The Denver Broncos officially placed star linebacker Von Miller on injured reserve on Tuesday because of his severely injured ankle, but their coach did not rule out a last-ditch return at the end of this season.
Miller, who leads the NFL in sacks since entering the league in 2011, will miss several games and possibly the entire season. But he will be eligible for activation once he has spent three weeks on IR.
The three-time All-Pro reportedly underwent ankle surgery on Friday to repair a dislocated tendon that happened in practice last Tuesday on what coach Vic Fangio then called “a normal play,”
“He just rushed around the edge and never hit the ground and never looked bad,” Fangio said. “If you saw the video, you’d think nothing happened, but it did.”
Miller, 31, has a base salary of $17.5 million this season in the fifth of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed in July 2016.
The eight-time Pro Bowl selection and former Super Bowl MVP has a franchise-record 106 sacks for the Broncos in nine seasons since he was the No. 2 overall choice of the 2011 NFL Draft. Miller also has 490 tackles, 26 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Miller has been durable throughout his career, playing in 15 or more games eight times in his nine full seasons. He missed four games in 2013 because of a torn ACL.
Without Miller in Week 1, the Broncos had just one sack in a 16-14 home loss to the Tennessee Titans on Monday night.
In other Broncos injury news, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that cornerback A.J. Bouye suffered a disloacted shoulder in the defeat and that the team is awaiting test results to determine the severity of the injury.
Additionally, running back Phillip Lindsay will reportedly get a second opinion on what coach Vic Fangio described Monday night as a “turf toe type of injury,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Lindsay left the game in the first half and finished with just 24 rushing yards on seven carries.