Bears' Miller shares emotional story behind horrific leg injury
Zach Miller opened up about what happened in the Chicago Bears' game against the New Orleans when he went down with a scary leg injury.
The NFL community seemed to stop after Bears tight end Miller suffered a horrific injury, which resulted in emergency vascular surgery on October 29 to repair a torn popliteal artery in his dislocated left knee.
In a video produced by the Bears, Miller shared his emotional story for the first time about what happened during a play that would ultimately change his career.
When the injury initially happened, Miller said he heard his leg "pop," but he did not think it was that bad.
"All I know is I was running a corner route, and when that DB came in and I got off on him, I knew I was gone," Miller said. "I felt my leg pop. I wasn't sure it was that bad. I knew I had an injury, but in my mind it was just hold onto the ball as long as you can."
"I just remember telling the doc, 'Save my leg, please.'"-- Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 8, 2017
Zach Miller shares his emotional story, daily motivation and inspirational outlook. pic.twitter.com/CVbd5BvAeb
The injury happened in the third quarter of the game when Miller made an incredible one-handed catch in the end zone. The play was initially ruled a touchdown, but a replay review overturned the call as he was carted off the field with his leg in an aircast.
"I knew it was pretty severe, but I wasn't in pain," Miller said. "I was actually calm. When Nate [Breske], our head trainer got there, I remember looking at him. I was grabbing my facemask and I said, 'My knee's gone bro,' I could tell something was different."
The Bears' medical staff and athletic trainers responded immediately and a decision had to be made on which hospital Miller would go to.
Miller expressed appreciation for assistant athletic trainer Sid Dreyer, who took control of the situation and made the decision, which could have meant the difference between saving his leg due to timing.
"The Level I trauma center that I was at was actually four or five minutes from the stadium," Miller said. "By the time we make that trip to the other one, they diagnose me, I would have had to go back to the Level I trauma that I already went to, so Sid's my hero. He saved my leg."
"I just remember telling the doc, 'Save my leg please,'" Miller added.
Miller spoke very emotionally about the outpouring of support he has received since his injury, which he says has helped him accept what happened and begin the recovery process.
"It's worldwide," Miller said of the support. "It touches you. Why do I deserve all that?"
Miller still has a long road ahead of him as he recovers, but he already said he cannot wait to get back out on the field and "give a lot of people some hugs."