Von Miller
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Tuesday, September 8, 2020, will go down in history as the saddest day in modern Broncos history. Dynamic linebacker Von Miller suffered a potentially season-ending injury on the very last play of optional practice before their home opener against the Tennessee Titans.

Miller will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Thursday to see a well-known foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Robert Anderson, about surgery on his dislocated peroneal tendon. After the initial injury, he was taken for an MRI, revealing the tendon had flipped over the ankle joint. The standard recovery time for this operation is 5-6 months. The best-case scenario is a three-month recovery, and he can be back in time for playoff contention.

A peroneal dislocation is a reasonably uncommon injury. It occurs when the tissue near the fibula, called the peroneal retinaculum, suffers some injury. Damage to the tissue can cause it to stretch and tear, causing the tendon to slip from the fibula’s groves. If left untreated, the tendons can roll to the joint’s wrong side or even tear themselves.

In the last six seasons, Von Miller has missed just one game. That one game was in 2019 against the LA Chargers due to a knee injury. In 2013, he missed six games due to a torn ACL and the regular-season finale due to a suspension.

After just eight sacks in the 2019 season, the OLB was excited for the upcoming year and had started workouts just days after the close of last season. He put on some heft but maintained his signature speed and agility. He was feeling revitalized and ready to return. After not making the playoffs since 2015, Miller was looking to carry the team to new heights. Head coach Vic Fangio said he saw ‘a hungry attitude’ from the outside linebacker in recent practices.

If everyone’s favorite chicken farmer is out for the season, that will take a significant toll on the Broncos pass rush. Any number of games missed by Miller will mean more prominent roles for Shelby Harris and Malik Reed. Though Harris has been with Denver since 2014, Reed signed with Denver in 2019 after going undrafted from the University of Nevada. Bradly Chubb suffered a torn ACL last season but will be starting on Monday night. Is he back to 100%, or will he fall short?

The Denver “Donkeys” take on the Tennessee Titans Monday night for a season opener. All eyes will be on Coach Fangio and his defense.