The Denver Broncos’ passing attack now will have to forge on without not only its starting quarterback but also its top target.
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, coach Vic Fangio confirmed Monday.
Sutton had three catches for 66 yards before exiting the match. He missed the Broncos’ Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans while dealing with a sprained AC joint. Sutton, 24, earned a Pro Bowl berth last season after recording 72 catches for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns.
He was expected to be the focal point of a passing attack that returned second-year tight end Noah Fant and added dynamic rookie receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler.
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The injury is just the latest in a series of significant blows to a Denver team that was looking to break out in Fangio’s second season at the helm.
Quarterback Drew Lock suffered a “bad bruise” on his shoulder that will force him to miss three to five weeks, Fangio stated Monday. Three-time All-Pro pass-rusher Von Miller suffered a dislocated peroneal tendon that multiple reports indicated could sideline him for the remainder of the campaign.
Running back Phillip Lindsay (toe) also is expected to miss several weeks, per multiple reports, and cornerback A.J. Bouye (shoulder) will sit out at least two more games after being placed on injured reserve.
An already young Broncos offense will now feature one of the youngest wide receiver groups in the league as three rookies — Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Tyrie Cleveland — will get plenty of work in the weeks ahead. Fangio said “it will be the guys on the roster filling that void [left by Sutton].”
Denver had seven wideouts on roster and will go with six for now. The Broncos host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week before facing the New York Jets on the road in a “Thursday Night Football” matchup.
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