But the Rams' head trainer, Jim Anderson, says the decision to put Miller in the game was made only after extensive testing. "Chris could have started," says Anderson. "He was cleared medically to play prior to the game. The decision to put him in at that time was not made on the sidelines."
Following the game, which the Rams won 27-21, Miller drove Jennifer to Planet Hollywood in Costa Mesa, a 20-minute trip from Anaheim Stadium that he had made four or five times this season, his first with Los Angeles. His agent, Frank Bauer, followed in a second car. Miller got lost on the way.
After dinner Miller left Planet Hollywood in his car, and Jennifer and Bauer went in the other car, heading for the Miller home in Newport Beach, a 10-minute drive from Planet Hollywood. A half-hour later Miller found himself driving on surface streets near Anaheim Stadium, and not at all certain how he got there. The stadium is east of Planet Hollywood; the Millers' house is west. He called home. "I'm totally lost," he told a worried Jennifer, who was waiting for him in Newport Beach. "I'll be home in a while."
"Altogether," he says now, "I guess it was two, two and a half weeks before the concussion cleared completely. I had two CAT scans, three or four MRIs and one test [an electroencephalogram, which measures brain-wave activity] where they stuck 22 needles all over my scalp and head. That makes you start thinking."
Thinking, perhaps, about retiring to Oregon? "I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about that," he says. "This game's a roller coaster of emotions. At one point you think, This is crazy. Why am I doing this? I want to be in good health for my children. Earlier this year I was on the phone with my financial guy [Miller is in the first year of a three-year, $9 million nonguaranteed contract], and I asked him how I would stand financially at the end of this contract. A few weeks ago I was asking him for a rundown on how I would stand after this season.
"But then you get back on the field, and you're with the guys—hanging out, partying—and you play a game like the one we played at San Francisco, where you come so close to beating the Niners at Candlestick [31-27], and the game is so much fun. I'm not ready to leave it."
Two weeks after the 49er thriller, Miller experienced his second concussion, in the Rams' second meeting with the Saints. "I got rag-dolled," says Miller.
Just as it sounds, Miller was flung to the Anaheim Stadium grass, landing on the side of his head. "They had to crack six or seven vials of smelling salts," he says. Eventually, Miller got up and walked away. Will he be so lucky this Sunday?