Broncos quarterback Joe Flacco will be placed on injured reserve with a bulging disc in his neck, a move that will end his season after just eight games. The veteran quarterback received second opinions from Dr. Jack Kelley and Dr. Robert Watkins on Thursday, reviews that confirmed the Broncos’ team doctors’ initial prognosis of 4-6 weeks.
Despite the move to place Flacco on IR, the injury will not require surgery and is not considered career-threatening.
Flacco was seen getting his neck worked on extensively by the Broncos medical staff in between series during the second half of Denver’s 15-13 loss to the Colts on Sunday. When asked about it after the game, Flacco mentioned he first began feeling pain in his neck “a couple of weeks ago.”
Flacco has underwhelmed his first season with Denver after arriving as a free agent from the Ravens in the offseason. He has just over 1,800 passing yards, a 65.3 completion percentage, six touchdowns, five interceptions and a quarterback rating of 85.1. He has also taken 26 sacks in his eight starts.
Third-year signal-caller Brandon Allen, whom the Broncos claimed off waivers from the Rams before the start of the season, will take his first NFL snaps in his first NFL start on Sunday. Denver’s choice of backup is Brett Rypien, who was promoted from the practice squad. The Broncos also have rookie quarterback Drew Lock on IR but chose not to activate him this week. They have one designated roster spot remaining for a player to return from IR.
The Broncos (2-6) host the Browns (2-5) in Denver this Sunday.