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Broncos Activate OLB Bradley Chubb Off Injured Reserve

The Broncos are activating their No. 1 pass rusher after two months on injured reserve.

The Denver Broncos 'started the clock' on fourth-year rush linebacker Bradley Chubb earlier this week, green-lighting him to return to the practice field off injured reserve. Each day, the returns out of Dove Valley were positive as Chubb held up well to the rigors of practice. 

Still, Friday saw head coach Vic Fangio offer up "50/50" odds that Chubb would play on Sunday vs. the Los Angeles Chargers. The Broncos plan to make a gameday decision on Chubb's availability but in order to be eligible to play, he'd have to be activated no later than Saturday. 

Saturday arrived and the Broncos have announced that Chubb has officially been activated to the 53-man roster. 

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Does that guarantee that he'll play on Sunday? Not necessarily, but it's a very positive harbinger. 

However, if Chubb plays, Fangio said earlier this week that he'd be on a pitch count. 

“He wouldn’t be full go," Fangio said Friday. "We’d try and pace him and keep track of his snaps as we go.” 

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Chubb made his 2021 debut in Week 2's road victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars before further aggravating the ankle that caused him to miss the season-opener. Following a procedure to clean up the issue, he's been on IR ever since. 

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A 202 Pro Bowl selection, Chubb has started all 35 games he's appeared in since arriving as the team's No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft out of N.C. State. He's totaled 124 tackles (84 solo), 20.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two tipped passes in his career.  

With Von Miller playing elsewhere, Chubb now is the Broncos' leader in sacks among active players. Malik Reed and Jonathon Cooper have put up a valiant effort post-Miller but neither possesses the well-rounded skill-set that Chubb does. Even on a pitch count, Chubb's presence could be game-changing. 

Keep in mind, though, the Broncos will work Chubb out pre-game. If there's any sign he's not ready, the team won't risk putting him out there too early again. Activating him now gives the Broncos the prerogative to play him if he feels good pre-game. 

The Broncos also elevated tackle Quinn Bailey from the practice squad to the active roster for Sunday’s game against the Chargers. That means he'll be sent back down to the practice squad on Monday without being exposed to the waiver wire. 

Bailey is a first-year offensive lineman out of Arizona State University and has appeared in one game with the Broncos in each of the last three seasons while spending most of his tenure competing on the practice squad. He logged five total snaps against Philadelphia in Week 10 which was his first and only appearance in 2021.

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