Seahawks forced to place TE Zach Miller on injured reserve

Miller's recovery from ankle surgery wasn't going well.

Steven Bisig/Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Initially the Seattle Seahawks hoped Zach Miller’s recovery from ankle surgery would cause him to miss only a few games.

The longer Miller’s recovery took the more it seemed Wednesday’s roster move of placing him on season-ending injured reserve was the likely outcome.

"He’s going to have to have some more attention to the ankle," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It didn’t respond the way we had hoped."

Miller’s season came to an end because of the struggles he had in recovering from surgery during Seattle’s bye week after its Week 3 victory over Denver. Carroll said Miller will need a second surgery to get the problems in his ankle fully fixed.

"He’s pretty matter of fact about it. He doesn’t feel right. He’s not ready. It’s not like he’s close to getting back. It’s been a long process," Carroll said.

"He had a nasty ankle. They were hoping to not have to do a really big surgery that he would be able to respond from it to get him a chance to play this year. It just isn’t that way."

Miller’s surgery happened early enough in the season that Seattle expected he would return later in the season. Miller got to the point of running on the ground in his recovery, but could never progress any further. Miller traveled with the team for Seattle’s game at Carolina to see a specialist, but there wasn’t significant enough improvement.

Miller is in his fourth season with the Seahawks. He had six receptions for 76 yards in Seattle’s first three games this season and has been regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league. He’s been replaced by Luke Willson as the starter, but Seattle has injury worries at tight end.

Willson sprained his ankle last week against the Giants, but has hopes of playing this week, and backup Cooper Helfet has been dealing with a knee injury. Seattle has brought in veteran Tony Moeaki and RaShaun Allen to add depth at the position.

"It just seemed like the ankle, I don’t know the whole medical side, but didn’t seem like it cooperated on him. I saw Zach working every day and looked like he was pretty close," Willson said. "But I feel really comfortable in the role, just from all the experience a little bit last year and then all the games this year."