Zach Miller (Nebraska-Omaha)

Bears’ Zach Miller Retires From Football

On Tuesday, Bears tight end Zach Miller took to social media to announce his retirement from football. Miller recently indicated that the door was still open to playing, but upon further reflection, he has decided to walk away from the game due to health and safety concerns. 

The time has come to move on from playing the game of football,” Miller wrote on Instagram. “It has been an incredible journey for myself and my entire family and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support. I would love more than anything to step on Soldier Field one last time but I physically cannot give the game and our fans what they deserve.”

Miller, who spent the first three seasons of his career as an afterthought in Jacksonville, did his best work with the Bears between the 2015 and 2017 seasons. In 2016, Miller caught a career-high 47 passes and 486 yards with four touchdowns. In ’17, he was on pace for similar stats with 20 grabs for 236 yards and two TDs before his devastating injury in October.

Last year, doctors told Miller that he was at risk for losing his leg after he severely dislocated his left knee and tore his popliteal artery. Thankfully, after nine surgeries, Miller’s knee is safe. Still, it’s probably for the best that Miller does not play football again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Miller Hasn’t Ruled Out NFL Return

Bears tight end Zach Miller underwent nine surgeries to fix his leg after a scary injury in 2017. At one point, doctors floated the idea of an amputation, but Miller persevered and now indicates that he hasn’t ruled out a return to football (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson). 

[RELATED: Josh Sitton Retires From NFL]

Either way, Miller says a final decision should come soon. And, if he decides to return to the game, he already has a contract in place with the Bears that takes him through the 2019 season.

Miller, who spent the first three seasons of his career as an afterthought in Jacksonville, did his best work with the Bears between the 2015 and 2017 seasons. In 2016, Miller caught a career-high 47 passes and 486 yards with four touchdowns. In ’17, he was on pace for similar stats with 20 grabs for 236 yards and two TDs before his devastating injury in October.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Zach Miller Still Hopes To Play

This week, the Bears did right by Zach Miller. Chicago re-signed the tight end to a “split contract” on Monday and placed him on the PUP list on Tuesday, giving him $458K for the year even though he will not be able to play. Taking the field will not be in the cards this year, but Miller says he still hopes to return to football down the road. 

With my doctors and everyone I spoke to, we’re not going to put any set limitations on this,” Miller said (via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson). “We’re just going to take it as it goes. There has not been a definitive, ‘you can never do this again.’ That hasn’t been talked about. It’s to approach this as you are planning to get back to where I can be myself and play football and then when that time comes, some of that is out of my hands. So, I’m just going to do as much as I can to get that point and see what happens.”

Recently, Miller was seen walking around the Bears’ facility with a limp. That indicates that he’s a long way from getting back to football, but it’s a tremendous sign overall after he had to endure nine surgeries. Slowly but surely, Miller says the rehab process is paying off.

I’m feeling good,” Miller said. “Knee’s getting stronger, really daily. Putting a lot of work in here just continuing to work on strengthening that area, everything around it. That’s kind of the big thing about this is it allows me to have that opportunity to continue to do that. So I feel good and continue to just get stronger, get healthier. Time will tell. Just put everything into it that I can and see where that takes me.

In the meantime, Miller will continue to sit on team meetings and mentor the club’s tight ends. Although he misses being on the gridiron, the tight end says that he is “in a good place right now.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Place Zach Miller On PUP List

The Bears have placed tight end Zach Miller on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, according to a team announcement. This was the expected course of action given the gruesome leg injury he suffered in 2017. 

This week, the Bears re-signed Miller to a one-year deal in order to give him additional financial security. Miller was out of contract and did not qualify for injury pay, but the new deal will pay him $458K even though he cannot play.

In the long run, Miller has said that he would like to return to football. However, doctors raised the possibility of an amputation just last year, so Miller knows that may not be possible. The good news is that Miller’s leg is safe after nine surgeries to correct the knee dislocation.

[If it doesn’t happen], then that’s just the way it goes and we’ve got to move on and do something else,” Miller said back in February. “Physically I’ve been through a number of surgeries or whatever it may be. I can recover from that. But the mental aspect is something you’ve got to learn how to work it, how to block out some stuff and really just stay positive, which I’ve done a pretty good job doing.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Re-Sign TE Zach Miller

The Bears have re-signed tight end Zach Miller to a one-year contract, according to Mike Florio of PFT. It’s unclear whether Miller will be able to take the field in 2018 – or ever again – but the new deal will provide Miller with additional financial security either way. 

