Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game at Lambeau Field on September 22, 2019.
Bradley Chubb has been a revelation at times for the Denver Broncos, there’s just one caveat though. His availability on the gridiron isn’t a constant. The one-time Pro Bowler had 7.5 sacks last season and looked set to press for double figures this season alongside returning rusher Von Miller.
Things haven’t worked out on that trajectory thus far though. Chubb missed the season opener in New York with an ankle injury. He did get out on the field in Week 2 at Jacksonville before it flared up.
Injuries Take Their Toll
Since his 16-game, 12-sack rookie season, Chubb has played in just 19 of a possible 34 games. Multiple lower leg injuries have been the bane of his on-field existence, and more broadly, a source of frustration for Broncos Country. To add insult to injury, Broncos fans have watched Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen – picked two places after Chubb – rise to stardom while their own signal-callers stunted Denver’s playoff hopes.
Whisper it quietly but there are some mentioning Chubb and the ‘B’ word in the same sentence. I’ll give you a hint, it’s not Bradley. Denver sports radio host Mike Evans, of 104.3 The Fan fame, believes there is a case for it. “I think it’s fair, I think it’s time to call him what he is, he’s a bust.” Evans said on the Schlereth & Evans show
, September 22. “In terms of he’ll never live up to his draft billing. He’s never going to be a generational player, he’s never going to be a perennial All-Pro, he’s never going to be on an All-Decade team.
“Can he still be a good player in this league? Yes. Is he ever going to be a No. 5 overall pick stud? No. You’re talking about somebody that’s had [three] ACLs, two different ankle surgeries for a guy who carries around a lot of weight. How all of a sudden is it going to stop in its tracks and be able to go on and have a decade’s worth of great health?”
Schlereth: Chubb Can’t Be Considered a Bust
Co-host and former Broncos’ Super Bowl winner Mark Schlereth
agreed Chubb’s availability will be a career-long concern but the ‘B’ word, well that’s a step too far for Stink.
“Frankly it’s not, you’re 100% right about that” Schlereth said. “But calling himself a bust, that’s not the appropriate term. Paxton Lynch was a bust. It’s disappointing what’s happened. Bradley Chubb isn’t a disappointment, what’s happened to him is disappointing. He’s not a bust but it hasn’t worked out, it hasn’t lived up to the hype or the billing.
“He’s still been a 12.5 sack guy when he’s healthy, he was still a Pro Bowler last year. I know exactly what you’re saying, I guess I have an affinity because he’s such a good kid and he’s a good player, and it hasn’t worked out because of the injury issues, and that’s disappointing.”
Chubb was ranked 40th in the NFL’s Top 100
for 2021 after returning from a torn ACL which restricted him to four games during the 2020 season. There’s no argument about his talent, Evans conceded as much before clarifying his robust stance.
“The player isn’t a bust but the injuries make him, the injuries are a bust,” Evans said. “When it comes to Bradley Chubb the draft pick, not Bradley Chubb as a person or player, just Bradley Chubb the draft pick is a bust!
“You pick somebody at No. 5 overall with the idea that he is going to be a Pro Bowl player, an All-Decade performer, maybe even a Hall of Famer. That’s why you have in mind when you pick somebody that high. I just don’t think he’s ever going to come close to reaching those levels.”
It’s feasible to believe Chubb could reach lofty heights if he can stay healthy. It’s a big if, but Broncos Country fans will be crossing their fingers and toes.
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