A source told ESPN the team is “cautiously optimistic” that Miller was able to avoid serious damage but will have to see what further tests reveal.
“I don’t know,” coach Sean McDermott said when asked about Miller’s status. “I only connected with [head athletic trainer] Nate [Breske] at halftime, so I don’t have anything to give you on that.”
Miller suffered the injury with less than three minutes remaining in the first half when he appeared to get rolled up on a first-and-10 play at the Bills’ 16-yard line. He quickly went to a knee and spent a couple of minutes talking to trainers on the field. He spent several minutes in the medical tent on the sideline before being carted off and taken to the locker room.
Miller was seen exiting the X-ray room at Ford Field by ESPN and walked slowly to the team’s locker room. He did not have a walking boot on his foot and was not using crutches.
Detroit went on to score a touchdown on the drive before Bills kicker Tyler Bass made a 47-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead at halftime.
Miller is in his first year with the Bills and 12th in the NFL. He leads the team in sacks with eight. He had one tackle and one quarterback hit before leaving the game. Miller entered Week 12 ranked second in the NFL with 37 pressures, trailing only Micah Parsons (44).
The injury comes at a tough time for a thin Bills defensive end group. Both Greg Rousseau and A.J. Epenesa, the team’s top pass-rushers after Miller, were inactive for the game with ankle injuries. The remaining defensive ends active for the Bills were Shaq Lawson, Boogie Basham and practice squad player Mike Love, who was elevated for the game.
“Next man up,” Lawson said. “… We were just staying, ‘Hey bro, it’s our opportunity.'”
Without Miller, the defense generated pressure on 32% of Lions quarterback Jared Goff‘s dropbacks, while blitzing 59% of the time. Prior to Miller leaving the game, the defense pressured Goff 18% of the time while blitzing on 24% of dropbacks.
The defense found considerable success from the inside. Defensive tackles Ed Oliver and DaQuan Jones were responsible for the team’s only sacks and each had two quarterback hits. They combined for three tackles for loss. Oliver’s sack resulted in a safety and he also forced a fumble and recovered it.
“I really don’t know the status of what Von is going through, but if he misses a couple games or whatever or if he’s playing next week, I just hope he’s still around,” defensive tackle Ed Oliver said. “I hope his presence, I hope he’s still leading us from the sidelines. You got a guy like that, it don’t matter whether he playing, watching or coaching. It don’t matter. Just having his presence, having his positive energy, the way he carry himself, like the messages that he portray to us. And just having a guy like that around is infectious.”
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report