Shane Ray announces return date on social media

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 4: Linebacker Shane Ray
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 4: Linebacker Shane Ray /

Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shane Ray was unfortunately injured in preparation for the 2017 season, but has a return date in mind…

The Denver Broncos started the 2017 season without one of their best pass rushers and potential breakout player candidates in outside linebacker Shane Ray.

Somewhat quietly, Ray had eight sacks last season and was one of the Broncos’ most improved players overall. Heading into the 2017 season, he and most everyone who had seen him work this offseason thought that this year would be the ‘jump’ year for the third year pass rusher.

Unfortunately, Ray suffered a wrist injury in late July that would put him out 6-8 weeks, and the Broncos opted to put him on injured reserve for a short period of time to save a roster spot while he worked his way back to full strength.

It was thought at the time of his being placed on IR that Ray would miss a few games, but not even half of the regular season games for the Broncos. He confirmed that with this tweet, essentially announcing when he will be coming back:

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This isn’t a subliminal message by Ray, either. There’s no subtlety here at all. He appears to be planning on coming back on this date, no questions asked.

Even the photo he used has meaning behind it. The Broncos will be traveling to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs on October 30th, and obviously this photo is a picture of Ray getting a nice shot on Alex Smith at Arrowhead Stadium.

It’ll be a huge boost to the Broncos’ defense to have Ray back into the fold, even though Shaquil Barrett led the team in total pressures against the Los Angeles Chargers in Ray’s absence. Having that third top flight pass rusher will be a big positive for the Broncos, and if Ray’s projected return date is accurate, he will only miss six regular season games.

If that’s the case, the Broncos will probably want Ray to get in a week or two of practice before he finally gets a chance to play, so expect him to return to the practice field by October 23rd-25th.