Von Miller joins long list of injured Bills defensive players. Here's what we know now

Von Miller will not play Thursday night when the Buffalo Bills travel to play the AFC East rival New England Patriots.

That was pretty much a given after he suffered a knee injury during the 28-25 victory over Detroit and coach Sean McDermott confirmed that Friday afternoon during his day-after-game Zoom call with reporters, adding that after the Patriots game, “We’ll just see where it goes from there.”

ESPN and NFL Network each reported that Miller underwent an MRI Friday morning and the results indicated that he did not suffer a torn ACL which would have immediately ended his season.

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That was good news, but he did sustain damage to his lateral meniscus. McDermott did not elaborate on what the MRI showed, or how much time the 33-year-old Miller could miss. However, it would be logical to think that he’ll be out multiple weeks at a minimum, and the Bills can only hope that they can get him back on the field, at least by the time the playoffs begin.

Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) is carted off the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) is carted off the field during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

“He's a future Hall of Famer for a reason,” McDermott said. “That said, we've got to move forward this week and the person, or the people, responsible to step in and step up, have got to do the job and that’s the way it goes.”

Miller was hurt during the second quarter when he was rushing Detroit quarterback Jared Goff and appeared to get his leg stuck underneath Lions center Frank Ragnow. He stayed down on the field for several minutes as the Bills’ trainers attended to him.

McDermott even went out to check on him which he doesn’t ordinarily do unless he knows it could be serious. Miller walked off on his own with a limp, went right to the medical tent, and a few minutes later was carted off the field and into the locker room.

The injury certainly cast a pall over Buffalo’s exciting comeback victory which improved its record to 8-3.

Miller leads the Bills with eight sacks and his 45 pressures - as charted by Pro Football Focus - are nearly double the next-highest total on the team, 23 by Greg Rousseau.

“We’re keeping Von in our prayers. I don’t know what’s going on with him,” linebacker Matt Milano said Thursday. “Somebody goes down, it’s next guy up. … I’m praying for Von and hopefully he can come back.”

Buffalo Bills injuries on defense

Miller is merely the latest in a long line of defensive players who have already missed multiple games, a group that includes Rousseau, Milano, Tre’Davious White, A.J. Epenesa, Ed Oliver, Jordan Phillips, Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, Tim Settle, Tremaine Edmunds, Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford.

It’s incredible, actually, that the Bills have managed to win eight of 11 games against a very tough schedule - one of the toughest in the NFL - despite not playing a single game with what everyone would consider their starting 11 on defense.

With Miller sidelined, the Bills have to hope that fellow edge rushers Rousseau (ankle) and Epenesa (ankle) can get back to practice and play in Thursday night’s game in New England. Both were inactive against the Lions and when Miller got hurt, the Bills were down to Boogie Basham, Shaq Lawson and practice squad call-up Mike Love as their edge rushers.

“They’re both improving, one day at a time this week, we'll see,” McDermott said of Rousseau and Epenesa. “I'm not going to rule it out. Also not going to say for sure they're both going to be able to play or either one will be able to play, but we'll just take it one day at a time.”

McDermott said that Edmunds and center Mitch Morse - who also missed the Lions game - are in the same “one day at a time” situation. He added that Benford suffered an oblique injury in Detroit and he’s going to miss multiple weeks, yet another blow to the defense.

Also, left tackle Dion Dawkins - who missed the second half of the Lions game with an ankle injury - is in day-to–day mode.

“Injuries are part of the game unfortunately,” McDermott said. “Real proud of the guys with the way that they've stepped in and they've stayed resilient through the journey. So real happy with what they've been able to do and the coaches the same way. There's been no complaining from the coaching staff or anything like that.”

Sal Maiorana can be reached at maiorana@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @salmaiorana.To subscribe to Sal's new twice-a-week newsletter, Bills Blast, please follow this link: https://profile.democratandchronicle.com/newsletters/bills-blast

This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Von Miller injury adds to list of Buffalo Bills defensive players hurt