When news broke in September that Von Miller suffered an ankle injury during practice during the first week of the season, the assumption among most fans and analysts was that his season was over.
The Broncos placed him on injured reserve but wouldn't rule out the possibility that he'd recover before the season ended.
Indeed, during an interview with The Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran on Wednesday, Miller said that he's holding out hope that he can return this year.
"I'm optimistic," he told O'Halloran. "I've been through the ACL surgery and this rehab is nothing like that rehab. I'm trying to stay in the present and stack days and when December comes around, see where I'm at.
"If I can play, I'm going to play. If it's not healthy and it's ridiculous to play, then I won't play."
In his comments, Miller makes clear that in spite of his injury, he has not lost the renewed focus he sharpened during the offseason.
"The first two days (post-injury) were tough," he said. "But as soon as I got through that part of grieving, I just got into the mindset of, 'What can I do to get back this season?' I look at this as a challenge, the same kind of challenge I went through with COVID-19."
The last time Miller faced a serious injury, he suffered a torn ACL on Dec. 22, 2013. He recovered in time for the start of the 2014 season and picked up where he left off with a 14-sack campaign that earned him his third career Pro Bowl selection.
If he makes his return in December, Broncos Country will hope for a similarly successful comeback.
Below the Fold
Though he's had to adjust to playing with three different quarterbacks in four weeks, Jerry Jeudy has compiled impressive numbers with 234 yards and a touchdown. That production earned him a spot in Daniel Jeremiah's ranking of the top 25 rookies through the season's first quarter. "Jeudy has had a few drops in the early going, but I've been impressed with his ability to consistently create separation in the slot," Jeremiah wrote.
In ESPN's ranking of the top 10 rookies through the first four games, Jeudy received votes but did not make the top 10. Instead, he was placed in the "Stock up" category. "Jeudy opened the season with two high-impact drops against the Titans, but he continues to show upper-tier, route-running savvy to go with top-end ball skills (Exhibit A is his touchdown catch in Week 4 as he snatched the ball away from Pierre Desir)," ESPN's Jeff Legwold wrote. "He's getting work too, as the 15th pick leads the Broncos in targets and will be leaned on like a WR1 with Courtland Sutton on injured reserve."