Sean Payton optimistic an early return is realistic for Broncos LB Drew Sanders

Is it possible LB Drew Sanders returns much earlier than expected?
Denver Broncos
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The Denver Broncos fanbase received rather unfortunate news earlier in the week that second-year linebacker Drew Sanders had suffered a torn Achilles and would miss a "significant portion" of the 2024 season. However, is there a possibility the Arkansas product could be returning to action sooner rather than later?

When speaking to the media Thursday afternoon, Broncos head coach Sean Payton shed some light on the situation with Sanders' injury:

Payton seems to believe that an early return is in the cards for the young, athletic linebacker in his sophomore campaign. Considering the time of injury occurred shortly before the draft in late April, Payton may not be bluffing. The typical recovery time for an Achilles tear lies somewhere between six and nine months before an athlete can begin running and jumping again. Therefore, if this stands true for Sanders, he will likely have to beat the recovery timeline by a month or two.

The most realistic recovery time will likely be at some point during December, however, even then is pushing the risk of re-injury for the 23-year-old linebacker. But considering Payton believes there's a chance Sanders can return in time for midseason around October or November, the organization must have received some very encouraging news regarding the success of his surgery and recovery timeline simply due to the fact that it is still very early in his recovery.

It is also important to note that if Denver is not in the playoff race come December, there is a very high chance that the coaching staff will decide to shut down Sanders for the remainder of the year and retain him on the injured reserve.


If Denver's linebacker unit turns out to be fine with veterans Alex Singleton, Cody Barton, and Jonas Griffith, there will be absolutely no reason to rush Sanders back from one of the most serious injuries in all of sports.

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