Denver Broncos: Fallout of Bryce Callahan’s extended absence
The Denver Broncos are going to have to continue through at least half of the season without Bryce Callahan. So what’s next for them? For him?
The Denver Broncos are going to be without cornerback Bryce Callahan for another 4-6 weeks according to head coach Vic Fangio, as Callahan makes his way back from a foot injury he suffered last year in Chicago.
Callahan had surgery to repair a broken foot last year with the Bears and was placed on season-ending IR. The Broncos signed Callahan knowing his situation and recovery timetable, but he apparently re-injured the foot at the team’s practice at the stadium this past August.
Callahan had his foot stepped on, and has been in discomfort ever since.
That re-injury happened back in August, so we’re already pushing two months of recovery time from having the injured foot stepped on and aggravated.
Now, Callahan’s going to need at least four weeks, maybe six, maybe more. Fangio told the media that IR was, at one point, a possibility for the corner and remains a possibility if the procedure he’s having to try and fix it doesn’t go as planned.
Callahan’s foot injury is not of the Lisfranc variety, which is good news, but the week-to-week wondering and worrying has started something of a panic in Broncos Country.
Is this guy going to play for the team?
It’s got to be killing him for the fact that he is missing out on per-game bonuses of $31,250 (up to $500,000 this season) every week he’s out. That’s also probably one reason he’s not opting for season-ending surgery until it’s the only option he has left.
It’s good to have a timetable now for Callahan’s potential return, and no one is more frustrated about his absence than Callahan himself, I’m sure.
In the meantime, what are the Broncos going to do?
What have they been doing?
As Fangio explained it on Wednesday, Kareem Jackson has slid down from safety to nickel. He practiced all offseason as a safety while Callahan worked with the team as an outside corner, and Chris Harris manned the nickel spot.
Now, Harris is at corner, Jackson is in at nickel, and the Broncos have De’Vante Bausby on the other side of Harris after Isaac Yiadom’s early struggles. Will Parks has also been playing more at safety with Jackson lined up in the slot.
Bausby was an award winner on this week’s Knights of DEN podcast as a surprise breakout player. He had two pass breakups, both on third-down plays, and picked up right where he left off in preseason play.
The Broncos also traded for former second-round pick Duke Dawson of the New England Patriots, who plays nickel corner primarily as well. He’s still getting up to speed in the defense, and as some of these veteran players are struggling to get on the same page with things, it’s understandable that the Broncos would be affording a guy like Dawson the time he needs to acclimate himself to the scheme.
The Broncos also picked up Davontae Harris, a former fifth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals who was a superstar at the FCS level. He’s been playing primarily on special teams so far.
The Broncos have solutions on the roster, but not everyone is fully up to speed yet. They may have to expedite that process and get some of these players learning on the job if they have to do so.
Callahan will now likely be out through the Broncos’ bye week (week 10). Could we see him make his regular season debut against the Minnesota Vikings in week 11? Will he come back in four weeks and play at the end of October against the Indianapolis Colts?
At this point, no one knows, probably not even Callahan.