Vance Joseph announced later tonight that former first-round pick Shane Ray will miss 6 to 8 weeks with a torn ligament in his wrist.
Coach Joseph: LB Shane Ray (torn ligament, wrist) will miss 6-8 weeks.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) July 28, 2017
Head Coach Vance Joseph gave an update on Ray after tonight’s walk-through practice.
“At practice yesterday, Shane tore a ligament in his left wrist just taking on a block. His wrist got caught the flip way and he tore a ligament. He worked through it yesterday and he worked through it today. We got X-Ray’s and he needs surgery. It’s going to be six to eight weeks. He should go in [for surgery] tomorrow morning and be out by lunch, probably. But, he’s going to be out six to eight weeks. Right now, he’ll be counting weeks. Hopefully he’s back [soon]. We’re hopeful he’ll be back by Buffalo. It’s really weird because it’s the same area as [RB Devontae] Booker. Booker had the bone that was fractured. His (Ray) has the ligament torn that’s attached to the same bone that Booker fractured. That’s where we are. It happens. I’m disappointed again for the player more than us. He’s worked so hard also, and he’s making strides to have a great year. It happens. Injuries happen. In my opinion, they’re going to happen. Right now, I think we’re in great shape. They’re happening early so we can get these guys back for the full season. Obviously, I’m disappointed for him.”
This is tough news for the Broncos who are already down Shaquil Barrett who is on the NFI list with a hip injury and will be sidelined until week two or three as well.
This will keep Ray sidelined into the season more than likely, but the team hopes that Ray will be back by the week two game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Broncos will likely have to make a roster move to add depth to a thinning edge rushing unit.
This leaves the Broncos with Vontarrius Dora, Kasim Edebali, rookie outside linebacker Ken Ekanem pushing for starting reps now that Barrett and Ray are sidelined. We could see rookie DeMarcus Walker play the edge as well. The days of having Von, Ware, Ray, and Barrett are now long gone.
Joseph singled out Kasim Edebali as someone who can replace Ray in the lineup.
“We signed [OLB Kasim] Edebali in the off season from New Orleans for his rushing skills. He’s a guy that’s going to help us rush from the SAM position and stop the run that’s forced on the edge. He’s capable, we’re excited about him.”
Thankfully for the Broncos, there is still a long time until the season starts, so the Broncos could get both Ray and Barrett back before the start of the season, but both will likely be limited. So I expect some sort of a veteran addition coming soon.
The #Broncos hope pass-rusher Shane Ray (wrist) is back by Week 1... week 2 at the latest. pic.twitter.com/K7m9Q80xIe— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 28, 2017
When asked if they will sign someone to replace Ray in the lineup, Joseph said that GM/President of Football Operations John Elway is still working through that right now.
“We’re not sure. We’re getting tight on numbers now. We can’t make too many more moves. I’m going to meet with [President of Football Operations/General Manager] John [Elway] and we’ll figure out a plan. As far as the roster, it’s pretty tight.”
Some veteran names to keep an eye on are veterans Paul Kruger and Trent Cole. Another veteran Mario Williams is available and played for Joseph last season, but wasn’t very good and is more of an defensive line player.
Now here’s an interesting name to think about. Retired pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. He is always in great shape and may very well still have that itch to play. That’s just me spit balling, but hey, why not?
This isn’t a crushing blow to the Broncos since we are still a good month and a half away from regular season action, but it still sucks. Hopefully Ray and Barrett both heal quickly and come back and dominate for the Broncos defense.