Bronco Beat

Boise State safety Chanceller James injured, won't play vs. Utah State

Boise State sophomore safety Chanceller James will miss Saturday’s game against Utah State (8:21 p.m., ESPN2), coach Bryan Harsin said Monday.

He said James’ status for future games has not been determined.

James was injured on the first series last week at Wyoming. He was credited with two solo tackles and an assisted tackle on the first three plays.

James became a starter in the second half of the New Mexico game and made a key fourth-down tackle late in the game. He started the following week against San Diego State and against Wyoming.

Senior Corey Bell, whom James replaced in the lineup, and true freshman Dylan Sumner-Gardner will replace James, defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said.

“Very disappointed,” Yates said of James’ injury. “He was a guy who was playing well for us. Physical. That’s what we realized — he was a guy helping us out as far as the edge and tackling well. So he’ll be a big loss for us.”

The Broncos also will be without redshirt freshman defensive end Mat Boesen, whose suspension has now reached four games.

Meanwhile, senior linebacker Travis Saxton has been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules, Harsin said, and will not participate in Senior Day. The former walk-on from Eagle High hasn’t played since the Fresno State game on Oct. 17. He hasn’t been with the team “for a few weeks,” Harsin said.

Boise State senior wide receiver Matt Miller met with the media Monday in advance of Senior Day for the first time since his season-ending injury.

Miller sustained a high ankle sprain in his left leg Sept. 20 against Louisiana.

“I tried to play the next week and really blew up the ankle,” Miller said.

That was Sept. 27 against Air Force. Tests after that game revealed that he tore “a couple” of ligaments — it’s uncertain whether that happened with the original injury or against Air Force. Miller waited until Oct. 13 to have surgery in case the leg improved enough to convince him that he could play this season. The injury didn’t improve at all.

“If I thought I could play, I was going to play,” Miller said.

The surgery involved putting a plate in his leg. The rehab is three to six months from the surgery date, which means he won’t be healthy until at least mid-January. Doctors told him not to plan on running at the NFL Scouting Combine in February because he won’t be in shape yet. Miller’s target is to do on-field testing at Boise State’s pro day, which usually is in March but could be delayed if necessary.

Miller’s leg was in a boot Monday but he’s hoping to take it off in time for Senior Day. He can’t run, though.

Miller wouldn’t rule out the idea that he might make an appearance in the bowl game. He has the school record for career receptions but is 15 yards short of the receiving yards record. It’s possible a deal could be worked out to get him a 15-yard catch that would be nullified by a 15-yard celebration penalty.

“I never want to say never,” he said of playing one more time for the Broncos, “but the chances are pretty slim. If I’m not feeling comfortable and confident in where the ankle is, I wouldn’t play.”

Miller said working with his teammates as more of a coach has tempted him to try coaching. He also wants to get into the cattle business. He already has his business degree.

But Harsin doesn’t want him thinking about that yet.

“He’s not going to be a coach for a long time,” Harsin said, “because he’s going to play and we all know that. If coaching doesn’t get in the way of ranching, it might be a possibility for him down the road.”

More on Miller in Tuesday’s newspaper.


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