Sunday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers kept Denver’s season alive, but unfortunately for the Broncos it came at a cost. According to Mike Klis, linebacker Shaquil Barrett will miss about a month with a hip flexor and tight end Jeff Heuerman is out for the season with broken ribs and a bruised lung.
Barrett, a 26-year old linebacker out of Colorado State, has been one of the most consistent players for the Broncos over the last three seasons. In 2018, Barrett has 24 tackles, three sacks and six hits on the quarterback.
Without Barrett in the mix, Shane Ray will likely see an increase in snaps over the next few weeks. Ray is scheduled to hit free agency this offseason, so how he performs down the stretch could potentially impact his value on the open market.
After struggling to make much of an impact in his first two professional seasons, Heuerman was really coming into his own in 2018. Heuerman already had more receptions this year (31), than he did in the previous two combined (18).
With no Heuerman in the passing game, Matt LaCosse could see his role increase. LaCosse had four catches on Sunday and also scored his first touchdown of his three-year NFL career.
The Broncos are also expected to call up tight end Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad. Hemingway will take Heuerman’s place on the 53-man roster.