Shane Ray out 6-8 weeks: Possible replacement options

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08: Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 08: Outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos will be without budding star pass rusher Shane Ray for 6-8 weeks after a ligament injury to his wrist. Who could be options to step up?

The Denver Broncos have been counting on a big season from their budding star off the edge opposite Von Miller. Now, Shane Ray will have to wait at least six weeks before he can get back onto the field after Vance Joseph reported he suffered a ligament injury in his wrist.

Injuries are unquestionably the worst part of an NFL training camp, but they are not unexpected. The Broncos, unfortunately, were already without pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, who has been recovering from a hip injury.

Now what?

The Broncos are going to have to go shopping for edge help, and that could end up helping them in the long run anyway.

They already went out this offseason and brought in Kasim Edebali from the New Orleans Saints, who apparently has drawn ‘rave’ reviews:

Edebali will provide some nice depth off the edge, but his primary contributions should be on special teams this year. There is a pass rusher out there who recently announced his retirement that could potentially be talked back into playing with Von Miller again…

In case you didn’t pick up the hints, I’m talking about DeMarcus Ware.

The Broncos are obviously going to need someone who is capable of starting off the year and providing that edge presence, and Ware is a guy who has obviously done it for a long time. Were it not for nagging back injuries, he probably would still be playing right now.

Another veteran player that could potentially get a call from the Broncos is Dwight Freeney, who was rumored to be of interest to the Broncos a few years ago when Peyton Manning was still around.

Freeney has had some very interesting incentivized contracts in the past, which included a small base salary and cap hit along with a per-sack bonus.

Next: Training Camp: Day two observations

I think the Broncos will try and bring in a veteran presence off the edge, and that could perhaps also be achieved in a trade. Unfortunately, teams aren’t really looking to get rid of some of their best rushers but the Broncos have some players they could offer up in a deal, specifically at the wide receiver position.

If the Broncos can parlay some of their receiver depth and get a pass rusher with some upside, or at least someone who could cash in on the opportunities afforded them by the mere presence of Von Miller, this recent injury to Ray could give the Broncos enviable depth at the edge spots about a month into the season.