The Denver Broncos have been hurt by the injury bug hard this season and they’ve been hit once again with a big-time injury to their secondary.
After a surprising 3-6 start, the Broncos found out that they will be without their top slot cornerback for quite a while.
Williams will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver.
The 31-year-old cornerback has been dealing with injuries throughout the season, but none severe enough to prevent him in playing in games. Dealing with a wrist and elbow injury, Williams played in over 60 percent of the snaps last game against the Tennessee Titans before exiting with his knee injury.
Williams has Performed Well This Season
After signing with Denver in the offseason, Williams has played well for the Broncos alongside standout corner, Patrick Surtain ll.
Williams currently ranks second on the team in pass deflections with five, trailing only Surtain ll.
Helping the Broncos own the top scoring defense in the NFL, Williams has been a major contributor to the Denver defense.
When quarterbacks are throwing at Williams, he’s only allowing a passer rating of 66.7, per Pro Football Focus.
“K’Waun has done an incredible job for us. We saw that he had a pass breakup and a pick vs. Jacksonville, which was huge to get that win,” Hackett said when talking to the media. “I mean, he’s just been all over the place. He’s a leader — he’s soft-spoken, but he plays loud, and that’s what I love about him. He’s just a great person, and he’ll be around a lot, but we want to get him back.”
So far this season, Williams has 30 tackles with two being for a loss, but also has a sack along with two quarterback hits.
The Broncos have not announced that they’ll place Williams on injured reserve which would require him to be out a minimum of four weeks.
Cornerback Essang Bassey will likely replace Williams for the time being.
Denver’s secondary ranks first in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game at just 174.4.
Broncos Lead the League in Injuries
Through just nine games, the Broncos currently have 14 players on injured reserve. Those 14 players account for $55.31 million which is just over 26 percent of the team’s salary cap.
The Broncos are also missing All-Pro safety Justin Simmons to a knee injury that sidelined him last game against the Titans. When speaking to the local media today, Simmons mentioned that he expects to play this week.
Hackett also broke the news today that they’ll be without wide receiver K.J. Hamler for a “few weeks” with a hamstring injury.
Denver also got some better news than expected with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. After suffering an ankle injury on the first offensive snap of the game against Tennessee, Jeudy left the game and news later came out that he suffered a strained muscle that’s behind his ankle. The former first-round pick is just day to day, per Hackett.
The Broncos have also suffered injuries along the offensive line, which has hurt Russell Wilson and the offense. Denver placed their starting center, Lloyd Cushenberry, on injured reserve with a groin injury. The Broncos were then forced to replace Cushenberry with veteran Graham Glasgow and he’s suffering from a shoulder injury.
At right tackle, Denver lost their opening night starter Cam Fleming to an injury along with Tom Compton. The Broncos are hopeful that Compton can return this week to strengthen the right side of the offensive line.
Compton has not played a single down yet for the orange and blue, but Denver had to activate him this week or else he would be sidelined for the rest of the season.
Denver also placed offensive tackle Billy Turner on injured reserve with an ankle injury after he got rolled up on against the Titans. Turner missed the first 5 games of this season while recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, he’ll now miss a minimum of four more.
Being three games under .500 on the season, the Broncos have a four percent chance to make the playoffs and can’t afford to lose anymore players to injury.
The Broncos will look to get back into the winning column this week when they host the 2-7 Las Vegas Raiders.