ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos will be without one of their best defensive players for the rest of the 2019 season.
Outside linebacker Bradley Chubb suffered a partial tear of his ACL against the Jaguars on Sunday and will be out for the rest of the year, Head Coach Vic Fangio announced Monday.
Chubb returned to the game after suffering the injury in the second half and played on the Broncos’ final defensive series.
“He felt good enough to come back in and actually, he played that last series pretty damn well,” Fangio said. “[He] had some really good pass rushes, caused that fumble that we weren’t able to get. He was as surprised as anybody, I think, this morning when he woke up feeling the way he did."
Chubb will now undergo surgery, Fangio said.
“It’s a huge loss,” Fangio said. “He’s one of our better players, obviously. He’s a tempo setter, great player, great person, leader — all that.”
Chubb recorded his first sack and forced fumble of the season on Sunday against Jacksonville. The 2018 fifth-overall pick set the Denver rookie sack record last season when he recorded 12 quarterback takedowns.
Fangio said the Broncos will determine a plan of how to proceed over the next couple of days and will likely use a committee approach to replace Chubb’s production. The Broncos’ head coach mentioned rookies Malik Reed and Justin Hollins as options. Denver could also sign a free agent after placing Chubb on injured reserve.
“He played a lot of his preseason snaps obviously against other teams’ backups, so it’s not a great sample,” Fangio said of Reed’s play. “He had some plays yesterday, one that he missed. We’ll find out [if he can be an every-down player].”
No matter who replaces Chubb, Fangio said the Broncos must avoid feeling cursed at 0-4.
“There’s no pity parties in the NFL,” Fangio said. “We’ve just got to keep going. The losses are our own doing. Injuries don’t have an effect on those. We’ve just got to keep going. Nobody’s feeling sorry for anybody here. Just another one of the things you have to deal with in the NFL during a season. We’re not the only team that’s had [injuries].”