Bat­tered Bron­cos hit again

QB Lock to miss 3-5 weeks; WR Sut­ton lost for sea­son

Daily Camera (Boulder) - - Sports -

Bykyle­new­man

EN­GLE­WOOD — Af­ter two nar­row losses to open the sea­son, the Bron­cos’ prospects to re­turn to the play­offs this year got sig­nif­i­cantly more bleak Mon­day.

Quar­ter­back Drew Lock, who was hurt in the first quar­ter of Sun­day’s loss in Pitts­burgh, has a right shoul­der in­jur y and will be out three-to-five weeks, coach Vic Fan­gio said. And wide re­ceiver Cour tland Sut­ton, who tore his ACL late in the first half af­ter mak­ing a tackle on an in­ter­cep­tion re­turn, is out for the sea­son.

Fan­gio said Lock’s ex­act timetable to re­turn from his in­jury, which oc­curred as he was sacked by Pitts­burgh line­backer Bud Dupree while at­tempt­ing to scram­ble out of the pocket on Den­ver’s sec­ond series, “all de­pends upon the heal­ing process.” A bench­mark to get him back would be the Week 8 bye. If Lock came back af­ter that, he’d have seven weeks to re­turn to full strength be­fore Den­ver’s Nov. 8 game in At­lanta.

“There’s noth­ing struc­turally wrong with his shoul­der,” Fan­gio said. “He just has a bad bruise there, and when it’s your throw­ing shoul­der, it’s go­ing to take time to heal. (The bruise) has to calm down, and he has to get his strength back to where he can op­er­ate at

100%.”

Adding to the list, Dre’mont Jones also suf­fered a knee in­jury in the loss in Pitts­burgh, and Fan­gio said he ex­pects the sec­ond-year de­fen­sive line­man to miss “sig­nif­i­cant time,” prob­a­bly around a month. That will likely mean a trip to in­jured re­serve for Jones.

Fel­low de­fen­sive line­man Demar­cus Walker, who ex­ited Sun­day with a calf in­jury, “is go­ing to miss some time also.”

While the de­fen­sive line depth will now be tested, Lock’s in­jury means an ex­tended op­por­tu­nity for Jef f Driskel, who was 18-of34 for 256 yards, two touch­downs and an in­ter­cep­tion in relief on Sun­day. Be­hind Driskel, sec­ond-year pro Brett Ryp­ien (cur­rently on the prac­tice squad) will be the backup.

Fan­gio be­lieves Lock should have “stayed with the play a lit­tle bit longer” on the sack dur­ing which he was in­jured.

As a rookie last year, Lock was also hurt while rolling out of the pocket when he jammed his right thumb into the turf, and sprained it, in a pre­sea­son game against San Fran­cisco. Lock was then placed on in­jured re­serve, and wasn’t ac­ti­vated un­til Nov. 30.

“Once you start scram­bling, and any time you hit the ground, you’re al­ways in dan­ger of get­ting hurt, par tic­u­larly at quar ter­back where you have the shoul­der and any­thing to your throw­ing arm that can hap­pen,” Fan­gio said.

Joe Sargent / Getty Im­ages

Bron­cos quar­ter­back Drew Lock fum­bles as he’s hit by the Steel­ers’ Bud Dupree dur­ing the first quar­ter Sun­day in Pitts­burgh. Lock suf­fered a right­shoul­der in­jury on the play and is ex­pected to miss the next three-to-five weeks.

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