The 6-5 Denver Broncos will need Pro Bowl rush linebacker Bradley Chubb to make some strides this week with a primetime battle vs. the dreaded Kansas City Chiefs next up on the schedule. Chubb lost his pass-rushing mentor and partner when Von Miller was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and when that happened — while he was still rehabbing on injured reserve — it served as a shot of motivation.
"I honestly think it was like a kick in the butt," Chubb told 9NEWS' Mike Klis last week. "Von when he was here he did so many things. Super Bowl MVPs, 20 sacks, 10 sacks and doing that consistently."
When Miller and Chubb were on the field together, it was magical. Unfortunately, outside of Chubb's rookie year in 2018, those moments where both were healthy and available were few and far between, though the two totaled 26.5 sacks together that year.
It's time for the torch to be passed to Chubb. The best way to create his own Mile High legend, sooner rather than later, is to go out there on the biggest stage the Broncos will get this regular season and produce like a star — just like his friend and mentor did so many times in the Orange and Blue.
For now, Vic Fangio and the Broncos are emphatically happy to have Chubb back in the lineup, even if he might remain on a pitch count of sorts for the next few games. With a stretch run on the horizon, Chubb's return couldn't have come at a better time.
“It was great to have him back," Fangio said Sunday post-game. "We’re thrilled to have him back. We love the guy. He’s a great player. I’m glad he got this under his belt and hopefully, bigger and better things are coming.”
Chubb returned to the field on Sunday in the Broncos' 28-13 win over the Los Angeles Chargers. It was Chubb's first action since Week 2.
The former No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 draft missed the season-opener, aggravated an injury in Week 2, and spent the ensuing nine weeks on injured reserve after undergoing a procedure on his ankle. A few weeks removed from Von Miller being traded away, suffice to say, the Broncos were dying for Chubb's help.
Against the Chargers, Chubb played 30 snaps. Being on the field for 42% of Denver's defensive snaps, he was unable to crack the stat column, however, he did impact the game in a big way, especially by drawing double-team attention from the opponent's offensive line, which freed up other rushers, like McTelvin Agim, to get home and sack the quarterback.
With Chubb getting his beak wet again, head coach Vic Fangio was thrilled with what he saw on Sunday and knows the best is yet to come.
“I thought he did [well]," Fangio said of Chubb on Monday. "Obviously for him to play for the first time—I really don’t even count the handful of plays he got against Jacksonville as plays for this year. Basically, he played for the first time in my mind since our 14th game last year. He was rusty. That’s what he told me. It was great to get out there, knock off a good bit of that rust. Hopefully, he’ll make big strides this week.”
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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