According to 9NEWS Denver's Mike Klis, Denver Broncos defensive end Vance Walker suffered an ACL injury during today's Training Camp practice and will miss the remainder of the 2016 NFL season.
Vance Walker has ACL injury, will miss the season. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 15, 2016
Walker was supposed to fill the void left by former Denver Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson who signed a mega-deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars this past offseason. Now the Broncos are left searching for answers.
“We think the world of Vance and he was having a great camp,” Head Coach Gary Kubiak said. “We’ll support him through his recovery, and he’ll come back stronger than ever.”
The first player in line to replace Walker on the defensive line is former Houston Texans defensive end, Jared Crick. He was asked after practice how he feels he could replace the role vacated by Malik Jackson.
"He’s a great player. He did a lot of things well. My biggest thing is to try and get better every single day. At the end of camp, if I keep getting better every day, I’ll be where I want to be. Once week one starts, we’ll just have to see where I’m at. I just have to play well. We have the coaches, we have the schemes and I have the teammates to be able to allow, not just myself, but everybody on this team to go out there and make plays and do well. We just have to keep grinding through camp and at the end of the day, we’ll see what happens."
Crick will likely be batting with second-round pick Adam Gotsis who is still working his way back into form after suffering an ACL injury last season.
Kubiak said after today's practice that they are counting on Gotsis "big time" this year. Probably even more now that Walker is done for the year
"He is getting in better physical condition. I think it took a while coming off his knee, so you see him improving his physical condition at practice. He’s taking what Defensive Line Coach Bill Kolar teaches. He’s still has a long way to go as a young player, but obviously we’re counting on him big time."
It will be interesting to see if the Broncos go out and sign whatever veteran is available on the free agent market or possibly look to make a trade to bolster their defensive end position. What seems most likely is that they will lean on what they have in-house for the moment and wait and see who becomes available down the road.
Stay tuned to Mile High Report for more updates on Vance Walker being placed on the IR.