According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Denver Broncos third-year safety Caden Sterns will miss the rest of the season due to a patellar tendon injury in his knee. He hurt himself early in the game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders and was carted off the field. He was emotional and seen pounding his fist into the cart as he was taken back to the locker room.
#Broncos S Caden Sterns is expected to be out for the season with a torn patellar tendon, source says. The young DB had been primed for increased playing time before the unfortunate injury.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2023
Sterns who was listed as a co-starter with veteran safety Kareem Jackson will now be placed on the injured reserve. The depth at the safety position has taken a hit recently with safety P.J. Locke being placed on the injured reserve and missing at least the first four games of the season. Now, with Sterns out for the year, second-year safety Delarrin Turner-Yell and rookie JL Skinner will earn more playing time moving forward. I would also expect the team to add defensive back Devon Key who is currently on their practice squad to their 53-man roster to fill the vacancy on the roster, at least for now.
Sterns missed most of last season due to a hip injury he suffered early in the season and was looking to have a breakout season this season. However, another unfortunate injury will sideline him once again for an entire season and derail any chance of a breakout opportunity, at least for this season.
With Sterns out for the year, look for veteran Kareem Jackson to take over as the full-time starter moving forward. The 35-year-old defensive back had an interception in the end zone vs. the Raiders in week one and has proven he still has some juice left in the tank. Behind him, he will have second-year safety Delarrin Turner-Yell and rookie JL Skinner pushing for playing time as well.
This is a disappointing injury for Sterns who will now enter next season on the final year of his rookie deal coming off basically two lost seasons due to injury. He flashed big potential his rookie year and in the few games he played last year, but injuries happen, and they suck. The next man up is veteran Kareem Jackson with an opportunity for two young players to step up and prove themselves moving forward.