Broncos Lose Veteran Pass Rusher for Multiple Weeks

Frank Clark

Getty Denver Broncos OLB Frank Clark pursuing a tackle against the San Francisco 49ers.

The injuries hurt the Denver Broncos last season and they’re already starting to hurt them again and we’re just two weeks into the season.

Broncos veteran pass rusher Frank Clark injured his hip during practice on September 13 and didn’t practice the following day.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Clark is expected to miss a couple of weeks and the injury is not considered serious. Right now, Clark is week-to-week.

In his Broncos debut against the Raiders, Clark only totaled up two tackles and failed to sack the quarterback in his 25 snaps.

This is also the second injury that Clark has suffered in a Broncos uniform. The former second-round pick suffered a thumb injury in training camp that sidelined him extended time including Denver’s preseason opener.

The 30-year-old signed with the Broncos back on June 13 on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million full guaranteed with incentives that can boost his contract up to $7.5 million.

Injuries Have Hurt the Broncos Pass Rushers

Entering training camp, it looked like the Broncos had some depth at outside linebacker, but going into Week 2, that statement doesn’t relate anymore.

Before the Broncos lost Clark, they also lost linebacker Baron Browning to knee surgery.

According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Browning underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a partially torn meniscus. Browning began the season on the PUP list which means he won’t be able to return until Week 5.

Now the Broncos are down to Randy Gregory, Jonathon Cooper, Nik Bonitto, and Thomas Incoom.

Last season, Gregory played in only six games and tallied up just two sacks along with seven quarterback hits. Browning and Cooper each missed three games in 2022.

Broncos Need to Find a Way to Get to the QB

Over the years, the Broncos have been known as one of the best pass rushing teams in the NFL. Since Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware, and Bradley Chubb have left the numbers have gone down dramatically.

In the past two seasons, the Broncos have sacked the quarterback 72 times, which ranks as the sixth-least number of sacks in the NFL.

Last year, Denver had the seventh-least number of sacks with just 36, but things also changed at the trade deadline.

After the Broncos took down the Jacksonville Jaguars in London, in Week 8, their sack numbers went down dramatically. Denver traded away Chubb to the Miami Dolphins for a first-round pick.

Since the trade, the Broncos have played 10 games and they only own 12 sacks in that time span. In four of those 10 games, Denver failed to record a single sack and were one of the five teams to not record a sack on opening weekend.

Despite the Broncos struggling to get to the quarterback, Denver’s defensive coordinator Vance Joseph praised the Broncos’ pass rush early on in training camp.

“It’s the best room I’ve had from one to six in a very long time, Joseph said on August 8.

In Week 1, the Arizona Cardinals’ defense sacked Washington’s quarterback Sam Howell six times. There should not be an excuse if the Broncos can’t get to the former North Carolina Tar Heel in Week 2.

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