, really good situation,” Miller said. “Josh Allen is on fire, our offense is on fire. Defense is playing lights out. It’s just a good time to work me in. I’m not coming in to save the team or anything like that. We already have a really good defense. For me to play a couple snaps and try to contribute, that’s all I’m looking for.”