Bill’s pass rusher Von Miller fielded IR with a knee injury

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Buffalo Bills placed pass-rusher Von Miller on injured reserve with a knee injury hours before the team’s game Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

Miller will miss at least the next four games after suffering a lateral meniscus damage to his right knee during the team’s Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions, according to Miller. The team’s hope, according to general manager Brandon Beane in a pool report, is that he can return this season.

“He got treatment and tried to rehabilitate it,” Beane said. “We don’t want to push him back and he’s a competitor. That’s why we love him. That’s why he’s so great. The competitor in him – if he could drive it out there tonight, he would. We just think when you talk to the medics that giving this time is the best decision right now and that gives him the best opportunity to help us along the way.

The Bills, 2-0 in the division at the start of the season, begin a three-game stretch against three AFC East opponents. He could return in Week 17 against the Cincinnati Bengals at the earliest.

“Knowing Von is still there and his personality is still there is just as good as being out there on the field if you ask me,” said defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

While the defense will be without team sack leader Miller for a key stretch, defensive ends AJ Epenesa and Greg Rousseau will return after their ankle injuries against the Patriots.

Miller said on his podcast Tuesday he’s confident he can return to the team’s game against the New York Jets next week, but Beane said Thursday’s injury reserve allows him to start Thursday night’s game for his missed games to count.

“I have some lateral meniscus damage and it needs to be fixed,” Miller said on the podcast. “But I feel like I can play through this, so I’ll just wait a bit and let the swelling go down for about 7-10 days and hopefully right before the Jets game I’ll be back.”

Miller ranks third in the NFL for quarterback pressure (38) behind Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (46) and Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (36). No other Bills player has pressed more than 12 times, with Miller’s 216 pressure gap being the largest this season in the NFL. Miller leads the Bills in sacks (eight), pass rush win rate (23.7%) and pressure percentage (14.6%).

“When I’m out there, you know I’m ready to go, and I feel absolutely confident,” Miller said.

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