Done for season: Rookie fullback Andy Janovich to go on injured reserve after having ankle surgery.
Broncos fullback Andy Janovich underwent surgery on his ankle Tuesday and will be placed on injured reserve, ending his season, according to coach Gary Kubiak.
The rookie Janovich injured his foot on the first play of the game Sunday night against Kansas City when he caught a short screen pass from quarterback Trevor Siemian and was tackled for a loss.
“He struggled throughout the course of the game. We knew he was struggling. He said he was fine,” Kubiak said. “He’s a really tough kid. It happened on the screen, the first play of the game when he caught the ball. (His ankle) got rolled up, and he battled through the game.
“The next morning, we went to take a look and knew we had an issue. It was something that needed to be fixed. I don’t know how to tell you exactly what it is.”
Janovich played through the pain, taking 32 total offensive snaps and eight special-teams snaps.
“Obviously, he’s been a big part of our two-back stuff,” offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. “He had progressed and had been doing some good stuff, but that’s the nature of the deal. Sometimes you lose some guys when you’re counting on them. He’s a tough guy.”
Janovich was recovering from a fractured right hand, which he suffered Oct. 24 in a victory over Houston. He didn’t miss a game because of the injury, and Sunday’s loss to Kansas City was his first without the protective club on his hand.
Janovich was used for 235 offensive snaps (30.8 percent) and 186 specialteams snaps (56.5 percent) this season. He recorded five catches for 44 yards, plus four carries for 33 yards and a touchdown.
“We just have to move some guys off, but we’ll miss him,” Kubiak said. “When he was healthy and playing good, we really thought he was a boost for our football team. We’ll miss him, but he has a bright future. He’ll be fine. He’ll get back.”
In his absence, Juwan Thompson, who has been used as both a fullback and halfback this season, will probably take on a bigger role. The third-year back spent the first six weeks of the season on the practice squad but was promoted to the active roster when running back C.J. Anderson was lost to knee injury. In three games, Thompson has been used on one offensive play and 37 special-teams plays.
“I’m ready to step up. I know the offense very well,” Thompson said. “This is the benefit of learning different things. When things happen day to day, I can be ready. That’s what the job requires.”
Broncos fullback Andy Janovich runs for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the season opener. He was injured on the first play of Sunday’s game against Kansas City but kept playing. John Leyba, Denver Post file