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Von Miller injury update: ‘Absolute best-case scenario’ recovery is 3 months

Von Miller’s official diagnosis is a dislocated peroneal tendon. The timeline to return is usually 5-6 months, but best case is 3 months.

Ian Rapoport reported the specifics of Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller’s injury suffered yesterday during the final play of practice. It’s a dislocated peroneal tendon and the recovery time is 5-6 months. However, there is a best-case possibility of a return in 3 months.

While we knew it wasn’t an Achilles tear, there was uncertainty on exactly what the injury was when the news broke. Now that we know the details, it seems that the best-case scenario for Miller’s recovery is around 3 months.

Thus, it is remotely possible that Miller could return by the tail-end of the season.

A former NFL doctor was more optimistic in his analysis. David Chao, who was the head team doctor for the San Diego Chargers from 1997 - 2013 recounted a story of Luis Castillo being able to return after a similar injury to Miller’s:

I have direct experience with several early returns for NFL players in the same season. One case involved Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo (permission granted by player to publicly discuss his injury). In 2007, he dislocated his peroneal tendons in Week 9 vs the Vikings. I performed the surgery to relocate the tendons and repair the torn sheath to hold it behind the fibula where it belongs. Castillo was not placed on IR missing seven games before returning prior to the end of the regular season. He played in all three playoff games including the AFC Championship game and performed well enough to earn a 5-year $43.1 million extension that next offseason. I have been involved with other same-season returns at about 3 months (but as of this writing, had not been able to contact the players for permission to use their names).

Chao also broke down the nature of the injury in his piece, with details on how the injury affects athletes, based on his experience.

The peroneal tendons wrap around the outside and back of the ankle as they insert onto the outside and bottom of the foot. It lifts and everts the foot to help elite pass rushers get around the edge. In this case, the injury to the sheath allows the peroneal tendon to jump out of the groove and flip around the distal fibula with a snapping sensation and immediate pain/weakness. He is headed to see a foot/ankle specialist and will likely need surgery. Because the repair is likely to the sheath and not the tendon itself, it bodes well for early recovery and a comeback later this season. Often with the procedure, a deeper groove is created to help keep the peroneal tendons in the track where it belongs.

Obviously, this is just Chao’s opinion without reviewing the specific case of Miller’s injury, but it is encouraging that there is still even an outside chance that he could potentially recover in time to come back at the end of the year.

For now, it will be up to Bradley Chubb, Malik Reed, and Jeremiah Attaochu to be the next men up rushing off the edge.

We will keep you updated as more information is available.