Broncos lose Dumervil for entire season
Denver places last year's NFL sack champion on IR after previously hoping he'd be back by November.
By Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Posted: 09/04/2010 12:46:53 AM MDT
Updated: 09/04/2010 12:48:05 AM MDT
There are more pleasant ways to create roster room.
In the short time left for the Broncos to trim their roster from 75 players on Thursday to 53 by this afternoon, perhaps no move will be more devastating than placing defending NFL sack champion Elvis Dumervil on injured reserve.
The transaction means Dumervil is out for the season. O-U-T. Out. There had been fear such a move would take place from the time Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle during a training camp drill Aug. 5. But after Dumervil underwent surgery to reattach a tendon to the bone, there also had been hope he would be back by mid-November.
Those hopes vanished Friday night when Dumervil spoke at length with coach Josh McDaniels.
mutually agreed this was the best thing to do," Dumervil said by phone. "I just felt like I still have a lot of my career in front of me, and I still have so much I'm going to accomplish that it would be better to make sure I get this right and not risk reinjuring by rushing back. I didn't want to go back out there with this hanging over my head and playing hesitant. I want to thank all the fans for their kind words through all this. I also ask them to make sure they continue to support the team. I think we're going to have a good team this year."
Just not as good as the Broncos could have been. Dumervil's season-ending injury occurred a few weeks after the Broncos signed him to a five-year, $58.33 million contract extension on top of the $3.17 million he will make this year. The contract, which included an NFL-record $43.17 million guarantee against injury, was Dumervil's reward for leading the NFL with 17 sacks last season.
How will Denver make up those 17 sacks?
"We have players who will step up," Dumervil said. "Robert (Ayers) had a nice preseason, as did a couple other players. We have a great coaching staff that will do a good job coming up with creative ways to apply pressure. I'll be around. I'll be around the facility, helping out anyway I can."'
The official end of Dumervil's season was the most significant injury news of the day but hardly the only story. Backup running back LenDale White also was placed on season-ending injured reserve after he suffered a torn Achilles tendon Thursday night at Minnesota. In that game, starting offensive tackle Ryan Harris wrenched his left ankle, an injury that may keep him from playing in the regular-season opener Sept. 12 at Jacksonville, and tight end Marquez Branson suffered a knee injury.
Is this how it's going to be all season for the 2010 Broncos? Can't there be one week when the turnstile is removed from Steve Antonopulos' training room?
"I think some of where the
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excitement comes in is we've played well even though we've had a bunch of new faces shuffle in and out," said quarterback Kyle Orton, who led his first-team offense to 52 points in six preseason quarters. "We're going to have to work hard over the next 10 days to really jell and come back to that unit we want to be and get the faces back that we want in there."
As the Broncos finalize their 53-man roster this afternoon, they will be culling the waiver wire in hopes of upgrading their tight end position, while other teams are hoping the Broncos will have to cut away some of their incredible depth at receiver and defensive back.
Tight end, particularly one with receiving skills, has surfaced as a recent priority in part because Branson, who at 6-feet-3 and 247 pounds is small by the standards of his position, has developed serious durability issues.
With starter Daniel Graham missing the past three preseason games with bruised ribs and second-year reserve Richard Quinn limping in and out of practice the past three weeks, the Broncos need tight end reinforcement.
Other teams are looking at Denver's defensive backs, where as many as 11 could be picked for the final roster — starters Champ Bailey, Andre Goodman, Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill; nickel back Nate Jones; second-year pros Darcel McBath, David Bruton and Alphonso Smith; and rookies Perrish Cox, Syd'Quan Thompson and the undrafted Cassius Vaughn.
Mike Klis: 303-954-1055 or email@example.com
More roster reduction
The Broncos went from 80 players to 75 last week. They moved eight more players off their roster Friday. They must trim another 14 players today. Broncos reporter Mike Klis analyzes each move Friday:
LenDale White, RB, injured reserve: The former Chatfield and Denver South star has a career-threatening Achilles tendon injury.
Chris Baker, nose tackle: Second-year defensive lineman was doomed by his inability to stay healthy during training camp.
Kory Sperry, tight end: The former Colorado State star didn't get much of a chance.
Alric Arnett, receiver: It's difficult for an undrafted rookie to crack a deep position.
Paul Duncan, guard-offensive tackle: Undrafted rookie from Notre Dame competed well.
Jammie Kirlew, linebacker: Biggest surprise of the early cuts, because the rookie from Indiana was a seventh-round draft choice.
Nathan Overbay, tight end: Undrafted rookie received a bum holding call from an official during Thursday's preseason finale against the Vikings, wiping out a short touchdown run.
Johnny Williams, linebacker: Signed late, suffered busted nose early.
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