You hate to see injuries to any player at any time in the NFL, but the harsh reality is that they happen all the time.
For rookie LB/DE Lerentee McCray, an ankle injury in the third quarter against the Arizona couldn’t have been worse timing.
McCray, an undrafted free agent out of Florida, is battling for a roster spot and looked like he had one locked down after a stretch in the pre-season where he consistently showed good burst off the edge, blocked a punt, and had a great game going against the Cardinals in the finale.
Prior to his ankle injury, McCray had three tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. Once again, he was showing he can get you pressure off the edge, and even before his game last night, it looked like he was going to probably make the roster.
With Von Miller suspended for six games, McCray seemed like an ideal replacement and even backup when he came back. The Broncos will eventually have the ability to utilize both Shaun Phillips and Von Miller at the same time, and adding McCray to the mix seemed to be a plan that was working out.
He may still make the final 53 man roster, but McCray’s ankle injury is a very annoying, very untimely setback.
“It’s unfortunate that (McCray) got an ankle sprain,” head coach John Fox said after the game. “I think he’s worked very hard this training camp. We’ll see where it goes.”
Fox has let the cat out of the bag–an ankle sprain–so the Broncos probably can’t put him on injured reserve. The way he played this pre-season, it’s hard to believe that he could pass through waivers.
McCray was on crutches and in a walking boot after the game, but it’s encouraging to hear from coach Fox that it’s a sprain. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was back on the field after a serious high ankle sprain in just a couple of weeks, so McCray possibly could be ready to play in the Broncos’ week two matchup in New York with extended rest.
Still, it’s a shame that he likely won’t be healthy enough to go against the Ravens next Thursday night, but hopefully the Broncos are smart and keep him around.
Get him a new number, too. Pass rushers shouldn’t be wearing the same number as John Lynch.