ENGLEWOOD—Denver Broncos’ outside linebacker Shaq Barrett suffered a serious hip injury while working out on his own away from the team facility, 9News has learned.
Barrett, 24, will be out at least two or three months, and it could be much longer depending on further evaluation he is to receive from a hip specialist in Vail. If Barrett needs surgery, he could be out five to six months.
The full extent of Barrett's injury, and whether his injury will require surgery, won't be known until after his visit to Vail. It would be a surprise if Dr. Marc Philippon of the Steadman Clinic is not involved in diagnosing the extent of Barrett's injury. Dr. Philippon is one of the world's most noted hip specialists. He performed surgeries on each hip of Broncos center Matt Paradis earlier this offseason. Paradis is recovering ahead of the schedule to the point the Broncos are confident he will be their starting center in the season opener Sept. 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Barrett appeared to have suffered the injury while performing a plyometric jumping exercise, sources told 9News. Because the injury did not occur on the Broncos' watch, Barrett could possibly take a financial hit. He is due to draw $615,000 this year, but the team could withhold a portion of that salary if he is placed on non football injury (NFI) list. Barrett, who has been a key backup for the Broncos the previous two years, is in line to become a restricted free agent after this season.
Barrett is a fourth-year player from Colorado State who made the Broncos’ practice squad as a rookie in 2014 before he had a breakout year in 2015 with 5 ½ sacks. Barrett had only 1.5 sacks last year as opponents adjusted to his relentless motor and the Broncos gave more playing time to first-round pick Shane Ray.
Barrett’s injury and the retirement of DeMarcus Ware depletes the Broncos’ once incredible depth at the outside edge pass-rushing positions. The team now has Von Miller and Ray as its only known commodities at the pass-rushing linebacker position.
The Broncos did sign former New Orleans edge rusher Kasim Edebali as a free agent this offseason and return Vontarrius Dora, who shined in the preseason last year. Dora spent most of last season on the Broncos’ practice squad before receiving a late-season promotion to the 53-man roster.
The Broncos are also have hopes for Deon Hollins, an undrafted rookie outside linebacker from UCLA.