WARE, England (AP) — Buffalo Bills edge rusher Von Miller says it’s a “safe bet” that he’ll make his season debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Miller, who sustained a knee injury last November, said Friday there’s a “94 1/2 percent” likelihood of him suiting up at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. His official status for the game was listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report.
“I am excited to play American football in front this crowd,” said Miller, the NFL’s active leader in sacks.
Miller’s return — even on a limited basis — could provide a boost for coach Sean McDermott’s defense after end Greg Rousseau was ruled out Friday because of a foot injury.
McDermott had earlier said it was “one day at a time” with Miller, but the 13-year veteran was far more optimistic in a session with reporters that included him voicing various accents he’s encountered in his prior visits to the country.
“It’s been a long road to recovery,” he said. “I’ve had two really good practices. Had a really good practice today. I think it’s a safe bet that I’ll be out there.”
Miller envisions playing “a couple of snaps and try to contribute,” which likely would come in 3rd-and-long or obvious pass situations.
“I have so much respect for this sport. You just can’t jump right in. I expect to just put my toe in a little bit and then work my way out to the deep end and start swimming,” Miller said. “I’m sure it will take some time for me to get where I want to be.”
The Bills defense is “playing lights out,” he added. “I’m not coming in to save the team or anything like that.”
Miller returned to practice this week for the first time in over 10 months. He tore a ligament and sustained cartilage damage in his right knee during a win at Detroit last Thanksgiving Day.
Under NFL rules, Miller opened a three-week window in which he’s allowed to practice before he’s required to be activated or returned to the injured list.
Rousseau had two sacks in Buffalo’s 48-20 win over the Miami Dolphins but hasn’t practiced this week. He has three sacks on the season and one forced fumble.
The Bills arrived in the British capital on Friday.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen said he’s “not a coffee guy” but indulged because he was trying to get adjusted after an overnight flight.
“I’m caffeined out right now, sweating a little bit,” Allen said after the team’s walk-through practice on the grounds of The Grove hotel north of London. “Our guys are telling us to stay up today.”
Allen said he didn’t sleep much on the flight.
“I’m tired right now,” he said. “We’ve been listening to our sports science staff that’s in-house and trusting what they’re saying, and just trying to make sure that our body clocks are aligned to the time zone here.”
The Jags have been in town for a week as part of their back-to-back games in London — a first for an NFL team.
McDermott this week has suggested that’s an advantage for Jacksonville, and he took another jab on Friday when asked if the Bills feel like it’s a “home” game — which it is, technically.
“Those are the things we can’t control, the number of games they played here, their comfort level, them being here a full week ahead of us or so, week-and-a-half maybe,” he said. “We focus on the things that we can control.”
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs said he doesn’t need much shut-eye.
“I’m fine, I’m ready to go,” he said. “I could play right now if I had to.”
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