Denver Broncos Pat Surtain to see more action with Ronald Darby on IR

The Denver Broncos have lost cornerback Ronald Darby for a while. Despite playing every snap in week 1 against the New York Giants, Darby has been placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.

Darby suffered the injury on the last series of the game.

Darby had six tackles and one pass deflection in the win.

Injured reserve rules state that if a player is placed on the list, they must be out of game action for at least three weeks. Once those three weeks expire, they can return to game action if their injury allows them to.

Darby was one of the team’s top free agent signings of the 2021 offseason after he spent time with Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Washington to start out the first stretch of his career.

With Darby out, it is expected that first-round rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II will step into a starting role on the outside across from Kyle Fuller.

The Denver Broncos face an offense in the Jacksonville Jaguars that have experienced receivers in D.J. Chark and Marvin Jones, both of whom have a 1,000-yard season under their belt. I anticipate the Jaguars taking advantage of the rookie cornerback, but with Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, they may go to the run game a lot.

Per Pro Football Focus, Surtain allowed one reception on a lone target against the Giants. Surtain played just 16 of 61 defensive snaps against Jacksonville. The Broncos changed their defensive scheme and Surtain was not seen on the field after he missed a tackle on Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard who went for a touchdown.

In the preseason, Surtain did have an interception that went for a touchdown. Now, for at least the next three weeks, he gets to face Jones/Chark, Corey Davis/Keelan Cole (Jets), and Sammy Watkins/James Proche/Devin Duvernay.

Better late than never to get the young rookie some increased playing time.

After the injury to Darby, the Denver Broncos protected four players, including cornerback Saivion Smith. The team has also promoted Nate Hairston from the practice squad.