On Wednesday night, Gray Caldwell of DenverBroncos.com reported some positive news on the Broncos injury front. John Elway, Executive VP of Football Operations and General Manager of the Broncos took to the radio to announce that four key Broncos are well on their way to a healthy return to the lineup in 2014. Elway announced on The Dave Logan Show on 850 KOA that Rahim Moore, Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris Jr., and Von Miller are all progressing well in their recovery from season-ending injuries. Elway believes that safety, Rahim Moore and defensive end, Derek Wolfe are each nearly 100% healthy; meanwhile, both Miller and Harris Jr. are progressing well in their recovery from ACL injuries.
The full quote can be read here:
"I think Rahim and Derek are both going to be ready to go," Elway said. "I think Rahim is almost 100 percent now, so that should not be an issue with Rahim. Derek has gone through some tough times, but he seems to be doing great. I don’t anticipate any problems with Derek. Obviously Von and Chris Harris are the two probably bigger concerns because they’re coming off those ACLs. But they’re both moving along very well and working very hard. Any time you come off an ACL it’s always a little bit tough, but we don’t anticipate any problems."- John Elway
Rahim Moore, who was on his way to a career-high season in interceptions (2) and tackles (70) in 2013, was sidelined by lateral compartment syndrome on November 18, 2013. Moore missed the Broncos' final six season games, as well as all three playoff games. It is encouraging news that Moore is doing well in his recovery considering the severity of an injury like lateral compartment syndrome. The injury that the young safety suffered, which required immediate surgery, can decrease blood flow due to increased pressure within the leg muscles; it can cause long-term muscle damage if not treated in a timely manner. Having the safety back in 2014 will give the Broncos a young, talented duo at safety. Moore and new Broncos safety, T.J. Ward should complement each other well in a revamped Broncos defense.
Derek Wolfe suffered from a couple injuries in 2013. First, Wolfe suffered a spinal cord injury in the Broncos' pre-season matchup against the Seahawks. Wolfe made his return to the Broncos' lineup for the first game of the season, and played in all of the team's games through Week 12. Then, on November 29th, Wolfe collapsed and suffered a seizure on the team bus and was put into an induced coma to ensure that the condition was not life-threatening. Following this incident, there were mixed reports and plenty of confusion regarding what was going on with Wolfe and he never made his way back onto the field in 2013. MHR editor, Kyle Montgomery breaks down every detail and the true story of Wolfe's injuries very in-depth here. Wolfe's rookie season in 2012 was a glimpse into the special kind of pass-rusher he can be. His return to the lineup in 2014 will provide the Broncos with another key piece in what's shaping up to be a very solid pass rush. If Wolfe, who is finally healthy, can get back to the level of play he showed in 2012, he'll be a very menacing piece of the Broncos' defense.
Chris Harris Jr. and Von Miller each suffered torn ACL injuries that ended their 2013 seasons. Miller suffered his injury in the Broncos' second last regular season game against the Texans; Harris' injury came in the divisional round of playoffs against the Chargers. As Elway said, there is more concern with these two defensive standouts, simply because of the nature of their injuries. ACL injuries have historically been tough to return from, but we've seen numerous NFL players, most notably Adrian Peterson in 2012 and Darrelle Revis in 2013, make very successful returns from complete ACL tears. Elway noted that both players are working hard to return and they have not experienced any setbacks to this point. In fact, earlier in the off-season MHR had a chance to chat with Harris, who said that his recovery is actually ahead of schedule. Miller and Harris also have each taken to social media sites to let fans know that their recoveries are coming along very well, which is a good sign.
Successful returns for Harris and Miller will be absolutely vital for the Broncos' 2014 success, even though they have made some very smart moves in free agency. This positive news on the injury front for four key defensive starters is very encouraging!
Another injured Broncos player that MHR commenters have been inquiring about is starting left tackle, Ryan Clady, who the Broncos signed to a long-term deal during last season's training camp. Clady is on the mend, and undoubtedly looking forward to facing off against newly-signed defensive end, Demarcus Ware in practice. On February 22nd, John Elway had this to say about the Broncos' starter, who missed most of 2013 with a Lisfranc injury: "Ryan's good. I saw him the other day, he finally got all of the hardware out of his foot and he's really on the mend now." This news was also reported by Gray Caldwell of DenverBroncos.com and was included in MHR's Horse Tracks feature on the 22nd.