Just when Denver Broncos fans hoped it was safe to exhale, the injury bug struck again. In Denver's Week 8 win over the Washington Football Team, starting slot cornerback Bryce Callahan suffered a knee injury and did not return.
Since then, all the headlines have revolved around the blockbuster Von Miller trade, along with the rumors of a locker room rift as a result of the star pass rusher's Halloween party. One of the most important storylines to what remains of the Broncos' season has kind of flown under the radar: the health of the team's nickel corner.
On Wednesday, 9NEWS' Mike Klis reported that Callahan is going to miss significant time and is headed to short-term injured reserve.
"Per source, CB Bryce Callahan is headed to short-term IR with knee injury. For now, Broncos don't think it's a surgical deal but he's missing significant time," Klis tweeted.
In what marks his third year with the Broncos and seventh season since entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Rice, Callahan will once again fail to appear in all the games. He missed the entirety of his first season as a Bronco in 2019 with a foot injury, and at the tail end of a very strong, Pro-Bowl-caliber Year 2 in Denver, he missed the last month with another foot.
Callahan played starter's snaps in all eight of this season's games and once again turned in a fine body of work. But the diminutive but scrappy nickel just can't stay on the field.
With a $6.5 million base salary, Callahan is in the final year of his contract and will likely be allowed to depart in the spring. The Broncos simply can't count on him or plan around him, despite his talent — and as GM George Paton said Tuesday in regards to the trade of rookie slot corner Kary Vincent, Jr. to Philadelphia, the Broncos have a "log-jam" at cornerback.
The GM is referring to the return of nickel defensive back Essang Bassey, who's spent the entire 2021 campaign on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list and was designated to return no Wednesday. He has a shot to play this Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys.
The Broncos also designated two other corners to resume practice, including Duke Dawson (PUP) and Mike Ford (IR). As savvy as Callahan is, the Broncos will be okay at nickel especially with how well rookie first-rounder Patrick Surtain II is playing outside the numbers.
Head coach Vic Fangio also confirmed that left tackle Garett Bolles is going to miss some time and said Wednesday that Calvin Anderson will start in his place vs. the Cowboys. Stay tuned.
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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