At this point it’s safe to say – 2013 wasn’t Von Miller‘s year. It started out with a six-game suspension from the NFL, after the linebacker tried to tamper with a drug test that he ultimately failed. Miller then returned to the Denver Broncos in week seven, but in the weeks following his season debut, he wasn’t quite the same player that we saw racking up huge numbers over the past two seasons. But after only nine games this year, Vonn is officially on the shelf the rest of the way.
Reports began to surface yesterday that Miller may have a torn ACL, and those reports were confirmed on Monday. The Pro Bowl linebacker is out for the Broncos’ playoff run, which means the team will be down its best pass-rusher. So, the all-important question – can Denver survive and climb the mountain without him?
I believe the answer to that question is yes. The Broncos proved they didn’t need him when they won six straight games to start 2013. In fact, the first game they lost was Miller’s return game in Indianapolis. That’s more of a coincidence than anything else, but it just goes to show that his being on the field isn’t mandatory in the formula for a Denver win. Obviously, it’s a big loss when your top pass-rusher goes down, but this is not something I’m going to file in the ‘doomed’ section.
Miller’s loss is one that stings badly. But the Broncos are hurt, not injured. With one of the best offenses we’ve ever seen and (more than likely) home field advantage throughout the playoffs, I still like Denver’s chances of making it to MetLife stadium this February.