ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Bears TE Zach Miller is scheduled to be released from the New Orleans hospital on Monday after he sustained a catastrophic injury that required emergency surgery to repair a torn popliteal artery.
One doctor tells Mortensen that the operation was “heroic.”
Unfortunately, Miller still has more surgeries coming to repair damaged ligaments in the knee. The first procedure was focused on saving Miller’s leg after he suffered major damage to the artery, which was described as being “shredded from the top of the knee joint to just below it.”
“There are a lot of heroes in this story, starting with Zach, whose will and tenacity continue to amaze the doctors and nurses,” said Dr. Thom Mayer, chief medical officer for the NFLPA. “Mark Bowen, the Bears team physician, instantly recognized [Miller] needed a trauma center, and he praised the paramedics and Saints medical staff.”
“Total team effort and a great outcome shows what happens when preparation meets skill and judgment,” Mayer concluded. “It also shows how much our players put at risk every time they step on the field.”
It’s good to hear that Miller is making progress from an extremely serious injury that could have cost him his leg. Miller is still facing a long recovery, as this is a similar injury to the one suffered by Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith a few years ago.
Given that Miller is 33 years old, it’s possible that this injury could end his career.
We wish him the best in working his way back from a very serious injury.
Miller, 33, is a former sixth-round pick of the Jaguars back in 2009. He signed on with the Bears in 2015 and returned to the team on a two-year, $5.5 million contract includes $3 million guaranteed last year.
Miller stands to make a base salary of $1.5 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2018.
In 2017, Miller appeared in eight games and caught 20 passes for 236 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
We’ll have more regarding Miller’s recovery as the news is available.