Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller had to undergo emergency surgery in a New Orleans hospital as doctors struggled to save his left leg following a devastating accident during a game Sunday.
Fans in the stands and watching on TV were horrified to see Miller's knee torque at an extreme angle as he landed hard on the ground after snatching a pass from the air in a game against the New Orleans Saints.
Miller needed vascular surgery on the badly dislocated knee. A vein from his right leg was used to make the repair, according to Bears coach John Fox.
ESPN reported that Miller could lose the leg if the repairs are unsuccessful. Doctors were satisfied with the surgery at the University Medical Center New Orleans but are continuing to monitor Miller's progress.
"Right now, the report is that it will take a while to make sure he remains good," Fox was quoted as saying on the NFL website. "He's got a good pulse in his leg [and] has good feeling — his foot is warm, which is a good sign. I'm not saying he's out of the woods by any stretch but it's as good as it can be expected at this point."
Miller's grab was initially considered a touchdown, but it was overturned as incomplete by replay officials, angering Miller's fans and teammates — and disappointing Miller. Presumably he let go of the ball because he was in agony. The Bears lost, 12-20.
Fox said that when he talked to Miller, "he pretty much wanted his touchdown back, but he was in good spirits."