Shane Ray was so pleased with how training camp practice went Friday morning, he stopped to talk with his media friends for a lengthy interview session.
“I’m pushing myself to be the best Shane I can be every day,’’ he said.
When he got inside, however, discomfort in his left wrist continued to nag him. Tests revealed a torn ligament that will require surgery. He will be out six to eight weeks, which means he could miss one to three games of the regular season.
Ray, a first-round draft pick in 2015 who seemed ready to become a double-digit pass rusher this season, suffered the injury during the Broncos’ first training camp practice Thursday.
“Just taking on a block,’’ said Broncos head coach Vance Joseph. “His wrist got caught, flipped way in and he tore a ligament. He worked through it yesterday, he worked through it today. He got X-rays and he needs surgery.’’
Where have you gone, edge pass rush from that Super Bowl 50 championship team? A huge key to the Broncos’ success that season is their pass rush came in droves from the outside. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware started at outside linebackers. When they needed a blow Ray and Shaq Barrett came in to continue to apply pressure.
Now, Miller is the only one standing. Ware retired, Barrett is expected to miss the first month of the regular season with a hip injury suffered during a personal workout in May and now Ray.
“As a 3-4 defensive front football team you want to have rushers,’’ Joseph said. “You want to have at least three. Again, we don’t play for a month-a-half for a real football game so we’ve got time to figure it out.’’
On their current roster, the top candidates to fill in as a pass-rushing outside linebacker are Kasim Edebali and Vontarrius Dora. The Broncos are expected to sign a street free agent pass rusher, though, much as they did with running back Stevan Ridley following the wrist surgery to Devontae Booker.
Although there may be speculation the Broncos may place a call to Ware, who has been working out vigorously, the team is expected to go in another direction.
Joseph never said this NFL head coaching business would be easy. The football gods are challenging him. A few days ago, the Broncos lost backup running back Devontae Booker to a fractured wrist – an injury suffered in June.