Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller was never quite the same player when he came back from his one-game absence due to thumb surgery. He accumulated one sack over the final four games of the season to finish with 11.5 sacks as a rookie, well behind fellow rookie Aldon Smith's 14. Wearing a cast on one's hand will do that, and Miller wasn't going to have the cast removed until his season ended. Saturday's loss to the New England Patriots sped up Miller's timetable for the removal.
Got my thumb back! Had the pins taken out this morn, and my thumb feels great ready to grind this offseason. I will be a totally dif player!
Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, was named to the 2012 AFC Pro Bowl roster and all indications right now are that he will join Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil there for the game on Sunday, Jan. 29.
With Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil establishing an excellent pass rush in 2011, the Broncos can only hope for bigger and better success.
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller appears ready to play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos. After a limited practice on Wednesday, Miller returned to the practice field at the start of Thursday during the session open the the media, reports Lindsay Jones of the Denver Post. Miller missed last week's game against the Minnesota Vikings after having surgery on his thumb, which he injured during the previous week's game against the San Diego Cardinals.
The Broncos defense allowed 32 points in the victory, which could have been partially as a result of missing Miller. However, we cannot claim post hoc ergo propter hoc with Miller's injury. But Miller certainly wants to get back on the field He could have a big day against Caleb Hanie.
Miller has 10.5 sacks in 11 games before the injury. He is still on pace to break the rookie sack record Jevon Kearse set with 14.5 in 1999.
Miller plays an all-out style with few designed moves and he'll certainly need use of his thumb to track down and attack the quarterback or the running back in the backfield. If he can be a limited participant in practice on Thursday, the probability of his playing in Sunday's game goes up dramatically.
Now, if Adrian Peterson is somehow able to play in Sunday's game, a Miller vs. Peterson matchup would certainly be one of the storylines to follow on the field.
Typically, this is the kind of injury that keeps players out for at least a week, but Miller hasn't committed to missing the game against Minnesota just yet. He suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of last week's game against the San Diego Chargers, but only missed part of the game while getting taped up and returned to play in overtime. Even with his optimistic take, it's still pretty unlikely that the linebacker is able to take the field on Sunday.
It's been an incredible year for Miller, Denver's first-round pick in 2011. He recorded 10.5 sacks in his first 11 games with the Broncos, showing that he's a true impact player on defense. Here's to hoping that he can get healthy soon.