After a gruesome injury, Zach Miller’s career in Chicago came to a sad close.
With the Chicago Bears trailing the New Orleans Saints 14-3 in the third quarter on Sunday, Mitch Trubisky had driven the Bears down to the New Orleans 25. On third and ten, Trubisky lofted the ball towards the corner of the end zone, Zach Miller leapt, snagged the ball, landed awkwardly and his leg twisted in a way that human legs should not twist. Miller held onto the ball to cut the game to a one score game.
Unfortunately, the play was bizarrely reversed and Miller’s touchdown was nullified. The Bears were forced to kick a field goal. The touchdown reversal wasn’t the worst news on the play, that was reserved for the health of Zach Miller, who severely injured his leg and his season is over.
Video of the injury is embedded in the tweet below, if you are easily queasy, you may want to skip the tweet and scroll down to the text.
The early reports about Miller’s knee is a dislocation, confirmed by head coach John Fox.
A knee dislocation usually takes about eight weeks to recover, which means Miller could return in week 17, and that’s if they don’t find any more damage when they do an MRI, and that seems hard to believe. Even if it is just a knee dislocation, the Bears aren’t going to keep Miller on the active 53, and if they place him on IR, he certainly isn’t going to be the one who they designated to return for just one game.
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In short, Miller’s season is over. Before the 2016 season, Miller signed a two-year contract, that makes him an unrestricted free agent. Also keep in mind, he’s 33-years old and has a significant injury history. With Adam Shaheen, Dion Sims, Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker already on the Bears’ roster, there simply is no reason to bring Miller back. Miller’s Bears’ career is over.
Teams always need pass catching tight ends, so there is still a chance that Miller could catch on somewhere as a TE2 that comes in on third downs, but if the injury is worse than just a knee dislocation, in fact, his NFL career might be over.
Miller’s Bears’ career wasn’t a long, decorated one, but he established himself as arguably the Bears’ best pass catcher over the last three seasons and was a favorite of whichever quarterback was under center. The Bears’ offense has been anemic this year, and losing Miller certainly isn’t going to help.
Adding insult to injury (literally), is the fact that Miller’s touchdown was overturned. Anyone watching that game (including Saints’ fans) knows that was a touchdown. The fact that Miller held onto the ball when that happened to his leg is even more remarkable. The NFL has serious problems determining what is a catch and what isn’t. It’s either a bad call or a bad rule. Zach Miller’s final catch as a Chicago Bear should have been a touchdown. It could have been a play that sparked the Bears’ to a remarkable comeback. The fact that it will be called an incompletion in the official game statistics is absolutely ridiculous.
Zach Miller’s Bears career came to an end on a horrible injury and a horrible call, and that, quite simply, is just plain sad.
UPDATE: Miller suffered tears in multiple ligaments and arterial damage and doctors were working Sunday to save his leg. Unbelievable. Bear Down, Zach Miller and hang in there.