Denver Broncos starting nose tackle Mike Purcell will miss at least a week after sustaining an ankle sprain at training camp.
Head coach Vic Fangio affirmed that Purcell will be day-to-day upon his return, refusing to divulge the specificities of his injury.
"The early prognosis is it’s just a sprain, but we'll see," Fangio said Friday.
Purcell went down in a heap during Friday's practice. He reportedly was "slow to get up" and threw his helmet in frustration before the training staff escorted him to the locker room for further examination.
It remains unclear whether Purcell suffered a low- or high-ankle sprain; the latter ailment is dreaded among NFL players due to its lengthy rehab process and high reaggravation rate. Regardless, it's yet another setback for the seventh-year veteran, who missed the majority of the 2020 season with a Lisfranc injury that required reparative surgery.
When healthy, Purcell — he of the three-year, $14.8 million contract extension signed last October — is one of the NFL's top defensive tackles, grading out in 2019 as the league's best run defender, according to Pro Football Focus.
Purcell's absence has created more opportunity for his immediate backup, sophomore DT McTelvin Agim, one of the early camp standouts. Agim recorded an interception off quarterback Teddy Bridgewater during Saturday's practice, and prior to that, consistently disrupting, drew effusive praise from Denver's coaching staff.
"He's a lot better player right now then he was on this date a year ago, which he should be," Fangio said Friday. "But he's worked extremely hard in the offseason. He had the benefit of the OTAs and the minicamp, and all the meetings. He had the benefit of learning what he doesn't know last year when he did get to play. So, he's going through the natural progression, but he did a great job this offseason to speed that up."
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