Sources: Bears' Zach Miller scheduled to be released from New Orleans hospital Monday

ByChris Mortensen via ESPN logo
Sunday, November 5, 2017

Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller is scheduled to be released Monday from a New Orleans hospital, sources tell ESPN, after doctors stabilized his left leg following a catastrophic injury that required emergency surgery to repair a torn popliteal artery. The operation has been described as "heroic" by one doctor.

Miller still has remaining surgeries to repair damaged ligaments in the knee, but the primary concern was saving the leg after he suffered a lateral subluxation of the knee while attempting to make a touchdown catch against the Saints.

The injury caused major damage to the artery, which was described by sources as being "shredded from the top of the knee joint to just below it."

Bears medical personnel, led by Dr. Mark Bowen, immediately identified the potential vascular damage, and Miller was rushed to University Medical Center in New Orleans, which has a level-one trauma center. He underwent surgery in which doctors performed a saphenous vein graft to revascularize Miller's leg.

Dr. Thom Mayer, chief medical officer for the NFL Players Association, offered praise to those involved, in what has resulted in a good medical prognosis under dire circumstances.

"There are a lot of heroes in this story, starting with Zach, whose will and tenacity continue to amaze the doctors and nurses," said Dr. Mayer. "Mark Bowen, the Bears team physician, instantly recognized [Miller] needed a trauma center, and he praised the paramedics and Saints medical staff."

Mayer also cited the work of the vascular surgeons, Dr. Malachi Sheahan and Dr. Bruce Torrance, who repaired Miller's artery, saying, "Those guys are total wizards -- it takes folks who deal with trauma all the time to do what they did.

"Total team effort and a great outcome shows what happens when preparation meets skill and judgment," Mayer concluded. "It also shows how much our players put at risk every time they step on the field."