It’s only three days into the Denver Broncos’ training camp festivities and the infirmary list for the franchise is already piling up. The outside linebacker position was easily considered one of their greatest strengths heading into camp, but it has now become one of their greatest concerns.
The team has received some unfortunate news on the injury front over the past few days, particularly at the outside linebacker position where it has been confirmed that Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett will be sidelined until early on in the regular season.
“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,” stated Head Coach Vance Joseph. “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,” added Joseph.
Although this injury is unfortunate it hasn't broken my will to be great. Ill just have to figure out how to win with one arm . pic.twitter.com/yijpHQhKXO— Shane Ray (@StingRay56) July 29, 2017
Ray and Barrett were expected to be integral parts for the Broncos’ defense in 2017. With the retirement of future Hall of Famer and gridiron legend DeMarcus Ware, the team and fans were banking on their progression and contributions on the field more than ever. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a few games into the regular season before we see their impact, but the Broncos are making a great decision to keep their best pass rusher healthy for the regular season.
With concerns about depleted depth at the position and in order to keep him fresh, All-Pro linebacker Von Miller will be placed on a preseason pitch count according to Denver Broncos insider Troy Renck. Undoubtedly, that’s the right move to make in order to ensure the Broncos have their best player on the field and healthy for the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on September 11.
#Broncos @VonMiller will receive fewer preseason snaps. Don't want to burn him out given depth issues. @DenverChannel— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 29, 2017
Additionally, in order to add depth to the position, the Broncos signed Danny Mason and waived tight end Henry Krieger-Coble. It’s also expected that veteran acquisition Kasim Edebali will play a significant amount of snaps in place of Ray, and have a great shot to make some waves for the Broncos this preseason and early on in the regular season while he and Barrett are sidelined due to injury.
Let’s hope that the aforementioned moves can help act as a band-aid at the outside linebacker position, and that the team suffers no more setbacks due to injury at any position.
As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned to Mile High Report for all the latest news and information from training camp.