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Defensive End Vance Walker Tears ACL, Out for Year

Vance Walker was carted off early in practice, unable to put any weight on his right leg.

The Denver Broncos boast one of the best front sevens in the NFL. Today, one of the starters on that defensive front went down--and it looks serious.

Defensive end Vance Walker, who had been making waves in his eighth NFL training camp, was carted off of the field after suffering an injury to his right knee. He was unable to put any weight on his right leg. There's no confirmation yet as to how significant the injury is, but the early prognosis appears dire.

In his second season with the Broncos after being signed before the 2015 season, Walker looked poised to fill the hole left at defensive end by the departure of Malik Jackson. In his stead, the Broncos will have to lean on a few replacements. first and mostly likely starter would be Jared Crick, who came over in free agency from the Houston Texans and looked more or less unstoppable against Chicago's second-team offensive line last Thursday night. Another would be rookie Adam Gotsis, who also demonstrated his high motor in the first preseason game. 

Finally, former Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts defensive end Billy Winn may have an easier path to making the 53-man roster as Denver will undoubtedly need the stable veteran depth up front in Walker's absence, however long it ends up being.

It's an unfortunate turn of events for Walker and the Broncos, and we'll all be crossing our fingers. 

We'll keep the situation up to date as it progresses, including breaking news and reactions from the team.

UPDATE: An MRI has shown that Walker tore his ACL, and the team has announced he will miss the 2016 season.

Gary Kubiak shared his thoughts on Walker in a statement released by the Broncos. 

“We think the world of Vance and he was having a great camp. We’ll support him through his recovery, and he’ll come back stronger than ever.”

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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.

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