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Bradley Chubb activated from injured list, expected to play vs. Chargers

The Broncos outside linebacker was touch-n-go this week, but he is back after missing 9 of the first 10 games with an ankle injury.
Credit: AP
Denver Broncos outside linebacker Bradley Chubb heads to the locker room after taking part in drills at an NFL football training camp at team headquarters Friday, July 30, 2021, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos needed a boost and Bradley Chubb is providing it.

The fourth-year outside linebacker, who has been good when healthy but too often hasn’t been healthy, was activated from the injured reserve list Saturday and will play Sunday against Justin Herbert and the explosive Los Angeles Chargers’ offense. 

9NEWS was the first to report Chubb’s return, and the team later confirmed.

Chubb has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on his left ankle in the days following the Broncos’ win at Jacksonville in game 2. He missed the season opener against the New York Giants because of ankle discomfort, returned to play a half against Jacksonville, then shut it down over the next nine weeks.

All along, the timetable for Chubb’s return was the Chargers game after the bye week, although he had a midweek setback scare. The ankle came around Friday, though, and following the team’s walkthrough Saturday it was decided by Chubb and the Broncos’ medical staff that he was good to go.

Chubb was the Broncos’ first-round draft pick, No. 5 overall, in 2018 and lived up to that lofty selection by recording a franchise-record 12.0 sacks among rookies, breaking Von Miller’s mark of 11.5 sacks in 2011. Chubb had just one sack in four games in 2019, however, as he suffered a torn ACL in game 4 against Jacksonville.

He returned in 2020 and had 7.5 sacks in 14 games to earn his first Pro Bowl berth, although he missed the final two games with a right ankle injury. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right ankle in May, then his left ankle started acting up during training camp.

Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said Chubb would be on a snap count against the Chargers, although it may be difficult to keep him off the field against the talented Herbert. The Chargers are 6-4, a half-game behind the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, while the Broncos are 5-5.

Although Chubb returns, Denver’s D will likely be without safety Kareem Jackson, who is listed as doubtful with a shoulder/neck injury, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris is questionable with a late-week ankle sprain.

RELATED: Caden Sterns ready to replace injured Kareem Jackson as Denver D takes on explosive Chargers

The Broncos also promoted offensive tackle Quinn Bailey from their practice squad. The team needed reinforcement after right tackle Bobby Massie was unable to make it back from his high ankle sprain.

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