Report: Derek Wolfe Has A Fractured Elbow, Could Miss A Month

The Broncos will likely be without their top run stuffer for a time.

The Denver Broncos can't stop the run. They allowed 218 rushing yards in their Week 9 loss to the Oakland Raiders.

To add insult to injury, it looks like they'll be without their best run-stuffing defensive lineman or a time. 

Defensive end Derek Wolfe left Sunday night's game in the second half with what was reported as an elbow injury. He was initially graded as "questionable" to return, but shortly after was ruled out. 

According to Denver7's Troy Renck, Wolfe has a fractured elbow and will miss some time.

At this time, it's unclear exactly how much time Wolfe will miss. But no matter which way you cut it, any time without him will be a huge blow.'s Ian Rapoport reports Wolfe could miss as much as a month.

The Broncos defense has been one of the worst units at stopping the run this year. But Wolfe has been exceptional. He leads all 3-4 defensive ends in run-stop percentage per Pro Football Focus, and has tallied 30 tackles, 4.5 sacks and entered Week 9 second in the NFL in QB hits (15).

As good as Wolfe has been, it's been clear that the losses of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan are taking their toll. 

The Broncos drafted Adam Gotsis in the second round to eventually replace Jackson and at the very least, bolster the defensive line depth. Unfortunately, assimilating to life as a 5-tech defensive end in the NFL is one of the stiffest learning curves for rookies. Gotsis is raw and we've seen that play out when he's on the field. On Sunday night in Oakland, he played 30 snaps and only managed one assisted tackle. 

Vance Walker is on injured reserve. That leaves the Broncos with Jared Crick, who's under-performed opposite of Wolfe, Adam Gotsis and Billy Winn

Darius Kilgo can play some 5-tech but he's Sylvester Williams' backup at nose tackle. Right now, Williams is playing about 50 percent of the defensive snaps.

 If Wolfe is forced to miss significant time, the Broncos will likely look to the free agent pool. And there's the possibility of promoting Kyle Peko up from the practice squad. 

Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.

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