Von Miller, the Denver Broncos’ star linebacker who missed the start of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, tore his left ACL in Sunday’s victory over Houston and will miss the remainder of the season and the Broncos’ playoff run.
Miller underwent an MRI on Monday morning and the exam confirmed what some team officials had feared after he left the game in the first quarter. He played in only nine games this season, missing the first six on suspension.
Miller left the game after his leg buckled as he was fighting to get off a block on a pass play. Both Miller and defensive end Shaun Phillips were down after the play, but Phillips got up and walked off the field as Miller was helped to the sideline.
According to teammates, Miller was not using crutches after the game and told others he did not have significant pain in the knee. Following a preliminary exam by team doctors in the locker room, however, several people with the Broncos said they believed Miller damaged his ACL.
Miller had one tackle Sunday and finishes with 33. He’s tied for second on the team with five sacks. The two-time Pro Bowl selection now faces surgery and a recovery that is expected to keep him out of the team’s offseason program and likely at least some of training camp.
“People get sick of hearing me say it, but it’s next man up, literally,” coach John Fox said after the game. “Nate Irving stepped in and did a very good job. Our team has been that way the whole season — doesn’t matter what phase of the game it is, even me taking a leave of absence [heart surgery] for four weeks.”