Miller underwent vascular surgery in New Orleans to repair a torn popliteal artery, which is near the knee. The operation was described as successful by the Bears on Monday. There was no immediate word on Miller’s future in the sport.
Social media accounts of the Bears and their players quickly filled up with messages of concern and support for Miller.
The injury was severe enough that some wondered if amputation had been an option. While the team did not say if amputation was considered, Coach John Fox told reporters on Monday that the possibility had occurred to him.
“I think that’s always a concern,” Fox said. “Our medical people did a great job as far as getting him there. They realized the problem immediately.”
Knee injuries are fairly common in the N.F.L., but the immediate and severe consequences of Miller’s were shocking to many of his teammates.
“I didn’t really want to believe it. I couldn’t believe it,” wide receiver Tre McBride told reporters after being briefed on the situation. “I didn’t realize that that was even a possible consequence of having a dislocated knee.”
For now, Miller will not be traveling because of concerns that flying could cause complications with his recovery.
Miller, 33, had been the Bears’ top tight end this season with 20 catches for 236 yards, playing all eight games. He has faced injury issues throughout his career: He missed all of the 2012 season with a calf injury, did not play in 2013 after sustaining a concussion during preseason, and sat out the 2014 season with a foot injury.
Fox told the assembled reporters on Monday that Miller’s spirits had remained high, and that “he pretty much wanted his touchdown back.”
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