Denver has lost its star pass rusher

Denver Broncos star pass-rusher Von Miller‘s 2020 season is over before it was even able to begin. An MRI on Tuesday confirmed that Miller has suffered a season-ending tendon injury, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. That injury is expected to need surgery, per Adam Schefter of ESPN, and Rapoport notes that Miller has an appointment scheduled with foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay on Thursday for a second opinion. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora relayed in the immediate aftermath of this news breaking that Miller’s injury was feared to be season-ending and now that has unfortunately come to fruition. 

Specifically, the injury occurred on the last play of Tuesday’s practice, per Schefter,that was being held indoors due to the blizzard hitting the area. The Broncos weren’t even in full pads during the session and Miller, in shells, is said to have injured himself in what is being described as “a freak” injury. 

Miller was set to enter his 10th season in the NFL and was primed to form quite the pass-rushing duo opposite of Bradley Chubb, who missed the bulk of last season due to a torn ACL. Speaking of Chubb: reports have also come out along with Miller’s season-ending injury that he may not be ready for Week 1 as he continues to recover, so Denver is looking at the prospect of being down two pass rushers. Miller, meanwhile, finished 2019 with his sixth consecutive Pro Bowl nod, making it a total of eight for his career. The Super Bowl 50 MVP also has been a perennial All-Pro talent (three-time First-team, four-time Second-team) so this loss would be a massive blow to Denver’s front seven. 

According to the latest figures from CBS Sports’ Stephen Oh, Denver’s winning percentage for the 2020 season drops 3.1% without Miller in the lineup. Here’s a look at how else Miller’s absence hurts the Broncos this season, per Oh:

2020 BRONCOSWINSWIN %DIVISIONPLAYOFFCONFERENCECHAMPIONSHIP
With Von Miller7.647.5%6.0%33.4%1.5%0.6%
Without Von Miller7.144.4%3.7%23.7%0.8%0.3%
Difference-0.5-3.1%-2.3%-9.7%-0.7%-0.3%

Missing the entire 2020 season would also be ill-timed for Miller, who is signed through the 2021 season. That final season of Miller’s contract in 2021, however, is in the form of a club option which gives the organization the ability to cut ties or attempt to reduce his $22.225 million cap hit if he’s still recovering from this injury. 

The Broncos are set to open up their 2020 season on Monday Night Football when they host the Tennessee Titans

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