The Chicago Bears announced on Friday they have placed tight end Zach Miller, who suffered a foot injury during the second quarter of the club’s win Thursday night over the Jacksonville Jaguars, on the injured reserve while signing receiver Kofi Hughes to a one-year contract.
The severity of Miller’s injury wasn’t immediately disclosed, as he was visiting a doctor Friday undergoing an MRI exam and a CT scan as the club made the announcement.
Despite the setback, Miller was still in good spirits.
Signed by the Bears last December, Miller put together a strong showing at training camp and caught six passes for 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the club’s preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. That performance led to increased repetitions for the fifth-year veteran, as the club began to experiment more with two-tight end formations which featured Martellus Bennett and Miller.
“We’ll see what happens,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said. “You guys saw him out at practice. He had an excellent camp. Things transitioned from the practice field to the games over the last couple of weeks. That was clear. We were certainly excited about what we saw.”
Backup quarterback Jordan Palmer, who played with Miller in Jacksonville in 2012, called the tight end’s situation “heartbreaking.”
“There weren’t a lot of opportunities early, but when he got those opportunities, he made the most of them,” Palmer said after Thursday’s game. “Goes in the game last week and has six catches and two touchdowns, and we’re riding high. He’s so confident. And then to get one of those injuries; it's not a work ethic injury. It’s not that he’s out of shape or has bad technique. It’s just a total bad luck injury.”
Miller played in 29 games over his first two years in the NFL (2009-10), but since 2011, he’s participated in just four contests as injuries continue to keep him sidelined. Miller hasn’t been a part of an active roster since 2011. He spent 2012 on the injured reserve in Jacksonville, and in 2013, Miller worked with Tampa Bay in the offseason, but was waived prior to the start of the regular season.