It’s the week that all of Broncos Country has been waiting for as the 2021 NFL regular season kicks off for the Denver Broncos against the New York Giants this Sunday. But for Broncos’ rush linebacker Bradley Chubb, it’s been a dreadful and long week.
On Tuesday, the 25-year-old was detained by police after a warrant for his arrest was issued due to him failing to appear in court last month. The specific details of Chubb’s legal outcome remain unclear, even after the Broncos issued a public statement on the incident.
"We are aware of the matter, which was related to an unresolved traffic issue that has now been addressed," the team's statement read.
News has yet to surface as to what ramifications will result from Chubb’s detainment, although head coach Vic Fangio all but declared the incident insignificant when comparing Chubb’s legal problems to a prominent friend in his neighborhood under similar circumstances.
“I had a good friend of mine over in Greenwood Village who’s a high-standing citizen here in the Denver area, and the same thing happened to him," Fangio said Wednesday afternoon. "He laxed on paying a traffic citation and the next thing you know, he went through the same thing that Bradley went through. Bradley’s a high-standing individual just like that guy is and it's over and done with.”
While Chubb’s traffic problems remain at large, the bigger question remains his health. After an ankle injury prematurely ended his 2020 Pro-Bowl campaign, he has battled a flare-up in the preseason which has been monitored closely by the team’s medical staff. Will Chubb play on Sunday in New York?
“It depends on how he feels when he gets out here," Fangio said. "He’ll either be limited or DNP (Did Not Practice).”
Originally drafted in the first round in 2018 (No. 5 overall), Chubb has continually battled injuries since producing a monster rookie campaign that produced 12 sacks. After recovering from an ACL tear suffered in Year 2, Chubb faced a 2020 season hampered by that ankle. Although he earned Pro Bowl honors with 7.5 sacks, the former N.C. State star is staring down the barrel of another injury-marred season.
When asked if Chubb’s ankle was bothering him more than it was a week ago, Fangio admitted it has been.
“A little bit. Yeah, it’s just been slow to come around," Fangio said.
“We’ll do the best thing for him and the team,” Fangio concluded on the subject.
Broncos Country is getting anxious and impatient to see the team's two best pass rushers on the field at the same time. Von Miller is expected to start and go full-bore against the Giants this Sunday, with or without Chubb. Opposite of the eight-time Pro Bowler will likely be Malik Reed — who’s no stranger to answering the call of duty for Denver after he led the team in sacks in 2020.
“Malik’s been the beneficiary here of the misfortunes that we’ve had in the first two years and played a lot of football," Fangio said. "So, he’ll be ready to go.”
Injuries have been a consistent thorn in the side of Chubb’s career but they're no fault of his own. While his detainment by police doesn’t necessarily help him in the court of public opinion, the Broncos' pass rusher will most definitely survive the awkward encounter from this week.
The biggest question, though, is whether Chubb can overcome his injuries and prove to be consistently available to play on gameday.
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