By Romi Bean

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Losing a key player the week of a season opener is frustrating at the best of times. Losing Von Miller the week of the season opener is simply devastating

“Without a doubt, it’s a punch in the gut for everybody, just knowing how good of a teammate he is and how good of a leader he is for this team,” quarterback Drew Lock said.

“Losing Von is, it’s tough. It’s difficult. I think the thing that hits home the most is seeing how much he prepped for this year and how much hard work he put into it. Being out there with him during camp and leading up to the first game, you could just tell like he took another—at least since I’ve been here with him—I could just see there was a difference in his approach and his demeanor to this season, on the field, off the field,” safety Justin Simmons said.

(Credit: CBS)

Von Miller isn’t someone who can just be replaced by a new name on the roster. Just attempting to replace all that Miller brings will take the efforts of the entire team.

“The whole team has to pick up the void. It’s not the player that ends up playing for him. It’s not the defense, it’s not the offense, it’s not the special teams, it’s everybody. When you lose a player of that caliber, everybody has to pick up the slack in all facets—on the field, off the field and in the locker room,” Vic Fangio said.

As sad as the team is to lose Von for the foreseeable future, they are more upset because of how hard Miller worked to have his best season yet.

“I was sad when it happened for a lot of reasons, mainly for Von. Von has had a hell of an offseason. I could just tell by the way we were talking and the things he was doing, that he had the mindset that he was going to come out and have a hell of a season. When we finally did get back together, it was true. I’m sad that he’s not going to be able to get the season that he worked for because it would have been fun to watch for me, for him, for you and for everybody,” Fangio said.

Unfortunately, there’s no time to sit and feel sorry. The Broncos know, the show must go on.

“You have to acknowledge the loss and you have to acknowledge your sadness on a personal level, but we can go out and still play winning football. We talked about that today and we’ll move forward while never forgetting Von and hoping that he returns at some point this year,” Fangio said.

“It hurts our team and our spirits with just how much we cared for the guy. Life goes on. He’s going to work to get back on the field as fast as possible and we have to work to win games,” Lock said.

Romi Bean