Chicago Bears Zach Miller Undergoes Emergency Surgery to Save Leg: Report

October 30, 2017 Updated: October 30, 2017

Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller suffered a serious injury during Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Miller jumped and nearly caught a touchdown pass but came down very awkwardly on his left leg, buckling his knee into an unnatural position.

ESPN reported Monday that doctors are working to save Miller’s leg. Vascular surgeons were called in and repaired his leg, grafting tissue from his other leg to repair a damaged artery, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“It’s brutal, gruesome,” Bears right guard Kyle Long told the newspaper. “I didn’t watch it after I saw it the first time. To go from the elation of, ‘What a play, what a throw!’ in that situation of the game to overturn (the touchdown call) and Zach obviously being injured … it’s really unfortunate. We lost a really good guy today.”

Bears coach John Fox said Sunday that his team’s “thoughts and prayers are with him,” ESPN reported.

A number of players around the NFL tweeted about Miller’s medical situation.

Regarding his injury, Dr. Andrew Hoel, a vascular surgeon and assistant professor at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine, told the Tribune that he saw Miller’s injury.

“With this type of injury, the knee is dislocated or it goes the wrong direction from where it’s supposed to turn,” he told the paper. “And directly behind the knee is the popliteal artery, the main artery that gives blood flow down to the remainder of the lower part of the leg and the foot. The popliteal in this type of injury can get stretched or torn, and so … the person or patient can lose blood flow to the lower leg as a result.”

Hoel added: “Part of what happens is the knee joint basically slides along itself, pushing against the artery causing it to stretch even more. If that backward flexion or hyperextension of the knee is severe, it can really stretch the artery, which is in a relatively small confined space behind the knee.”