On a day that was otherwise filled with celebration on Sunday as the Denver Broncos defeated the Houston Texans 37-13 and Peyton Manning broke the single season passing TD record, the team might have also suffered one of their worst blows of the season. Star linebacker and pass rusher Von Miller injured his knee on Houston’s second offensive series of the game and was ruled out for the rest of the game shortly thereafter.
The Denver Post reports that Miller will have an MRI on Monday, but that the team fears the worst for the injury:
Broncos linebacker Von Miller will undergo tests Monday to determine the extent of his knee injury.
There is concern the injury is significant, although no determination will be made until after the tests. Miller suffered the injury in the second defensive series of the Broncos’ game here today against the Houston Texans.
It’s been a rough season for Miller on a personal level as it started with a six-game suspension for violating the league’s drug policy. Since his return, he’s had five sacks in nine games entering play here at Reliant Stadium.
The Broncos are already shorthanded on that side of the ball, with defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson along with safety Rahim Moore all currently out of the lineup. To lose Miller would be a huge blow to a team that is already struggling to stop the other team: they were ranked 15th in the NFL in DVOA entering this week at -0.3% (defense-adjusted value over average, where negative is a good thing), with a terrible 10.1% DVOA against the pass, according to Football Outsiders.
If Peyton Manning and his cohorts on offense are clicking, what the Broncos do on the defensive side of the ball doesn’t really matter. But if Miller is out for a significant period of time with the playoffs around the corner, it will put an awful lot of pressure on the offensive unit to carry the club.