ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --** In his attempt to return to an All-Pro level, Von Miller is drawing on the experience of another All-Pro, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Peterson went down late in the 2011 season but returned better than ever in 2012. Their injuries weren't identical -- both men suffered a torn ACL while Peterson also tore his MCL -- but each went down in Week 16 of the season, setting up similar timetables for recovery.
Peterson had surgery a day before New Years Eve and started practicing fully in mid-August. Though he was inactive through the preseason, he returned with 84 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 on his way to an MVP season.
It's safe to say Miller would be happy with a similar performance in his own return.
"Everything that he did, I just use it for motivation," Miller said of the Vikings' star. "It's not really like a competition or anything like that. Everybody's body is different. I just look at him and try to see all the stuff that he was doing to help better his body and try to do some of the same stuff."
The fourth-year linebacker has been working near full speed in positional drills during OTAs. He will be exactly five months removed from surgery on Sunday, a day before the Broncos begin their final OTA of the offseason. More than another month to rehab before training camp will follow.
Even with limited participation, Miller's trying to get everything he can out of the offseason work.
"I'm doing walkthroughs and the offensive linemen were getting on me for going too hard, a tempo violator and all that stuff," he said. "And I had to tell them, 'Hey, this is the only reps I get.'"
Regardless of when he can practice fully, Miller isn't limiting his personal expectations. Having seen Peterson's recovery, Miller plans to be back to his old self before long.
"I feel like whenever I get back on the field, I'd rather it be like, 'Von's taking too long,'" he said. "I wouldn't want it to be like, 'Von doesn't look the same anymore.'"
"So I'm all in for working as hard as I can to get back on the field in a timely manner, but when I get back out there, I'm ready to go."