The injury to starting Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan isn't as serious as we feared, but it's not as minor as a knee sprain, either.
ESPN's Josina Anderson first reported that Trevathan has suffered a fracture in his leg and will miss four to eight weeks.
"They told me that my ACL and MCL are fine, but that I have a fracture in my knee," Trevathan told Anderson, according to the report. "The doctor told me I was going to be out four to eight weeks, but I told him four to six."
The Broncos shortly clarified the report, indicating it is a fractured shin for Trevathan and listing his timetable as six to eight weeks. Trevathan, a 6th round draft pick of the Broncos in 2012, was carted off the practice field Tuesday.
When might he return?
That timetable puts Trevathan returning some time between mid-September and mid-October. Based on this report, it seems unlikely Trevathan would appear in Denver's matchups against the Colts, Chiefs or Seahawks in Weeks 1-3. A return after Denver's Week 4 bye - the October 5th home game against the Arizona Cardinals - seems more likely, although he and the Broncos will surely play it by ear as he goes through his rehabilitation.
Who will replace him?
Linebackers Brandon Marshall and Lamin Barrow are the primary candidates to replace Trevathan in the lineup during his absence. Marshall was asked about possibly replacing Trevathan after practice Tuesday.
"I'm very confident," Marshall said. "Confidence is a big part of this game and I know I have the skillset; I have the mind to do it."
Barrow also saw additional work with the ones. "I'm definitely going to try to take advantage of the opportunity," Barrow told DenverBroncos.com. "I think my sense of urgency has to improve. Getting reps with the ones, I'm getting better every day. I took some reps today with Danny being down, just to get acclimated with those guys."
Trevathan seemed just as confident in his own recovery.
"I'm not tripping," Trevathan said. "I will bounce back. I'm a soldier."