It’s a split contract, according to Florio, which will pay Miller $458K even if he cannot play this year. If he is somehow able to take the field, he’ll make $790K.

Last year, doctors told Miller that he was at risk for losing his leg after he severely dislocated his left knee and tore his popliteal artery. Thankfully, after nine surgeries, Miller’s knee is safe.

Miller has said that he would like to play football again, though he acknowledges that he may be facing an uphill battle.

[If it doesn’t happen], then that’s just the way it goes and we’ve got to move on and do something else,” Miller said back in February. “Physically I’ve been through a number of surgeries or whatever it may be. I can recover from that. But the mental aspect is something you’ve got to learn how to work it, how to block out some stuff and really just stay positive, which I’ve done a pretty good job doing.”

In all likelihood, an NFL comeback is not in the cards for Miller this season. Instead, this appears to be a class move by the Bears in order to take care of one of their own players.

Miller, who spent the first three seasons of his career as an afterthought in Jacksonville, did his best work over the past three seasons with the Bears starting in 2015. In 2016, Miller caught a career-high 47 passes and 486 yards with four touchdowns. Last year, he was on pace for similar stats with 20 grabs for 236 yards and two TDs before his painful injury in October.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Miller Hopes To Continue Playing

After a scary leg injury last year, Bears tight end Zach Miller says that he hopes to continue playing. At the same time, he acknowledges that he may be facing an uphill battle. Zach Miller (Nebraska-Omaha)

[If it doesn’t happen], then that’s just the way it goes and we’ve got to move on and do something else,” Miller told Scott Voorhees of 1110 KFAB (audio link). “Physically I’ve been through a number of surgeries or whatever it may be. I can recover from that. But the mental aspect is something you’ve got to learn how to work it, how to block out some stuff and really just stay positive, which I’ve done a pretty good job doing.”

After severely dislocating his left knee and tearing his popliteal artery, doctors told Miller that he was at risk for losing his leg. Thankfully, after nine surgeries, Miller’s knee is safe. Of course, playing football represents a much steeper challenge.

Miller has done his best work over the past three years with the Bears. In 2016, Miller caught a career-high 47 passes and 486 yards with four touchdowns. In 2017, he was on pace for similar numbers with 20 catches for 236 yards and two TDs through the end of October.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Miller, Bridgewater, Juszczyk, Seahawks

One of the scarier stories of this season was the situation regarding Bears tight end Zach Miller‘s serious leg injury. Just a week ago, doctors were performing surgery to save his leg after he dislocated his knee while playing. However, after a successful procedure, the 33 year-old is set to be released from the hospital on Monday, reports Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com. According to Mortensen, the surgery was described as “heroic” by one doctor, who relayed that the surgeons needed to repair a torn popliteal artery. The road to recovery is still ongoing as the tight end will likely need multiple surgeries before starting his way to rehab, but the outlook is much better than it was because of the many great doctors and Miller himself as Mortensen outlines in his piece.

  • Speaking of amazing recoveries, Teddy Bridgewater is on track to return to the gridiron after many months of rehab and uncertainty regarding his serious knee injury. The Vikings former first round pick is expected to be activated and in uniform for the team’s Week 10 contest versus Washington, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Bridgewater was placed on the PUP list at the start of the regular season after he had been recovering from an injury he suffered back in training camp two years ago. It’s been a long road for the soon-to-be 25 year-old, but it looks like the quarterback’s resiliency will soon pay off. Although, it remains to be seen what role Bridgewater will have when he returns, especially with the recent solid play of third string QB Case Keenum. Bridgewater last played in the team’s heartbreaking playoff defeat at the hands of the Seahawks back in 2015.
  • 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk will undergo an MRI on Monday after suffering a concussion in today’s defeat at the hands of the Cardinals, tweets Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. The news comes right after it was learned that safety Jaquiski Tartt would be placed on the IR with a fractured arm that he suffered in today’s game as well. Juszczyk, 26, hasn’t been as big of a factor in the 49ers offense as people may have thought after signing by far the richest contract of any fullback this past offseason. The former Raven has totaled just 23 rushing yards and 8 catches for 80 yards this year.
  • The Seahawks cut tackle Isaiah Battle a few days ago after the team added the highly regarded Duane Brown prior to the trade deadline. However, it seems like Seattle would like to retain the offensive lineman as general manager John Schneider said on a pre-game show that he hopes to re-sign the 24 year-old to the team’s practice squad this week, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).

