ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Denver Broncos placed wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (ankle) and cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) on injured reserve Tuesday in the wake of Sunday’s season-opening win against the New York Giants.
Jeudy’s move to injured reserve wasn’t surprising, given he is expected to miss at least four to six weeks after suffering a high right ankle sprain during the Broncos’ first possession of the second half Sunday and had been taken to the locker room on a cart.
Darby, who played all 61 defensive snaps and finished tied with a team-high six tackles in the game against the Giants, was evaluated Monday after he had some discomfort. Darby made the tackle on Giants wide receiver C.J. Board on the second-to-last play of the game Sunday.
Rookie Pat Surtain II will get far more playing time in Darby’s absence.
Of the two injured players, Jeudy’s recovery is expected to take longer, and Hinton’s promotion ahead of the three other receivers the Broncos have on the practice squad is an indication of his level of play in training camp and the preseason games. Hinton, who played wide receiver and quarterback at Wake Forest, was forced to play at quarterback with fewer than 24 hours notice against the New Orleans Saints last season when all of the Broncos’ quarterbacks were unavailable due to COVID-19 protocol violations.
Broncos coach Vic Fangio said Monday that in the near future he expected Tim Patrick, Courtland Sutton and KJ Hamler to “get the bulk” of the work and that “instead of dividing up the catches by four, it will be three.”
The earliest either Darby or Jeudy could be returned to the active roster would be the Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.