Bulky cast, injured thumb slowing Miller

Von Miller has sparked Denver’s defense this season just as Tim Tebow has energized the Broncos’ offense.

Like Tebow, he’s fading at the finish.

The outside linebacker and No. 2 overall pick in the draft looked like a lock for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors when he collected 10 1/2 sacks in his first 10 games.

Then, at the end of his best performance yet, a 10-tackle masterpiece at San Diego, Miller tore ligaments in his right thumb making a big play against the Chargers on Nov. 27.

He hasn’t nearly as troublesome since, collecting just a single sack this month while San Francisco’s Aldon Smith closes in on Jevon Kearse’s rookie record of 14 1/2 sacks.

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