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Buffalo Bills star Von Miller reveals when he’ll return in 2023 NFL season, could miss multiple games

The Buffalo Bills defense regressed late in the 2022 season after Von Miller suffered a torn ACL. As the AFC East now becomes even more competitive, Buffalo could be in an early hole when the 2023 season begins.

Miller, age 34, underwent ACL surgery in December. For a veteran edge rusher who relies upon his explosiveness and being able to bend around the edge, there’s additional uncertainty regarding his recovery from knee surgery.

  • Von Miller career stats: 245 QB hits, 130 tackles for loss, 123.5 sacks

Related: Buffalo Bills insider hints Von Miller will miss significant time

While a variety of factors influence the recovery timeline from an ACL tear, including age and position, the typical window is 9-12 months. As Washington Commanders edge rusher Chase Young demonstrated last season, though, players can often struggle in their first season back from ACL surgery.

It’s why there is even more risk with Miller. Coming off his age-33 season, Miller’s knee injury happened in November but he didn’t undergo surgery until December. Paired with the other factors that will work against him as he tries to return, there’s now uncertainty about when he will return.

  • Von Miller stats (2022): 45 total pressures, 12 QB hits, 10 tackles for loss in 11 games

While the Bills have declined to provide any specifics on Miller’s recovery nor have they provided a timetable for his return to football, the All-Pro edge rusher provided clarity to reporters this week.

“If that’s Week 1, then I’ll be happy for that. If that’s Week 6, I’ll be happy for that. But I guarantee you it won’t be any later than that. Whatever it takes for me to get to that point, that’s what I’ll do.”

Von Miller on when he will return to the field

Buffalo could place Miller on the up list this summer, automatically ruling him out for the first four games of the season. While it would guarantee that the Bills’ defensive star isn’t on the field for the first month of the NFL schedule, it would also open up a roster spot and allow Miller to recover at his own pace.

Related: NFL executive suggests Buffalo Bills will be ‘feeling a lot of heat’ in 2023

There’s a substantial impact on Buffalo’s defense when Miller isn’t on the field. When Miller player from Weeks 1-10, opponents averaged a 75.7 QB rating with a 9-13 TD-INT ratio and a 64.3 percent completion range. In Weeks 13-18, the average QB rating rose to 81.8 and quarterbacks posted a 7-4 TD-INT line.

If Miller is unavailable for the first four-to-six games of the season, Buffalo will need Greg Rousseau, AJ Epenesa, Shaq Lawson and Boogie Basham to become more consistent pass rushers. If they are unable to deliver, the Bills’ defense could be a significant issue early against opponents like the New York Jets, Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins.

Related: NFL defense rankings

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