The Denver Broncos are already down one starting linebacker in Danny Trevathan. But following the team's 43-21 loss to the New England Patriots, it sounds like they could be without another for a while.
According to the Denver Post, the Broncos will be without starting middle linebacker, Nate Irving, "for a while". He will have a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) tomorrow, but the team fears significant ligament damage.
Irving has been instrumental in the Broncos stopping the run in 2014. As a downhill thumper, he has settled into his role as a starter and arguably has become one of the best run stopping "mike" linebackers in the league.
He is second on the team with 42 tackles, 6 for a loss. He's also managed to notch a sack. We'll keep you posted on the results of his MRI. In Irving's place, the Broncos have options. They could roll with rookie linebacker out of L.S.U., Lamin Barrow, who replaced Irving as the middle linebacker in base package tonight.
Or the team could choose to go with fellow rookie, out of Oklahoma, Corey Nelson. Nelson has seen some extended action with the first team defense, since Trevathan went down. Third year linebacker, Steven Johnson, also factors into the mix, but he missed his second straight game tonight with an ankle injury.