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Report: Broncos' Rookie CB Patrick Surtain II to Miss 'Multiple Games' with Knee Sprain

How many more hits can the Broncos withstand to their core players?

When it rains, it pours. And when it comes to the injury bug, the Denver Broncos have found themselves in a deluge for what feels like the better part of two seasons now. 

Despite the Broncos riding high on the emotional fumes of their dominant upset victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9, the injury bug jumped up and really harshed Vic Fangio's buzz. 

We learned early Monday that starting right guard Graham Glasgow will miss the rest of the season with a fractured ankle but Broncos fans have been mentally pacing in anticipation of the health status of sensational first-round rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II. 

ESPN's Jeff Legwold finally cut through the suspense Monday afternoon to report that the Broncos expect Surtain to miss "multiple games" with what is a knee sprain. 

Rookie cornerback Pat Surtain II, who was the Broncos' first-round pick this past April, will miss multiple games with what team sources said is a sprained knee. The Broncos were taking that diagnosis as good news, however, with the potential of Surtain's return to the lineup later this season.

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After a weird, but outlier-explainable 2020 campaign replete with injuries due to the pandemic, the Broncos have been unable to withstand the bite of the dreaded bug this season. The team's first nine games have seen at least one player — usually a starter — get placed on injured reserve in the immediate aftermath more often than not. 

This is bad news for the Broncos but it's not the worst-case scenario. Surtain is going to miss time but he'll be back this season. 

The question is, can the Broncos make hay without Surtain in the short term? 

Based on the returns in Dallas, the answer to that question is in the affirmative as the Broncos received good performances from multiple cornerbacks, including Ronald Darby and Nate Hairston — not to mention Kyle Fuller, whom the team benched earlier this season. 

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Fuller, in particular, was a revelation in Dallas, earning MVP honors from Mile High Huddle's Erick Trickel in his weekly, and much-anticipated, player grades article. Coach Fangio reinforced that with his review of Fuller's Week 9 performance on Monday after watching the tape of what was the veteran's first game playing the nickel.  

“There’s a guy yesterday that had never played nickel in his whole career," Fangio said. "He got a three-day crash course on it and was set to play, then he had to go to left corner first, and then he had to go to right corner, or vice versa. He was ready. Kyle is a pro. He hasn’t been happy with his role here of late. We’ve talked about it, but he was ready to go. He embraced the challenge of playing nickel with one week of preparation.”

Coming out of last week's win over the Washington Football Team, the Broncos lost starting nickel corner Bryce Callahan to IR, though the team hopes he can return in-season. Surtain's injury marks back-to-back weeks that a starting corner has gone down. 

Good thing Broncos GM George Paton didn't capitulate to outside pressure to trade Fuller before last week's deadline, huh? Paton did trade one corner, though, sending rookie Kary Vincent, Jr. to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Surtain quickly leap-frogged all other corners to become the Broncos' No. 1 guy inside the first quarter of the season. That meteoric rise was helped by injuries to vets like Michael Ojemudia (who's yet to play this season) and Darby. 

But Fangio's decision to bench Fuller was bolstered by the faith and confidence Surtain had earned in the weeks leading up to it. Credit the rookie for playing very, very well early on and quickly justifying his top-10 draft pedigree. 

The Broncos hope to get Ojemudia back in the near future and on Monday, the team activated Duke Dawson from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. If the Broncos are going to build on the momentum of their back-to-back victories and earn a third-straight win over an NFC East opponent, it's going to take the whole village. 

Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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