The Denver Broncos were certainly dealt a blow of bad news on Tuesday evening.
On the very last play of Tuesday afternoon’s practice that was moved indoors due to blizzard conditions that hit the Mile High City, Broncos’ all-world outside linebacker Von Miller suffered what could very well be a season-ending ankle injury. Miller’s peroneal tendon was found to be dislocated. In layman’s terms, his tendon flipped over his ankle bone. Ouch, babe.
Von Miller’s MRI is over, and the results indicated a season-ending tendon injury. That’s what the initial fear was. He has an appointment with respected foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay on Thursday for a second opinion. https://t.co/y1SWeFaJee
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 9, 2020
Less than a week before their Monday Night Football opener at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Miller’s injury definitely falls into the bad news category. In fact, you could say it’s horrifying news for Broncos Country.
With fellow OLB Bradley Chubb back after his left ACL injury and inevitable surgery a season ago, this news compounds things further.
Chubb will likely be on a snap count in their aforementioned MNF opener against the Tennessee Titans. This will likely be the case for Mr. Chubb during the first quarter of Denver’s 2020 regular-season, meaning Bradley is likely looking at being limited to a degree in the Broncos first four or five games. With the severity of his ACL injury, I don’t blame the Broncos for erring on the cautious side of things with Chubb.
With the way these two stallions (Broncos) feed off each other on opposite sides of the defensive front, the loss of Mr. Von Miller is even more impactful.
Von’s disadvantage was crystal clear last season without Bradley on the other side of the pigskin. It made it easy for the opposition to double or perhaps even triple-team Miller, making things extraordinarily difficult on Denver’s all-time sack leader with 106. Wow.
Von Miller career grades/rank (2011-2019):
🔸 94.6 PFF Grade (1st)
🔸 94.1 RunD (1st)
🔸 93.9 Pass-Rush (1st)
Undoubtedly one of the greatest pass-rushers of all time. pic.twitter.com/AohhGGe3OV
— PFF (@PFF) September 8, 2020
Despite the extra attention, Mr. Miller was still a big hit on defense. Drawing extra offensive linemen to keep Von at bay freed up wiggle room for the rest of the defense. Other Broncos’ defenders were granted free releases off the edge and through the middle of the line allowing for quarterback pressure and run-stopping success. Even with the menace of dealing with extra blockers, Miller did a tremendous job of shedding them off, making a ton of tackles while wrangling running backs down near the line of scrimmage.
Many haters saw the reduction in Von’s statistical numbers in the 2019-20 NFL season as a knock on his effort and ability, but the absence of Chubb was the real reason. It’s true, my friends. Don’t hate.
Denver opponents will be able to do the same thing with Chubb this season. Take Bradley out of the play, and make sure other guys beat you. Now more than ever, this will showcase the depth of the Broncos’ defensive front.
It’ll be a tall order with Von Miller’s freak injury, but one the Denver Broncos’ defense will have to face. The ‘next man up’ philosophy is what’s left to be deciphered by head coach Vic Fangio. Don’t expect anyone to replace what Mr. Miller can do for Denver’s defense.
The prognosis doesn’t look good. Expect the Broncos’ offense to take more upon themselves in Von Miller’s unfortunate absence.
Until next, be smart, stay safe, and stay healthy.