Von Miller sounded as if his knee injury would only keep him out a week. Instead, he'll be sidelined for a month.
The Bills on Thursday placed Miller on injured reserve, forcing him out for at least the next four games.
Bills general manager Brandon Beane offered a brief explanation for the move, which came as a surprise after Miller said earlier in the week he believed he might be able to return within 7-10 days, ideally in time for Buffalo's Week 14 rematch with the New York Jets.
"He's been doing treatment and trying to rehab it," Beane told a pool reporter Thursday. "We don't want to rush 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 wheel it out there tonight, he would do it. We just think in talking to the medical people that the best decision right now is to give this time, and that gives him the best opportunity to help us down the stretch."
Miller's absence doesn't come at the best time in regards to Buffalo's schedule. The Bills kick off a three-game divisional stretch with a Thursday night game at New England before returning home for two straight contests against the Jets and Dolphins before traveling to Chicago on Christmas Eve to face the Bears. According to the IR timeline, though, Miller could return in time to face the Bengals on Monday Night Football in Cincinnati.
At 8-3, Buffalo is in a tight battle for the AFC East title in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and cannot afford to lose more than a few more games. Miller's absence will cause some concern, but the hope is he'll be able to rejoin his teammates for two crucial games that could decide the division.
Until then, Miller will remain focused on rest and rehab. The Bills will proceed ahead without him.