Injured Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller was scheduled to be released Monday from New Orleans' University Medical Center, where he has been since Oct. 29.
In the Bears' game that day against the Saints, Miller suffered a left knee that was dislocated so badly it severed his popliteal artery. Doctors performed emergency surgery to repair the artery and save Miller's leg from potential amputation.
He still needs additional surgeries to repair torn ligaments.
Bears coach John Fox spoke with Miller on Monday morning and received positive feedback.
"Things have gone really well, and they're getting pretty close to transporting him here to the Chicago area," Fox said. "He and his family are excited about that happening sooner rather than later."
In his first statement since the injury, Miller on Monday wrote on Twitter:
"I understand the challenges ahead, but the amount of love and support I have from all of you is beyond inspiring. I thank God everyday for this life! I ask for your continued prayers and blessings! You are the best family, friends and fans in the world! I have been down before and I will do whatever it takes to get back up!"
Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks visited Miller last week during the bye.
"Just wanted to let him know his boys are still here thinking about him," Hicks said. "He looked good. He was in good spirits and doing what he had to do to make sure he got better.
"I came in there talking trash to him. He's a pretty boy, so he always has his hair slicked back and stuff. He had his beard looking all rough and grungy and I was like, 'Man I've never seen you ugly.' He laughed. Good stuff."
The Bears stumbled home with a 1-7 record in the second half last season and finished 3-5 in the second half of 2015, John Fox's first year as coach.
Fox believes this year's team is better prepared to finish stronger.
"We're probably a little bit more whole than we were for sure last season," he said. "We still had interesting changes in lineups, in particular in the offensive line (last year). Hopefully we can stay a little bit more consistent as far as lineups. When we are, we win."
Turning the tables:
After the 1992 season, Mike Ditka's last as their head coach, the Bears held a 23-game edge in their long-running series with the Green Bay Packers.
But the Packers have dominated the series for the past 24 years, which coincides with the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers eras, and they now hold a one-game edge.
At the end of the 1992 season, the Bears were up 81-58-8. Since then, the Packers have a 37-13 advantage, and the series now stands at 95-94-6 in their favor.
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