CHICAGO -- Finally, it seemed Zach Miller conquered all the injuries that were derailing his NFL career, only to watch it come crashing down Thursday during Chicago’s 20-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Playing against the team that drafted him in 2009, Miller suffered a foot injury during the second quarter and was carted off the field. Bears quarterback Jordan Palmer, once a teammate of Miller’s in Jacksonville, called the injury “heartbreaking.”
“Zach is a guy I’ve been trying to spread the word on,” Palmer explained. “I tried to get Arizona to get him last year. He’s worked so hard. He was dealt a really bad hand last year, and he just worked through it. I talked to him throughout the whole process. He’s one of my best buddies. He’s had an unbelievable camp. This is the kind of camp when you come off the streets, this is the kind of camp you dream of.”
Perhaps it is now a nightmare for Miller.
Making his Chicago Bears debut against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, Miller caught six passes for 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Prior to that, Miller had impressed the coaching staff by taking advantage of every repetition given to him, and those snaps certainly increased when tight end Martellus Bennett was suspended indefinitely.
Miller wasn’t available to speak with the media after the game. At halftime, Miller received X-rays, but was expected to undergo more tests later.
“You’re patient. There weren’t a lot of opportunities early, but when he got those opportunities, he made the most of them,” Palmer said. “Goes in the game last week and has six catches and two touchdowns, and we’re riding high. He’s so confident. And then to get one of those injuries; it's not a work-ethic injury. It’s not that he’s out of shape or has bad technique. It’s just a total bad luck injury.”
Miller played in 29 games over his first two years in the NFL, but since 2011, he’s participated in just four contests.
Bears coach Marc Trestman said the club would know more Friday about the extent of Miller’s injury.
“He’s going to rehab and do everything they ask him to do, and he’s going to contribute somewhere,” Palmer said. “If it’s here, hopefully he comes back. Whatever his situation is, he’s going to play a long time in this league because he is a great player.”