Denver Broncos EDGE rusher Von Miller is in danger of missing the 2020 season after suffering a reportedly “freak” ankle injury near the end of today’s practice. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news followed by an update from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Local reporter Mike Kils says surgery is expected.
The news is notable considering the Steelers host the Broncos Week 2. Based on these initial reports, even if Miller avoids a season-ending injury, it seems all but certain he won’t be available for that matchup.
It’s welcome news for a Steelers’ offensive line that may still be without RG David DeCastro, reported to miss the regular season opener, along with a new right tackle. Multiple reports indicate Zach Banner will get the nod to start the season. Chukwuma Okorafor’s first start in 2018 actually came against Miller and the Broncos. Okorafor played competently but received plenty of help from tight ends, running backs, and slide protection.
Even at 31, Miller is among the league’s most potent pass rushers. Though he only recorded *just* eight sacks in 15 games last year, he’s two seasons removed from a 14.5 sack campaign and has 106 QB takedowns to his name.
According to the Broncos’ depth chart released yesterday, Jeremiah Attaochu is listed as Miller’s backup. Acquired prior to 2019, he registered 3.5 sacks for the Broncos across five starts last season. There’s also Malik Reed, a rookie in 2019 who started eight games a season ago, notching a pair of sacks and one fumble recovery.
Though you never root for injuries, especially to star players like Miller, his looming absence makes this matchup a little more favorable for the Steelers. All the more considering Pittsburgh will be playing on a short week, a Monday-Sunday turnaround after a Week 1 contest against the Giants.