ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair his fractured forearm and is expected to miss approximately four to five weeks, Head Coach Gary Kubiak announced at his press conference Monday afternoon.
Ware suffered the injury on the third snap of the second half of Sunday's 34-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts when he collided with Von Miller while rushing Andrew Luck. Kubiak said he believed Ware would have a plate placed in the forearm to assist in healing.
"Obviously, we know that we're going to get him back, so that's very encouraging," Kubiak said.
Ware's injury pushed outside linebacker Shane Ray into a more extensive role, and he capitalized with the game-clinching fumble return for a touchdown after Von Miller's strip-sack fumble. Ray worked the entire offseason, training camp and the preseason as the weakside outside linebacker while Ware dealt with back issues that sidelined him throughout the summer.
In part because of Ware's injury, Ray played 45 of a possible 73 snaps Sunday. The snap count was the highest of his career to date.
The chain reaction of changes will also give Shaquil Barrett more snaps. It also pushed veteran Dekoda Watson into the OLB rotation. He played 12 defensive snaps on Sunday after seeing only special-teams work in the Week 1 win over Carolina.
RIGHT TACKLE DONALD STEPHENSONis expected to miss Sunday's game against the Bengals after suffering a calf injury during the first quarter Sunday.
"We feel like we're lucky," Kubiak said. "This is also something that he dealt with back in OTAs, and he missed about eight to 10 days."
Stephenson's injury forced an offensive-line shuffle that saw Michael Schofield move from right guard to right tackle, with reserve Darrion Weems taking over at right guard. But with Ty Sambrailo recovered from a July 31 elbow injury, Kubiak has the option of inserting the second-year lineman in at one of the two spots.
Sambrailo was inactive Sunday. He started at left tackle last year and was the first-team right guard at the start of training camp, but is also part of the depth at right tackle if Kubiak decides to move Schofield back inside next week.
"The good news is, we have some versatility in the fact that Ty was ready to go [Sunday]," Kubiak said.
Kubiak added that he was "very proud" of how Schofield played in moving back to right tackle Sunday. He started 16 consecutive games there during the regular season and postseason last year, but was the opening-day starter at right guard against Carolina.
TIGHT END VIRGIL GREENis considered "day to day" after suffering a strained calf late in the fourth quarter Sunday.
"This is something we kind of went through with Virgil before," Kubiak said, referring to an injury during offseason work. "Of the the three guys, Virgil is probably feeling better than any of them."
Green was one of just two tight ends active for the first two regular-season games, along with veteran John Phillips. Second-year tight end Jeff Heuerman, who missed all of last season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, was inactive the last two games after recovering from an Aug. 17 hamstring injury. However, Kubiak said Heuerman could have played Sunday if needed.
"Jeff is fine. Jeff was very capable of suiting up [Sunday]," Kubiak said. "Jeff's ready to go and will keep working as though he's going to be up this week."