BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Von Miller’s return will have to wait a little bit longer.

The Bills placed him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list to start the season which means he’ll miss at least the first four games of the regular season.

“Yes, very tough. Debated round and round a little bit, but ultimately long season and we want Von for the stretch run and he’s as I’ve said before he’s trending up,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said on Wednesday.

“You know, I think there was a chance he would have been practicing soon, kind of working his way but he just not quite there and so we just don’t think it would have, you know the closer we got don’t think he would have been ready to immediately start the season.”

Miller is still working his way back after tearing his ACL last season on Thanksgiving in Detroit. Throughout training camp and the preseason, he was working with athletic trainers during practice and even starting wearing his helmet and thigh pads during his workouts last week.

“We’re just gonna try to play it smart and give him a little extra time so that he’s truly ready to go. Von was ready, like he’s ready to play ball and you know, you can ultimately put that one on me,” Beane explained.

With this designation, Miller can’t even begin to practice with the team until after those first four games so the earliest he could return to practice is the week of October 2nd and the first game he could play in is Sunday, October 8th against Jacksonville in London which right now, Beane isn’t ruling out Miller could be back for that game but also isn’t saying for sure he will.

“We’ll see where he’s at and where we’re at and what we need and if he’s confident and ready to roll and we feel he’s had enough in pads because you’re not gonna be able to wear pads in practice until then so that would probably be a decision we’d have to make that week once we get there,” Beane said.

Given the unique schedule of that week heading overseas and playing an international game, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills waited until the following week when they host the Giants on Sunday night football to activate him but Beane says right now, it’s a waiting game.

“We’ll get him back out there, see how he feels, see how he looks, you know he hasn’t played football since last Thanksgiving so just getting back in the flow of our defense. This was year one in that defense but all that stuff. But I know he’s gonna want to play in that game [in London], we’d be crazy not to want him out there so hopefully the stars align,” Beane explained.

In the meantime, the Bills will rely on the rest of their pass rushers to pick up the slack until he returns, guys like Greg Rousseau, Leonard Floyd, A.J. Epenesa, Shaq Lawson, just to name a few. Plus this move opened the door for someone like Kingsley Jonathan to make the 53-man roster after an impressive training camp.

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Heather Prusak is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of her work here.