Updated: February 3, 2011, 10:55 AM ET

Broken Collarbone Sidelines Pittsburgh's Miller For Sunday

Freak accidents plague the Steelers as veteran tight end falls from mechanical bull

By Walter Winchell

Billy Bob's TexasCourtesy of Dallas Morning NewsBilly Bob's Texas, a legendary Fort Worth resturant and entertainment center located approximatly 15 minutes from Dallas, was the evening destination of Pittsburgh Tight End Heath Miller and several teammates on Wednesday.

FORT WORTH, Texas - Before long, the NFL may change the title of Sunday's NFL championship game from "The Super Bowl" to "The Green Bay Packers vs The Replacements." A foolish suggestion perhaps, but not as implausible as it may have been 72 hours ago, as another freak injury has struck a key member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tight end Heath Miller sustained a broken collarbone Wednesday night at Billy Bob's Texas, a Fort Worth restaurant, while riding the locally-famous Billy Bob Mechanical Bull. Miller landed awkwardly when he was thrown off of the violently bucking life-like animal, suffering the injury despite significant padding surrounding the device.

It is the first serious injury in the more than 5 years this mechanical bull has been in place, said Billy Bob's general manager, Jim Mayfield.

"We have on average 200-300 riders every week," Mayfield said. "We've had a few sore wrists, and a lot of sore egos, but never a broken bone."

Heath Miller
AP photoHeath Miller caught 118 passes for more than 1300 yards and 8 touchdowns over the past 2 seasons.

The Steelers lead physician and orthopedic specialist Dr. James P. Bradley told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday that Millers' injury will certainly prevent him from playing in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday.

"Heath's range of motion is severely limited by the fracture, and any direct contact, no matter how much padding is added, is very painful," Bradley said.

Billy Bob's Mechanical Bull
Courtesy of Dallas Morning NewsThe locally famous Billy Bob Mechanical Bull, which Miller attempted to ride on Wednesday night before being thrown to the ground.

The injury leaves the Steelers with only two healthy tight ends, Matt Spaeth and David Johnson. Neither have the experience of the 6-year veteran Miller, who caught 118 passes for 1301 yards and 8 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Combined, Spaeth and Johnson have caught just 20 passes for 160 yards and only 2 touchdowns in the same time span.

The injury is the fourth freak accident to beset the Steelers in 72 hours. Yesterday, Yahoo! Sports reported that wide receiver Hines Ward was hit in the eye by an icy snowball while exiting the on-campus indoor practice facilty at Texas Christian University. On Tuesday, it was reported that kicker Shaun Suisham slipped and fell on icy steps outside of his Pittsburgh residence, severely spraining his ankle and sidelining him for the game. On Monday, NFL.com reported that linebacker James Harrison would miss Sunday's game due to severe 1st & 2nd degree burns he sustained after falling asleep on a beach in Hawaii during the Pro Bowl weekend.

Walter Winchell is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at wwinchellespn@gmail.com.