What Do You Do With a Problem Like Zach Miller?

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune comments upon the play of tight end Zach Miller:

“Miller was more or less a fullback for the first seven games of the season when he was targeted only five times in the passing game. In the last six games, he’s got 18 receptions for 278 yards and five touchdowns, including a 9-yard touchdown from Jay Cutler in the third quarter that brought the Bears within 21-14.”

“It will be interesting to see what shakes out for Miller. He’s produced in the passing game now that he’s been given an opportunity. He’s playing through a rib injury and he’s stayed on the field this season.”

The last sentence is significant. Bears fans know that Miller has had the potential to perform like this. At least those who have been paying attention. Miller performed well in the preseason of 2014 and coaches raved about how surprised they were about his athleticism and potential.

The problem with him is that he has been more often injured than on the field. The injury-riddled Miller was drafted in 2009 by the Jaguars but was released after sustaining a calf injury in the 2012 preseason after playing only four games for them in 2011. The Bears placed him on injured reserve in August of 2014 with a foot injury.

The Bears face an interesting decision on Miller. He’s clearly an asset and the Bears can’t afford to throw away good players. But they can’t give a lot of money to a player long-term if they can’t trust him to be on the field, either. With the Bears rebuilding, Miller is not someone that they can afford to invest in too heavily.

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