The hits keep coming for the Denver Broncos, and all before the team’s strapped on the pads to actually hit.
They’ll do that Sunday for the first time this preseason, but linebacker Shane Ray will be on the sidelines with a torn ligament in his left wrist and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
After the team’s walk-through Friday evening, Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Ray injured the wrist while taking a block during practice, and after getting x-rays it was determined he needed surgery.
“I’m disappointed again for the player more than us,” Joseph said. “He’s worked so hard also, and he’s making strides to have a great year. It happens. Injuries happen. In my opinion, they’re going to happen.”
Ray’s injury is the second blow the Broncos have taken to its roster in as many days, as running back Devontae Booker will also miss six to eight weeks with a fractured wrist.
Joseph called it “weird” how similar the injuries are for Ray and Booker, saying, “Booker had the bone that was fractured. (Ray) has the ligament torn that’s attached to the same bone that Booker fractured.”
Ray’s injury also depletes an already shrinking linebacker room, with Shaquil Barrett out with a hip injury likely until Week 2 or 3 as well and DeMarcus Ware retiring earlier this offseason.
Though Joseph will meet with general manager John Elway about a plan on possible roster moves, Kasim Edebali, whom the Broncos signed this offseason from the New Orleans Saints, was one player the head coach named as someone he believes will step up in Ray’s absence.
“He’s a guy that’s going to help us rush from the SAM position and stop the run that’s forced on the edge,” Joseph said. “He’s capable, we’re excited about him.”
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.
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