Bears tight end Zach Miller is “progressing well,” coach John Fox said, but will remain in a New Orleans hospital indefinitely after undergoing vascular surgery on his left leg following a traumatic knee dislocation Sunday against the Saints.
Miller has family members with him at the hospital and has received communication from around the NFL. He said Saints players were expected to visit Miller at the hospital Tuesday.
Fox said he did not know a timetable for Miller’s return to Chicago. “They’re taking it one day at time — as I would expect and understand,” Fox said.
Miller dislocated his knee when he landed awkwardly in the end zone while making an apparent 25-yard touchdown reception. He additionally tore the popliteal artery in his leg, which required emergency surgery to prevent damage that might necessitate amputation.
The severity of the injury left teammates shaken, especially those who have “a friendship beyond football” such as tight end Daniel Brown.
“When you watch him come back from [previous] injuries he’s had and you see him laying on the ground again, immediately my heart sank,” Brown said.
“At that point I just felt bad for him. When I learned what kind of injury it was, it becomes a different type of feeling — now you’re scared. Is he going to be able to walk again? Is he going to be back to normal? It’s a different type of feeling when you learn the severity of it.”
Brown said he, like many teammates has reached out to Miller via text. “I told him I was thinking about him; I was praying for him,” Brown said. “Just trying to encourage him.”
Brown and other teammates are hoping for the best and looking forward to seeing Miller back at Halas Hall.
“He’s been like an older brother to all of us,” tight end Ben Braunecker said. “He’s had more experience than maybe all of us combined in that room. So just his wisdom and knowledge, and he’s such a great guy off the field to be around, somebody you want to be around. We’re going to miss that for sure.”
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