 

Latest On Bears TE Zach Miller

On Monday, Bears tight end Zach Miller had major surgery on his dislocated knee. As first reported by ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen (video link), the injury put him at risk for potentially losing his leg. The early word on the operation is good, however, with the Bears terming it as “successful”.

Successful surgery was performed immediately on Sunday by the UMC vascular surgeons to stabilize his injury,” the team said in a statement. “Zach remains at UMC, along with Bears medical personnel, where he will stay under further evaluation. We are thinking of Zach and his family and support from our entire organization goes out to them.”
Zach Miller (vertical)

A dislocated knee is a complicated injury and especially scary because of the arteries involved. When there is significant vascular damage, surgeons will sometimes have to graft an artery from one leg to the other. If proper circulation cannot be restored, then the patient may wind up losing the limb. Needless to say, Miller’s season is over and his football future is also in jeopardy, but he has a much larger battle to focus on at the moment.

Miller, who spent the first three seasons of his career as an afterthought in Jacksonville, has done his best work over the past three seasons with the Bears. In 2016, Miller caught a career-high 47 passes and 486 yards with four touchdowns. This year, he was on pace for similar stats with 20 grabs for 236 yards and two TDs.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Miller Suffers Dislocated Knee

The Bears’ pass-catching contingent continues to dwindle, and after the gruesome Zach Miller sequence Sunday, it was predictable he suffered a significant injury.

Miller headed to the hospital after suffering what John Fox called a dislocated left knee, per Patrick Finlay of the Chicago Sun-Times. The painful sequence occurred on a touchdown reception that was subsequently reversed.

Chicago addressed the tight end position through multiple avenues this offseason, signing Dion Sims and drafting Adam Shaheen in the second round, but Miller remained the Bears’ top receiving option at this position. The Nebraska-Omaha product is a pending free agent.

The Bears were already playing without wide receivers Kevin White, Cameron Meredith and Markus Wheaton and will now be operating without the 33-year-old Miller.

Miller’s spent the past three seasons with the Bears, posting the top seasons of his career after spending time as a backup with the Jaguars.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC North Rumors: Vikings, Bears, Packers

Vikings wideout Michael Floyd will only receive a one-day jail sentence for violating the terms of his probation, and that fact alone is considered a “huge win,” a source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Floyd will also serve the remaining five days of his house arrest, but as Florio writes, Floyd could have conceivably forced to spend more time in jail, either on a revamped or altogether new sentence. The 27-year-old will begin his punishment this evening, meaning he’ll be ready for action by the time training camp rolls around. In a statement, Vikings general manager Rick Spielman indicated the club will continue to support Floyd, who is still expected to be hit with a league-imposed suspension.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Given that veteran tight end Zach Miller only has one year left on his contract, the Bears could potentially release him this summer in favor of the younger Daniel Brown, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune speculates. Miller, 32, reached career-highs in receptions and yards a season ago despite missing six games with injury. He’s still recovering from the foot ailment that cost him those contests, and if Chicago is worried about his ability to remain healthy, it could conceivably cut bait, saving north of $1.8MM in the process. Free agent signee Dion Sims and second-round pick Adam Shaheen are Bears roster locks, meaning Miller, Brown, MyCole Pruitt, and Ben Braunecker could be competing for one spot.
  • The Packers had been working on a deal for Lance Kendricks even while talking with other tight ends this spring, and were going to sign Kendricks regardless of whether they agreed to terms with Martellus Bennett or Jared Cook, according to Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Bennett was the Packers’ ultimate choice, of course, and finding two tight ends was an offseason goal for head coach Mike McCarthy, who considers TE an exceedingly valuable position in the vein of quarterback or edge rusher.
  • In case you missed it, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton declined to be interviewed for the Chiefs’ GM vacancy, citing a “variety of reasons.” Paton was also in consideration for the GM positions in Indianapolis and San Francisco earlier this year.