ENGLEWOOD—It appears there’s a chance the Denver Broncos will have to go down their depth chart to find another defensive end after starter Jared Crick missed practice Friday because of his back injury.
Crick, a 15-game stater for the Broncos last season, was carted off the practice field August 14 when a disc issue caused his back to give out. After sitting out three weeks, Crick returned for three practices this week, then didn’t participate during the team’s workout Friday – just three days before the regular season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.
For now, the Broncos are saying Crick is day-to-day with his back injury. The team is hoping Crick responds to treatment in the next day or two so he can play against the Chargers.
But with another defensive lineman, Zach Kerr, not expected to play against the Chargers because of a knee injury, and defensive tackle Kyle Peko just getting back into football shape after sitting out two months with a foot injury, the Broncos are thin up front with running back Melvin Gordon approaching.
“Right now, we have to make a decision,’’ said defensive coordinator Joe Woods. “It’s part of the evaluation process for the next couple days. We may have to make some moves. We’ll see.’’
As for defensive linemen on their current roster, look for Shelby Harris and Adam Gotsis to get significant playing time against the Chargers alongside healthy starters Derek Wolfe and Domata Peko.