New Orleans Saints  


Saints TE Miller expects to miss season after suffering Achilles tendon tear

  • By Associated Press
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METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints tight end Billy Miller said Friday that he tore his right Achilles tendon during the final preseason game against the Miami Dolphins, likely ending his 10th NFL season before it started.

Miller sustained the injury during the second quarter of Thursday night's game while running a pass route. He said it felt like someone kicked him in the back of his right foot. When he looked around, no one was there, and he knew it was serious.

Billy Miller , TE
New Orleans Saints

Career Statistics
Receptions: 200
Yards: 2,248
Touchdowns: 10

Miller said he expects to have surgery as soon as Monday.

"I think it's an opportunity to get completely healthy," Miller said. "I was battling a knee and now I've got this. I'll take care of what needs to be taken care of and come back to help this team win back-to-back Super Bowls."

Miller, 32, said the thought of his career being over "does not creep in my mind at all."

Miller caught 45 passes for 579 yards and one touchdown last season, making him more productive than the more recognizable Jeremy Shockey (50 catches for 483 yards and no touchdowns).

Saints quarterback Drew Brees tried consoling Miller after Thursday's game as the tight end had to use crutches to stand while wearing a walking boot on his right foot. Brees was among a number of teammates who shared sympathetic words with Miller, and the quarterback said Friday that it felt like the team had lost a little bit of its heart and soul.

"The reason you get so emotional is because you see how much he means to the team with all the guys that go up to him and are feeling for him," Brees said. "Your heart goes out to him. You almost say 'You wish it was me and not him.' If there's one guy that did not deserve that to happen to, that was him. I'm very confident Billy Miller is going to come back and play football again, and he's going to play for the Saints."

Miller, who's entering his fourth season in New Orleans, was going to be the Saints' No. 2 tight end behind Shockey. Now the Saints likely will scour the waiver wires for a tight end or two once teams make their final cuts by Saturday's deadline.

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There's not much left behind Shockey at tight end.

Buck Ortega is the Saints' next best option, with Martrez Milner being the only other healthy body on the roster. Darnell Dinkins had missed a couple of weeks during training camp with a right ankle injury. He returned to practice Tuesday and tweaked his right foot, sidelining him again.

"I would imagine my role would increase, but it's such a shame for (Miller)," Ortega said. "He's such a big part of this team. But when someone goes down, you've got to be ready to step in. You've got to do your job because that's what's expected of you."

Meanwhile, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said the regular-season roster wouldn't reduced to the league-mandated limit of 53 until Saturday's deadline. The Saints must remove 22 players, either by waiving them or playing them on injured reserve.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press



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