Von Miller practiced today, but with the addition of a heavy cast on his surgically repaired thumb. If there was ever something that Von Miller could add that would make him scarier to opposing quarterbacks, I think a club hand would do it.
He will still be a gametime decision on Sunday against the Vikings, but this certainly adds a bit of optimism that he will play. In 2009, Brian Dawkins sported a club after breaking his hand during the preseason, just a month before opening day against the Bengals. It didn't seem to hinder his play, on the field, due to the fact that Dawkins found himself playing in space as a safety. Von Miller's role is a bit different. To rush the passer, Von will need an unencumbered hand to wage war against blockers. The hand fighting that takes place on every play between blocker and defender is likely the one aspect that could keep Von Miller from playing on Sunday.
If he does play with a cast on his thumb, it will be interesting to see how much Von Miller is able to keep his hands out in front of him. I don't know how much Von Miller has had experience with a cast on his hand, but I imagine that is has to be pretty strange to have a completely different tactile stimulus for something that he has done for most of his life. There's a very specific muscle memory that arises from doing a particular motion thousands of times. We all know that Von Miller's quickness, balance, and power are impeccable, but how much will a cast hinder his play on the football field, if at all?
Von Miller doesn't appear to be concerned about it.
It's different, but it's not going to change the way I play.
-Von Miller, on playing with a casted hand
I guess we'll find out on Sunday... or we won't.
We'll keep you updated as more information becomes available. Go Broncos!