On Tuesday, Chicago Bears’ tight end Zach Miller retired from the NFL. Within the past two weeks, Miller was still pondering a return from a gruesome leg injury in 2017. However, the veteran tight end decided to call it a career at 34-years-old.
“The time has come to move on from playing the game of football,” Miller wrote. “It has been an incredible journey for myself and my entire family and we can’t thank you enough for your continued support. I would love more than anything to step on Soldier Field one last time but I physically cannot give the game and our fans what they deserve.”
Miller joined the NFL with Jacksonville Jaguars as a sixth round pick in 2009. Although Miller appeared in 29 of his first 32 regular season games with the Jacksonville Jaguars, injuries really limited his career before it got started. From 2011-14, Miller appeared in four total games. He missed the entire seasons from 2012-14. He played those four games with the Jaguars in 2011. As a result, Miller had 45 receptions for 470 yards and 4 touchdowns during his stint with the squad.
He reemerged with the Chicago Bears in 2014. Yet, Miller didn’t make an impact until the 2015 season with the Bears. At that point, he caught a career high 34 passes for 439 yards and 5 touchdowns. Miller followed up his career season with 47 receptions for 486 yards and 4 touchdowns. He produced a career high 48.6 reception yards per game. During the 2017 season, Miller was on pace for another 40-reception season. However, the leg injury cut his season short. In fact, it was the last time we saw Miller on an NFL field as a player.
He fought hard to return to the field. It was even more impressive that Miller was able to get all the way healthy after his final injury. Now, he will have no shortage of opportunities, whether it’s in media or coaching.
Miller leaves the game with 146 receptions for 1,631 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played in 66 total games and never played a full 16-game season. Interestingly enough, Miller played in 33 games each with the Jaguars and Bears.