ENGLEWOOD – Shane Ray can’t catch a break.
The Broncos’ outside linebacker could be facing another surgery on his troublesome left wrist, sources told 9NEWS. Ray is getting a second opinion but as of now, it appears he’s headed for surgery.
If he doesn’t undergo the procedure, Ray would not be expected to miss the season, although it could jeopardize the start.
He first injured the wrist on the first day of training camp last season. He underwent multiple surgeries, then missed the first six games of last season.
A first-round talent who had 8.0 sacks in a part-time role in 2016, Ray had just 1.0 sack in eight games last season before the Broncos shut him down the final two games.
He is the second Broncos' linebacker to have suffered a serious injury during OTAs. The Broncos lost Deiontrez Mount to a season-ending, torn Achilles injury last week.
Ray, who just turned 25, seemed healthy during the Broncos’ offseason program until this week, when he sat out the Organized Team Activity (OTA) practice while wearing a splint around his left wrist.
Broncos left tackle Garett Bolles was lauding the edge pass rushers he goes up against in practice Tuesday. Bradley Chubb, the Broncos’ No. 5 overall draft pick, is a hard worker. Six-time Pro Bowler Von Miller is a leader.
“It’s a bummer about Shane Ray but he still teaches, he’s still a leader on that sideline,’’ Bolles said.
The Broncos last month declined to exercise Ray’s $9.23 million option for the 2019 season. Ray's injury would increase the chances of undrafted rookie Jeff Holland making the 53-man roster. Holland received a $15,000 signing bonus that tied with running back Phillip Lindsay for the richest bonus among the Broncos' seven college free agents.
Stansly Mapanga, a native of Zimbabwe who has three seasons of NFL experience, is another outside linebacker who has been getting some second-team reps.