Zach Miller describes gruesome injury and aftermath in emotional interview
After an injury that could have ended in amputation, Miller opened up for the first time
When the Chicago Bears faced the New Orleans Saints in Week 8, the Bears when tight end Zach Miller suffered a nearly life-altering one. While apparently catching a touchdown (the call would later be overturned), Miller landed on his leg in a manner that led to him dislocating his knee. The injury was so severe that there was some talk of Miller potentially needing to have his leg amputated.
Miller sat down with Jeff Joniak to describe the injury and the aftermath, along with some unlikely support that he received.
When the injury initially occurred, Miller seemed to have a good idea of how serious it was.
"I knew it was pretty severe," he said when asked about the pain. "But I wasn't in pain, it was more -- I was actually calm. You know when Nate, our head trainer, got there I remember looking at him I was grabbing my facemask and I told him I said 'my knee is gone bro' like I could just -- I could tell something was different."
When he went to the hospital, Miller said, "I just remember telling the doctor like -- 'save my leg, please.'"
Miller also said that he took solace from a 16-year old named Alex Ruiz, a California high school football player who suffered a similar injury. "Ended up getting hit in a game, 16-year-old QB," Miller said. "He didn't get the urgent care that I got. Took about four hours before he got diagnosed and another four or five before he [got] to the hospital and they're working towards amputating his leg in a month or two when his knee is healthy, so that's the kid I draw inspiration from because his outlook on his life and his future is unbelievable."
Miller contrasted himself with Ruiz. "That could be -- that could very easily, if I didn't have the care that I have, all that stuff I could very easily be in his shoes and I feel bad for him," he said. "Little bit of guilt, but, he helps me. He's a special kid."
Miller thanked several other people throughout the video, including his wife, of whom he said "there ain't enough words in the English dictionary to express all that back and forth," he said. "Taking care of kids, taking care of me."
He also said that the McCaskey family, who own the Bears, gave him the ball from the play that injured him and did everything they could to ease the process.
According to Miller, however, all of it will end in his return. "I can't wait to get there," he said, referring to the Bears' facilities. "Give a lot of people some hugs."
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