The Denver Broncos’ defense was absolutely sensational in 2015, as it led them — basically carried them — to a Super Bowl victory, and an incredible postseason performance.
But, their defense took a hit on paper over the offseason with starting defensive end Malik Jackson signing a massive contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now, they’ve lost Jackson’s replacement.
The Broncos announced that 29-year-old defensive end Vance Walker suffered a torn ACL during the team’s practice on Monday, and is expected to miss the 2016 season:
A Monday afternoon MRI examination revealed that Walker suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during that morning’s practice.
Walker is expected to miss the 2016 season. The injury is a crushing blow for the eight-year veteran, who had moved onto the first team and was holding down a starting spot as he replaced free-agent departure Malik Jackson in the starting lineup.
The 6’2″, 305-pounder appeared in 15 games — starting four — for Denver in 2015, and was credited with 33 tackles and two sacks.
With Walker out, free-agent signing Jared Crick (a starter for Houston the past two seasons) and second-round pick Adam Gotsis figure to fight for the starting job.
So, this is a big blow to the Broncos’ defense, but they’re still loaded and should be able to survive this loss.