The NFL is expecting another of its standouts to miss the 2018 season to injury.
Broncos rookie first-round cornerback Bradley Chubb, the No. 5 pick overall, is back in Denver after missing nine weeks with a sprained foot. Chubb underwent arthroscopic surgery on it 10 days ago.
He is a game-day decision against the Chargers on Sunday, coach Vance Joseph said.
Earlier this year, the 23-year-old from North Carolina State University had arthroscopic knee surgery in late January, after which he had to miss the start of the offseason program while wearing a boot.
He started all 16 games as a rookie, posting 61 tackles, seven sacks and one interception.
The first-round selection is not the only Broncos rookie already on the shelf. Left tackle Garett Bolles also will miss at least half the season with a knee injury.
In addition, second-year wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie also will sit out Sunday after undergoing multiple ankle surgeries in a 10-day period.
McKenzie underwent surgery after he was involved in a bizarre ATV accident. The 20-year-old played in just three games last season and was inactive in the second half of Sunday’s season-finale against the Chiefs after sustaining an ankle injury in the opener against the Chargers.
He had a memorable start against the Chiefs, catching a pass in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos still will have seven of their draft picks in action Sunday.
Another rookie cornerback, Brendan Langley, will make his NFL debut after missing the season opener with a thigh injury. He was placed on injured reserve on 11 September.
The 2017 fifth-round pick from Lamar did not record an interception last season but is expected to add more depth to the Denver secondary.