Denver Broncos starting inside linebacker Josey Jewell will miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a torn pectoral in Sunday's win at Jacksonville, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
Jewell, amidst a contract year, was injured on a special teams tackle in the 23-13 victory. He finished with four stops — three solo and two for loss.
The third-year pro was central to Denver's elite defense, having totaled seven solo tackles, one pass deflection, and a forced fumble across the club's first two games.
With Jewell sidelined, the Broncos will thrust sophomore ILB Justin Strnad into a full-time role next to Alexander Johnson. Strnad, coming off a redshirt rookie campaign, made six tackles (four solo) across 23 snaps against the Jaguars. Johnson will continue to relay the defensive calls from Vic Fangio.
"But Strnad is capable of it too," outside linebacker Von Miller said after the game. "We're all excited to see Strnad play as well. He's done an incredible job, working back from injuries well. And for him to get some playing time and some game reps was good."
Denver heads into its Week 3 home opener versus the New York Jets potentially down five starters: Jewell, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle; injured reserve), cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring; injured reserve), right guard Graham Glasgow (heart), and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, who reinjured his ankle on Sunday and was quickly ruled out.
"Honestly, it was tough," Miller said of overcoming the injuries. "[General Manager] George Paton has done an incredible job of building this roster up. And every single player we've got on the team has a purpose and they have George Paton's touch on it. It's always good to have corners. Pat Surtain had his first start today. His first start, [he] had an interception. It was a great day. George has been doing a great job of building this team up and it showed what type of depth that we have."
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