Bills’ Von Miller will still be on the PUP roster, miss the first 4 games, sources say: Who will fill in?

Buffalo Bills forward Von Miller will open the regular season on the active/unable to perform list, according to league sources. Here’s what you need to know:

the athleteInstant Analysis:

Buffalo maintains the conservative approach

The Bills’ decision to keep Miller on the PUP roster was an affirmation of how they had dealt with their long-term injuries in the past. The Bills have been wary and conservative about these players’ comebacks, as top linebacker Tre’Davious White didn’t return to play from a torn ACL until almost a year later. Both the team and the player said they wanted Miller to be healthy and available throughout the season and the playoffs, so taking the pressure off Miller to get on the field right away was a calculated tactic. — Buscaglia

Who will replace Miller?

Although the Bills will be without Miller for at least the first four weeks, they have prepared for that scenario with their offseason dealings and built a deep and talented group. They brought in veteran passing quarterback Leonard Floyd after the draft to help handle exactly that scenario, and he’ll be paired with third-year standout Greg Russo. Russo looked poised to break through in 2022 before a sprained ankle derailed the rest of the season. After Basham is traded to the Giants, the Bills’ two best rotating defensive ends will be AJ Epenesa and Shaq Lawson, two players who have previously started with them. — Buscaglia

Why did Bills make this move now?

Miller was not signed to help the Bills win games in September, but in January and February. Their first four games were against the Jets, Raiders, Chiefs, and Dolphins. There are certainly important games to come, but with no pre-season shots and pads only a week away, Miller’s ability to contribute will be severely restricted.

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Miller was signed almost specifically to get over the post-season hump, when the Bills need their highest rush in peak performance. Being patient now will help make this happen.

Buffalo has a tough schedule from start to finish, including games in Cincinnati in Week 9, Philadelphia in Week 12, Kansas City in Week 14 and the Chargers in Week 15. That’s a lot of top quarterback talent that needs a full head start chasing.

The Bills should believe they have the ability to handle their rushing needs by not only shelving Miller for at least four games, but also trading a 2021 second-round pick Boogie Basham. Although Basham did not make it to the draft level and did not start He only missed one match last year. He played 65 percent and 76 percent defensive snaps in the Week 10 and 11 wins over Cleveland and Detroit. In the narrow win over Miami, he had five tackles, a sack and two quarterback hits while shooting a 49 percent shooting percentage.

Brandon Bean’s willingness to trade him underscores that the Bills have either been satisfied with Floyd, Russo and Ebenesa this summer, or are comfortable with what is to come today from other clubs. — Graham

Dramatic story

Miller came to the Bills via free agency in March 2022 after winning a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams during the 2021 season. The Denver Broncos traded Miller to Los Angeles midway through the 2021 season.

He appears on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 123 1/2 sacks, three first-team All-Pro nods, eight Pro Bowl trips, and two Super Bowl honors.

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(Photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today)

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