The Buffalo Bills thought that linebacker Von Miller partially tore his MCL joint in his right knee during a Thanksgiving victory against the Detroit Lions. But an exploratory surgery today revealed that Miller suffered a torn ACL injury.
Miller will miss the remainder of the season, including the postseason, while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. At the time of his injury, Miller was tied for the team lead with five sacks.
Mentally, I couldn’t be in a better spot, man, and I think that is the majority of it, “ Miller said in a social media video post. “Don’t feel sorry for me. Don’t say I hate it for you. None of that stuff, ‘cause I am good. I’m excited for the opportunity to show my teammates how tough I am, how hard I work, and how important that this means to me.”
The futures market did not change when the Miller news broke earlier today. On Sunday evening, the Bills regained the top spot on DraftKings’ NFL futures board as the favorite to win Super Bowl LVII at +350 odds.
At the conclusion of Week 12, the Kansas City Chiefs were installed as the outright favorite to win the Super Bowl at +400 odds, while the Bills slipped to +450. Oddsmakers adjusted the futures board after a surging Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. The Bills (9-3) were reinstalled as Super Bowl favorites +350 odds. The Chiefs (9-3) are currently second cofavorites with the Philadelphia Eagles (11-1) at +500 odds.
Hidden ACL Injury for Miller
Miller was initially diagnosed with an MCL injury on Thanksgiving. That’s why he thought he’d return in Week 14 when the Bills played the New York Jets on Sunday to avenge a loss in Week 9.
Miller underwent exploratory surgery this morning, and the surgeon discovered a torn ACL.
Unfortunate situation, for Von and our team,” said head coach Sean McDermott. “We know how much this means to him in terms of playing and being with the team. We look forward to getting him back, obviously off the field for the rest of the season and his leadership. And we’re certainly thinking about him as he recovers.”
Miller is a two-time Super Bowl champion who won titles with the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams. He won the MVP in Super Bowl 50 after leading the Broncos to the championship.
The experienced veteran was akin to having an extra coach on the field, so his voice in the locker room will be invaluable to the Bills during their postseason run.
Defensive end Greg Rousseau led the Bills with five quarterback pressures in their victory against the New England Patriots in Week 13. The Bills expect backup D-linemen AJ Epenesa and Boogie Basham to step up with Miller out the rest of the season.
Betting the Bills Down the Stretch
The Bills occupy first place in the AFC East, but currently hold down the #1 seed in the AFC playoff seedings. They defeated the Chiefs earlier in the season, and hold a tiebreaker over the same team that knocked them out of last year’s postseason.
The Bills are the betting favorite at +175 odds to win the AFC Championship this season. The Chiefs are +250 odds to win the AFC title, and the defending-champion Bengals are +650 odds to win the conference crown in back-to-back seasons.
The Bills are a huge favorite at -400 odds to win the AFC East, which currently has three other teams contending for a Wild Card spot.
The Dolphins (8-4) are in second place in the division, while the New York Jets are in third place and fighting to keep their Wild Card spot.
FiveThirtyEight projects that the Bills have a 79% chance to win the AFC East, while the Dolphins have a 19% chance. The Jets are a long shot at 3% odds to win the division, but a little less than a coin flip at 49% to qualify for the postseason.
The Bills host three home games against AFC East opponents, including the Jets (Week 14), Dolphins (Week 15), and Patriots (Week 18). With two more away games on the schedule, the Bills hit the road to play the Chicago Bears (Week 16) on Christmas Eve, and the Cincinnati Bengals (Week 17) on Monday Night Football.
If the Bills expect to lock up a Super Bowl berth, there’s a good chance they’ll have to defeat both the Bengals and Chiefs in the AFC playoffs.
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