KUSA—An MRI exam Friday revealed Billy Winn’s knee injury was worse than feared.

The Broncos’ backup defensive lineman suffered damage to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), medial collateral ligament and meniscus in his right knee during the preseason game Thursday at Chicago and is out for the season, a player source told 9News.

Overnight, 9News reported Broncos feared Winn had suffered an ACL injury but needed to wait until he took the MRI this morning to confirm. The damage was more extensive than hoped.

Late in the first quarter, Winn was getting knocked off the line of scrimmage on a running play by Bears center Cody Whitehair, although a penalty flag revealed why: Whitehair was flagged for holding. Winn had his foot planted as he got hit from behind by Bears guard Josh Sitton. Broncos 334-pound defensive tackle Zach Kerr also seemed to get knocked into Winn.

Winn has been a solid rotational player, a consummate professional and mentor to young players in the locker room.

With Winn down, second-year player Kyle Peko is expected to have a great chance to make the 53-man roster – providing Peko is cleared to return soon from his broken foot injury. There is hope, if not certainty, Peko could resume light football drills next week when the Broncos fly to San Francisco for a couple days of practices and a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Shakir Soto and Tyrique Jarrett – both undrafted defensive lineman from Pitt -- will also compete for a roster spot. Soto played well in the preseason opener against the Bears.