ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP)The Von Miller-Bradley Chubb reunion is still on for Sunday, but it sure is starting to feel like it could be delayed.
Chubb is dealing with a sprained right ankle that isn’t coming along as quickly as hoped, putting his status for the game against the New York Giants in jeopardy.
Bradley was limited at practice Thursday, an improvement from earlier in the week when he participated in the team stretch and then worked off to the side on his own.
If Bradley does play Sunday, it’ll mark the first regular season game playing alongside Miller in 715 days.
The pass rush partners who combined for 26+ sacks in 2018 have only played four games together since then and none since Sept. 29, 2019.
That’s the day Chubb tore his right ACL in a game against Jacksonville, although he stayed in the game and didn’t realize the extent of his injury until the following day.
He missed the rest of that season and Miller finished with eight sacks, down from 14+ the year before, when Chubb’s dozen sacks established a franchise rookie record.
Just as Chubb was embarking on his comeback from knee surgery in 2020, Miller suffered a freak ankle tendon dislocation during a practice on Sept. 8, and he missed the whole season.
Chubb managed just 7+ sacks without Miller on the other side, but he nonetheless made his first Pro Bowl because he also collected 19 quarterback hits, nine tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in 14 games.
Chubb missed the last two with a left ankle injury that would require offseason surgery and keep him sidelined for much of the offseason program. He played 10 snaps in the Broncos’ second preseason game and 23 against the Rams in the exhibition finale, including two on special teams.
He came out of that last game with a sprained right ankle, and the Broncos rested him all of last week in hopes he’ll play just his 21st game alongside Miller out of a possible 49.
Coach Vic Fangio had been saying he expected Chubb to be ready to play Sunday but this week he said Chubb’s injury was worse than he thought it was last week.
The risk/reward will be factored into the decision whether to hold back Chubb until Week 2, when the Broncos visit Jacksonville.
”We definitely want them both,” defensive coordinator Ed Donatell said. ”We have a nice group with Malik (Reed) and Jonathon Cooper. Those guys are fitting in our depth. And we roll guys anyways. But what we do know is Chubb is practicing today and he’ll do everything he can to get to the game this week.”
Chubb’s troubles weren’t limited to the football field this week. He was arrested by Douglas County police Tuesday when a minor traffic infraction led to the discovery that he had an arrest warrant for failing to appear Aug. 6 in Arapahoe County Court on another traffic violation.
”It was an outstanding traffic issue I thought was already resolved after paying the ticket several months ago,” Chubb tweeted. ”Regardless of the circumstances, I take responsibility and it won’t happen again. I’ve learned from this and am fully focused on helping us get a win in New York!”
Fangio supported his outside linebacker, suggesting it could happen to anyone.
”You know, I have a good friend of mine over in Greenwood Village who’s a high-standing citizen here in the Denver area and he had the same thing happen to him,” Fangio said. ”He laxed on paying a traffic citation and the next thing you know he went through the same thing that Bradley went through.
”And Bradley’s a high-standing individual just like that guy is,” Fangio said, ”and it’s over and done with.”
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