It's all fun and games until somebody gets hurt, and for the fourth time this season for the Denver Broncos, somebody got hurt — and a starter at that.
In the second quarter of Week 2's action, rush linebacker Bradley Chubb was trying to turn the corner to get to Jaguars' quarterback Trevor Lawrence when the pain got too much to handle any further, leading to him being removed from the game.
It was clear that Chubb was frustrated beyond belief as he slammed his fist on the ground as the trainers helped him off the field.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the Broncos confirmed that the fourth-year Chubb will undergo a second ankle surgery to clear up some bone spurs, this time to the opposite ankle that was operated on in late May.
According to KOARadio's insider Benjamin Allbright, the Broncos are "cautiously optimistic" that Chubb will only miss 6-8 weeks after his Wednesday surgery and that he will be able to return to action later this season following a stint on the short-term injured reserve list. However, that timetable could extend even further than that.
On the heels of Week 1, the Broncos saw cornerback Ronald Darby shelved with a hamstring injury and wideout Jerry Jeudy with an ankle. Denver watched as another key defensive starter went down alongside Chubb in Week 2 in linebacker Josey Jewell with a torn pectoral muscle.
Chubb missed almost all of the offseason training program as he recovered from the first surgery and has now aggravated the other ankle after being cleared by trainers for activity. He missed the season-opener against the New York Giants, as well as a lot of practice time leading up to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars this past Sunday.
The Broncos were wise to keep five edge defenders on the roster at the onset of the season. In Chubb's stead, Malik Reed will be the first man up in the rotation, followed by a pair of rookie standouts in Jonathon Cooper and Andre Mintze.
Reed lead the team in sacks last season and has shown major improvements in setting the edge in the running game this season. Cooper, a seventh-round pick last April, made several flash plays in training camp, getting after the passer while starring in the preseason.
Mintze flashed enough to earn a roster spot, becoming the 17th undrafted free agent in the past 18 seasons to make the Broncos' opening-day roster.
Denver should be in good shape with the depth of the roster, but this is a major blow to a defense that figures to be at the top of the league this season. More information on Chubb's timetable will be known later this week.
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