It definitely looked bad. During the Broncos 22-14 loss to the Seahawks on Thursday night, Andy Janovich suffered an upper body injury while blocking (or in this case, holding) when Denver was punting. The 9News broadcast said the fullback suffered a shoulder injury, but most people watching thought it was a pectoral issue; that’s where Jano immediately grabbed after suffering the injury.
As a result, there was concern that Janovich had suffered a torn pec, which would most likely end his 2019 season. But according to Mike Klis, the Broncos received a bit of good news when the results of the MRI came back on Friday.
Team source: FB Andy Janovich out 6-8 weeks with strained pec injury. “Better than we expected.” No doubt coulda been worse. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) August 9, 2019
Based on that timetable, Janovich could return as early as Week 3, when Denver travels to Green Bay. If that’s the case, the Broncos will only have to patch things together for a couple of games without their starting fullback.
That could mean that George Aston, the rookie out of Pittsburgh, could make the final 53-man roster at the end of training camp. Denver could also try to use a tight end at fullback in spot duty, but given the way players at that position are dropping like flies, that could be a risky option. The other alternative is to line up a backup lineman in the backfield in short-yardage and goal-line situations, something other teams have done in the past.
Of course, that’s based on the notion that a fullback is going to be integral to the Broncos offense. During training camp, Denver has used a lot of combinations in the backfield that don’t feature Janovich or Aston. Instead, they’ve paired Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, as well as Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick, together on the field. Those types of creative combinations might be the way the offensive coaches deal with Jano’s absence.
Whatever the plan, it’ll only have to be a short-term fix. And that’s good news for the Broncos.
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