Back in May, Denver Broncos rush linebacker Bradley Chubb underwent 'a minor procedure' on his ankle to clean up a bone spur. It was the same lingering injury that caused the Pro Bowler to miss the Broncos' final two games of last season.
With the Broncos kicking off training camp on Wednesday, Chubb was out there with his teammates but he was held out of team drills. Following practice, head coach Vic Fangio explained why and what the team's plan for Chubb is moving forward.
"We want to get him in shape, because he was really not able to do much in good bit of May, [a] good bit of June," Fangio said. "So we've got to get him in shape first."
Chubb is coming off a solid third year where he posted 7.5 sacks on the way to his first NFL all-star nod. Entering Week 16, he was leading the Broncos in sacks but missing the final two contests allowed Malik Reed to leapfrog him and finish with eight.
Both young edge rushers answered the bell in the absence of superstar pass rusher Von Miller, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury on the doorstep of the Week 1 opener. It was a particularly gritty performance by Chubb because he was coming back off a torn ACL suffered in Week 4 of the 2019 season.
It took Chubb a few weeks in 2020 to get his game legs beneath him but he eventually turned the corner in Week 4. Still, despite his production on the edge, he was still testing that leg and regaining the confidence in his knee for much of the 2020 campaign.
Considering the relatively minor nature of the procedure he's currently recovering from, Broncos fans should expect to see back-to-full-strength Chubb and Miller patrolling the edges of Fangio's defense, with Reed spelling the two veterans.
"[I] did a lot of rehab on it this past couple months leading up to this, so I'm ready to go and excited for the opportunity," Chubb told the team site's Sydney Jones.
Entering Year 4, Chubb has the chance to produce a special season. As the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, he became one of about two dozen pass rushers in league history to total 12 or more sacks as a rookie.
The next year he lost mostly to injury. Year 3 saw him play at a Pro Bowl level while still getting back into the swing of things. Year 4 could see Chubb fully burst onto the scene as one of the NFL's truly premier pass rushers.
He just needs a little luck fending off the injury bug. Knock on wood.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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