With Von Miller having thumb surgery on Tuesday, his status for Sunday’s game against the Vikings is questionable. He did not participate in Wednesday’s practice, but that doesn’t mean that we can rule him out.
Miller leads the team in sacks and he’s third in the league in QB takedowns.
“He’s a big part of what we do,” Elvis Dumervil said. “If he’s not able to go, guys have to step in and try to elevate their game and try to make up a big part of what he does for this defense.”
Miller is just one of seven players in the NFL this year to have over 55 tackles and zero missed tackles. He was named the defensive rookie of the month for the month of November after leading the Broncos to four wins with 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He’s doing things that other rookies have never done. He is the only rookie to have at least half a sack in 9 of his first 11 games.
That’s why Miller’s potential absence from Sunday’s game is such a big deal. Some think that playing defense with an injured thumb is easier than playing running back or wide receiver with the same injury.
“A lot of guys do a lot of things,” Mario Haggan said. “You see Patrick Willis play with one, Takeo Spikes, numerous guys throughout the years. I don’t think it’s that hard. Fortunately I haven’t experienced it.”
Dumveril thinks that it’s harder to play with a hand injury than people think it is.
“It’s crucial,” Dumervil said about having a healthy thumb. “I had a pinky injury a couple of years ago. As a rusher, you need your hands. It’s very important.”
If Miller cannot go on Sunday, Haggan will take his spot. Haggan has been a major contributor on special teams during his four seasons with the Broncos and he’s filled in as a backup linebacker very nicely.
The 9-year veteran had his best season last year when he recorded 87 tackles, 5 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He has plenty of career starts and he always brings a lot of intensity to the game.
“I’m pretty sure he’ll be on the field on Sunday,” Haggan said of Miller. “I’m just going to keep my mind focused and help this team any way I can.”