After a remarkable day by Peyton Manning surpassing Tom Brady‘s single-season record of 50 touchdown passes in the win over the Houston Texans. The Denver Broncos would receive a scare as star linebacker Von Miller went down with an apparent knee injury. According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, Von Miller was diagnosed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and will be out for the rest of the season. The surprising thing is, Miller wasn’t on crutches after the game as he told teammates he didn’t feel significant pain in his knee. It has been an up and down year for the linebacker out of Texas A&M as he served a six-game suspension earlier in the season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Here’s more from the Denver Post:
In the midst of his suspension appeal, Miller was issued warrants for missing court appearances on speeding violations. The Broncos went 6-0 during his absence and upon his return he struggled to regain form.
What does this mean for the Denver Broncos you ask? Well, the road to the Super Bowl just got a little tougher. The Broncos did however go 6-0 without Von, but that was with Rahim Moore, Kevin Vickerson, and Derek Wolfe. One player on the defensive side that has stood out to me in the past couple of games in none other than the rookie out of North Carolina, Sylvester Williams. Williams has been limited this season due to the fact the Broncos have Derek Wolfe, Kevin Vickerson, and Terrance Knighton ahead of him on the depth chart. He would be tied for third on the team in tackles in the win over Houston yesterday with five. Sylvester would also record a sack on Matt Schaub, as he recorded a sack in two-straight games.
As for Von Miller’s strongside linebacker position, it looks as if Nate Irving will take over for him, while the team will most likely play Robert Ayers opposite of Shaun Phillips. Here is what coach John Fox had to say:
“People get sick of hearing me say it, but it’s next man up, literally,” Fox said after the game. “Nate Irving stepped in and did a very good job. Our team has been that way the whole season — doesn’t matter what phase of the game it is, even me taking a leave of absence [heart surgery] for four weeks.”
The Denver Broncos (12-3) will finish of the 2013 regular season next weekend against the Oakland Raiders in California.