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Bills OLB Von Miller (ACL) feels he'll be ready to play in 2023 season opener vs. Jets

Von Miller doesn't mind putting his money where his mouth is, even when it comes to his injured knee.

The Buffalo Bills pass rusher saw his first season in Buffalo end abruptly when Miller suffered a torn ACL on Thanksgiving. But Miller is highly confident that he'll be back in top form before long, pledging that his goal is to return before the start of the 2023 NFL season.

"You know I love guarantees," Miller said, via 9 News’ Mike Klis. "It's me, it's Von. I love guarantees. I want to play. In 2013, I had (ACL) surgery in January and I played at the beginning of August in the preseason. So that put me around seven months, eight months.

"And 10 years removed from that, 2023, I have a whole new outlook. I know exactly where I'm supposed to be at two months, four months, six months and in the position where I'm at now, I feel great, I feel comfortable. I feel like I'll be ready to go at the start of the season."

Miller is setting a pretty ambitious goal entering his age-34 season: making it back for the Bills' showcase opener on Monday night in New York. Even if Miller hedged slightly on that prediction.

"I trust our GM, I trust our athletic trainers, I trust our team, our owners. Whenever it's time for me to play, I'll be ready to go," Miller said. "I want to be ready (for) Week 1 versus the Jets. Aaron Rodgers, Monday Night Football.

"But at the same time I'm not in control of that. I'm going to do everything I can physically, mentally, emotionally to be ready for that. But if it's not the first week of the season, then it won't be any longer than Week 6, for sure."

If it takes Miller until Week 6 to return, that likely means the Bills will have kept him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season. That wouldn't be the preference of either the Bills or Miller, of course, but if he can delay his return and help Buffalo come playoff time -- what the Bills signed him to a six-year, $120 million deal for and what he was unable to do a year ago -- then it will be all worth it.

And even that delayed return would allow him a chance to achieve an NFL first this season: playing against his beloved former Broncos team. Miller was holding a charity event support his Von's Vision foundation back in Colorado on Thursday when he spoke, and the Broncos still clearly hold a special place in his heart.

Miller not only still refers to the Broncos as "we" when people ask his thoughts about his team these days, but he also has previously said that he wants to take the John Elway route and become a player-turned-GM when his playing days end.

When the Bills host the Broncos in Week 10 on Monday Night Football, there might be some mixed feelings. But Miller sounds like he'll be treating it like more of a business meeting.

"I'll be ready for that, I'll be ready for that for sure'' Miller said, name checking the Broncos offensive tackles he'd be going against in his return. "(Mike) McGlinchey, Garett Bolles -- both of these guys are my guys. I'll be ready for those guys, 100%."

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