ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Sean McDermott has had to use the phrase ‘next man up’ a lot this season.
However, the Bills will need to be up for a larger challenge with the loss of star pass-rusher Von Miller after it was announced on Wednesday that he will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Miller has arguably been the team’s most important defensive player, with a team-leading six sacks on the season and 10 tackles, good for second on the team. Now, the Bills will have to have that ‘next man up’ mentality.
“I think Sean and the coaches have done a great job of having the next man ready to roll,” general manager Brandon Beane said. “That whole thing that Von brought about ‘don’t blink,’ guys have done a great job. We’ve had some bumps and not everything’s been pretty, but it’s part of the deal.”
In Miller’s place, Greg Rosseau is expected to play a bigger role up front. In nine games this season, Rosseau has recorded five sacks. In addition, Shaq Lawson, Boogie Basham and AJ Epenesa could all see expanded roles starting with the team’s game on Sunday against the New York Jets.
“We believe in these guys and I think when their number has been called, I think they’ve all shown improvement this year,” Beane said.
Meanwhile, Miller’s presence and leadership will still be helpful for the team off the field.
“Obviously sucks losing him, a guy of his caliber, what he came here top do – help this team out,” quarterback Josh Allen said. “I don’t know when he’s coming back, but he’s coming back, and just to have his presence in the locker room and teaching guys still, I think that’s going to be a big help for us.”
As for other injury updates, linebacker Matt Milano did not practice Wednesday due to a knee injury, while defensive tackle Jordan Phillips sat due to an ankle injury. Offensive lineman Dion Dawkins did practice through an ankle injury that kept him out of the team’s win on December 1 against the New England Patriots.