The Denver Broncos are getting a massive boost against the Los Angeles Chargers with the return off of injured reserve of Bradley Chubb.
With Von Miller being traded to the Los Angeles Rams a few weeks ago, the dream of seeing he and Bradley Chubb on the field together in Vic Fangio’s defense effectively died, or at least was put to bed for the time being.
Since Fangio was hired in 2019, one of Chubb or Miller has missed all but 4.5 games with long-term injuries.
It’s undoubtedly one of the most unfortunate things to happen in the post-Super Bowl era, especially after seeing what other pass rushers have been able to do in Fangio’s defense over the last decade.
Bradley Chubb’s return is a huge boost for the Broncos defense
OLB Bradley Chubb will be activated and will play Sunday vs. Chargers. Battled through a minor midweek setback. Big boost for Denver D vs Herbert and Co. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@mikeklis) November 27, 2021
Broncos Country is understandably a bit frustrated with the availability of Bradley Chubb the last three seasons. He has missed nine games this season and over the last three years, he’s missed 23 games in total with a torn ACL in 2019 then ankle injuries in 2020 and 2021.
Still, when he is healthy, Chubb has proven that he is one of the better edge players in the entire NFL, a well-rounded player on the defensive front with a great combination of speed and power.
As a rookie in 2018, Chubb challenged for Jevon Kearse’s NFL record 14.5 sacks as a rookie, a record that has surprisingly stood for a couple of decades now. Cowboys rookie Micah Parsons is challenging for the record this year and has a great shot at breaking it at this point with nine sacks in 11 games and six more games to play.
The Broncos’ decision to trade Von Miller was obviously met with quite a bit of outrage and sadness, but general manager George Paton has made it clear since he arrived that Chubb is a “core” guy on this team.
He will need to “re-prove” that in a way at this point, though it’s a little too easy to forget just how good Chubb was last season with 34 pressures, 19 QB hits, and 7.5 sacks in 12 games en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.
After suffering an injury in the preseason, Chubb tried to come back for an early-season matchup against the Jaguars and that didn’t go the way he or the Broncos had hoped. He ended up leaving the game at the half, and then had a procedure to remove a bone spur shortly after that game.
Ever since Chubb had the procedure on his ankle, the expectation has been for him to return after the bye week, and it’s very encouraging to see that he’s maintained that timeline, even with some setbacks.
The Broncos have been pretty transparent about Chubb’s recovery process and even with some setbacks in his recovery process, it sounds like Chubb feels good and has looked good in practice.
The Denver defense is getting a pretty big boost at a crucial time. After the bye week, the Broncos have seven games total, five of which are against divisional opponents. The first team on the post-bye docket is the Los Angeles Chargers, who boast one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and a core of offensive weapons that can beat you in a variety of ways.
Having Chubb back, even if he’s limited to 50-60 percent of the snaps in this game, is a massive boost for the Broncos.