Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
Buffalo Bills

The 2022 NFL season proved to be a rollercoaster ride for Von Miller and the Buffalo Bills. Miller’s journey began with an ACL injury on Thanksgiving Day, landing him on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list as the season kicked off. However, the narrative took a positive turn when Miller made his much-anticipated return to the Bills’ defense during their clash with the Jacksonville Jaguars in London.

The Long-Awaited Return

Although Von Miller’s performance was somewhat limited as he continued to regain his game fitness, he expressed his satisfaction at being back on the field in his 13th NFL season. He did acknowledge that he still had work ahead of him to reach the level of dominant pass-rushing performance he had consistently displayed throughout his career.

Miller said following the game, “This is just the beginning. “I felt good stepping onto the field. I certainly believe I could have contributed more, and I sensed that I hadn’t fully reached my peak yet. Nevertheless, I view it as an excellent starting point, and I’ll persist in my efforts. Without a doubt, I will regain the form that I’ve consistently displayed in the past.”

A Limited Role by Design

Head coach Sean McDermott revealed that Miller’s playing time was deliberately limited, a decision that Miller himself endorsed given the considerable time he spent away from the game.
“I’m just testing the waters,” Miller remarked. I’ll be prepared to compete with the finest in due time. Nonetheless, it felt great to be alongside my teammates again and to return to the rhythm of the game. It’s certainly a foundation I can build upon.”
Despite recording just one tackle, McDermott expressed his satisfaction at having the three-time First-Team All-Pro back in action.

Boosting Team Morale

For the other defenders on the Bills’ roster, witnessing Von Miller line up on the scrimmage line provided a significant morale boost during a grueling game. “Seeing number 40 out there had a huge impact. He instills confidence in a lot of us, including myself,” commented safety Micah Hyde. “Certainly, he was on a limited play count, and you can’t just throw him into the thick of things. Von will keep progressing, and we’re eagerly anticipating that.” Miller is set to increase his workload as he aims to lead a group of talented defensive linemen, even though defensive end Greg Rousseau was absent due to a foot injury. Miller had already shifted his focus to next week’s Sunday Night Football showdown against the New York Giants.
“It was a wise move; I got enough reps to build on and prepare for the Giants next week,” noted Miller.

Concerns for Matt Milano

While the Bills celebrated the return of one of their defensive stars, 2022 First-Team All-Pro linebacker Matt Milano exited the game in the first quarter with a knee injury that could have long-term implications for his future availability. “It was tough. I saw him in the blue tent, and I was trying to assess the situation, hoping it was just minor,” Miller expressed concern. “Thoughts and prayers go out to Matt Milano, for sure.” After quarterback Trevor Lawrence was sacked by the Bills and Jaguars, Milano’s knee became entangled beneath a mass of linemen. He was subsequently carted off the field and received an X-ray during the game, as reported by the NFL Network broadcast.

The ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality

Dealing with injuries, especially significant ones, is a sad facet of the game, but we must keep going. I know it may sound cliché, but it’s the only thing we can do,” remarked left tackle Dion Dawkins in the locker room after the game. Dorian Williams and Tyrel Dodson saw increased playing time due to Milano’s injury, collectively tallying 10 tackles, two pass deflections, and a tackle for loss. Milano had been on the field for nearly every snap in the Bills’ previous four games.

A Key Piece of the Puzzle

Quarterback Josh Allen, drafted by Buffalo a year after Milano, extended his best wishes to Milano, whom he referred to as a ‘key piece’ of the Buffalo defense. “We’re not sure about the extent of Matt’s injury, but our prayers are with him,” Allen said. “He’s a playmaker for us. Hopefully, it’s not a severe injury, and we can get him back on the field soon.” Coach McDermott did not provide specific details about Milano’s injury but did mention that the outlook was “not promising at this moment.”

One thought on “Von Miller’s Comeback: A Glimpse of Hope for the Buffalo Bills”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *