Just as tight end Zach Miller was beginning to emerge as a playmaker for the Bears, the nasty injury bug that derailed his NFL career the past few seasons struck again.
Miller was placed on injured reserve Friday after he sustained a season-ending foot injury in the second quarter of Thursday night's 20-19 preseason win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
|Zach Miller performed well in training camp and the preseason before injuring his foot against the Jaguars.|
A pleasant surprise in training camp, Miller starred in the Bears' 34-28 preseason-opening win over the Eagles last week, catching six passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Against the Jaguars, he lined up at times with the first-team offense in two-tight end formations with Martellus Bennett.
"You guys saw him out at practice," coach Marc Trestman said to reporters. "He had an excellent camp. Things transitioned from the practice field to the games over the last couple weeks. That was clear, and we were certainly excited about what we saw."
Selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round of the 2009 draft out of Nebraska-Omaha, Miller played in 33 games with five starts during his first three seasons in Jacksonville, catching 45 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns.
But injuries have kept Miller from appearing in a regular-season game since October 2011. He spent half of the 2012 campaign on injured reserve before being waived by the Buccaneers and was out of football entirely last year before signing with the Bears Dec. 30.
With Miller out, Matthew Mulligan and Dante Rosario will battle for the No. 2 spot at tight end behind Bennett. Mulligan is a powerful blocker who also has good hands and can catch the ball when called upon, while Rosario has shown that he too can contribute as both a blocker and receiver.
The Bears filled Miller's roster spot Friday by signing receiver Kofi Hughes, an undrafted rookie from Indiana who has spent time this year with the Redskins and Texans.