Well, it could be worse.

Randy Gregory, who suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, will be out several weeks. He is scheduled to receive arthroscopic surgery.

While unfortunate, it is a sigh of relief for Broncos fans who feared the worst after Gregory exited the game. To date, he already has two sacks, two forced fumbles, two tackles for loss, and nine tackles overall.

“Well, everybody has to step up. It’s going to hurt because he’s a very good player, and he’s been doing a really good job,” defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said on Tuesday. “It’s a great opportunity for Baron [Browning], it’s a great opportunity for Nik [Bonitto] and whoever else gets an opportunity.”

Like when Justin Simmons went down, Gregory’s exit presents an opportunity for new players to step up.

Baron Browning will be filling in as the starter opposite Bradley Chubb until Gregory returns. Browning switched from outside linebacker to inside linebacker in the offseason and is still awaiting his first NFL regular season sack. In three preseason games, Browning recorded a sack for a 12-yard loss, four total tackles, one tackle for loss, a quarterback hit, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

2022 second-round pick, Nik Bonitto, will also see an increased playing time. Bonitto has only played 16 defensive snaps and has one recorded tackle in two game appearances this year.

Bonitto was the Broncos’ first draft pick, as they had given their first-rounder away in the acquisition of Russell Wilson.

He was a fantastic pass-rusher in college at the University of Oklahoma but has still been developing and adjusting to the NFL. Though the anticipation was that he would have more time to prepare, head coach Nathaniel Hackett believes he’s shown that he’s ready to take on the bigger role.

“He’s developed every week; he’s gotten better and better,” Hackett said. “Even in practice, his habits have gotten better. As any rookie, there’s a process of learning how to be a pro, a process of learning throughout everything, so it’s just going to get better.”

This week is the perfect opportunity for both Browning and Bonitto to show Broncos Country what they can do because quarterback Matt Ryan has already been sacked 15 times this season.

The Denver Broncos (2-2) will look for a bounce back win against the Indianapolis Colts (1-2-1) Thursday night at 6:15 pm MST.