It was evident that Zach Miller’s injury, surgery, and recovery weighed heavily on the mind of Chicago Bears Head Coach John Fox when he met with the media at Halas Hall on Monday.
Fox seemed cautiously optimistic regarding his top tight end, saying Miller has “a good pulse and good feeling in his foot, not to say he’s out of the woods, but it’s as good as could be expected.” Miller’s dislocated knee was more severe than a normal knee injury, as it required urgent vascular surgery to repair an artery. Fox, who was quick to heap praise on Bears doctors for recognizing the vascular issue immediately, confirmed the repair was successful after doctors took a vein from Miller’s good leg.
But as Fox said, Miller isn’t out of the woods just yet. As Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic tweets, Fox noted Miller will remain in New Orleans for a while as he undergoes further treatment and observation. Speaking of further observation, Fox told reporters the team will turn in Miller’s overturned touchdown for further examination. Not that the league can put points back on the board, but at least the team (and Miller) could get closure on what was a disappointing reversal on what should have been an impressive touchdown catch.
On the other end of the emotional spectrum, Fox shared his disappointment regarding Jerrell Freeman’s 10-game suspension:
Fox on JF50: "We're pretty disappointed. It's something that we talk about consistently.They're responsible for what they put in their body"
— Rich Campbell (@Rich_Campbell) October 30, 2017
Freeman has been out of action since tearing a pectoral muscle in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, an injury that landed him on injured reserve in the first place. In a contrite and apologetic note shared on his Twitter page, Freeman cited the concussion he suffered in Week 1 as a reason to self-medicate, which led to his suspension.
If you’ll recall, Fox hinted the concussion Freeman suffered could have possibly played a role in a blown coverage that resulted in Austin Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown grab in Week 1. When asked about the impact of Freeman’s head injury and how it relates to the suspension, Fox didn’t have much of an answer outside of reminding the media at Halas Hall that he wasn’t a doctor.
Freeman, who was graded as an “elite” linebacker by Pro Football Focus in each of the last two seasons, won’t be eligible to return until next season – unless the Bears turn their season around and make an unexpected deep playoff run behind a rookie quarterback, an injury riddled roster, and questionable weapons on the outside. However, based on Freeman’s statement, one can’t help but wonder if Freeman will want to return at all.