BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bills pass-rusher Von Miller did not tear an ACL during the team’s 28-25 win over the Detroit Lions on Thursday, but he is considered out indefinitely while he gathers more opinions on his right knee injury, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Friday.
Miller will miss at least one to two weeks, sources said, with the possibility that he is out for the rest of the 2022 season.
As he continues to gather medical opinions, Miller is not expected to make any quick decisions about the best way to proceed with his knee injury, sources said.
Coach Sean McDermott on Friday ruled Miller out only for the Bills’ upcoming game against the New England Patriots on Thursday, and he said they will see where things go from there.
The injury, to the same knee in which Miller tore an ACL in 2013, means the Bills will be without Miller for at least the start of a key stretch against AFC East opponents. The Bills play at the New England Patriots on Dec. 1 before hosting the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. The Bills are 0-2 in division play this season.
“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 after Thursday’s game. “I hope his presence, 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.”
Miller suffered the injury with less than three minutes remaining in the first half when he appeared to get rolled up on. He quickly went to a knee and spent a couple of minutes talking to trainers on the field. He spent several minutes in the medical tent on the sideline before being carted off to the locker room.
He was seen leaving the X-ray room at Ford Field and walked slowly to the Bills’ locker room. He did not have a walking boot on and was not using crutches.
Replacing Miller will be no easy task. Miller ranks third in the NFL in quarterback pressures (38) behind Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (46) and Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (36). No other Bills player has more than 12 pressures, with Miller’s 26 pressure gap the largest in the NFL this season.
“[Miller’s] a future Hall of Famer for a reason,” McDermott said. “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.”
The Bills are also dealing with injuries to defensive ends Greg Rousseau (ankle) and A.J. Epenesa (ankle). Shaq Lawson and Boogie Basham are the only other defensive ends on the active roster, while Mike Love was called up from the practice squad for Thursday’s game.
“Next man up,” Lawson said on the team’s mentality when Miller went down. “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.”
Without Miller, the interior defensive line put up a strong performance. Defensive tackles Oliver and DaQuan Jones were responsible for the team’s only sacks, and each had two quarterback hits while combining for three tackles for loss. Oliver’s sack resulted in a safety, and he also forced a fumble and recovered it.
A 12th-year veteran and the Super Bowl 50 MVP, Miller was signed in the offseason to fill a major need for the Bills. The team lacked a dominant pass-rusher, and Miller had the Bills among the teams he was interested in joining as he hit free agency for the first time in his NFL career. A six-year, $120 million contract was agreed to that links the 33-year-old to the Bills for the next three years and then provides more flexibility.
Miller leads the Bills in sacks (eight), pass rush win rate (23.7%) and pressure percentage (14.6%). Miller missed all of the 2020 season because of an ankle injury and has not played a full season since 2018.
“He’s been a great addition to our team in a lot of ways, and I think the biggest thing that is just really cool about Von is that he’s such a team player,” McDermott said last week. “He does everything that’s asked, he serves and in the way that he serves his teammates. So, and from a star factor, if you will, he’s pretty low key around the facility and just one of the guys.”