DENVER — An MRI on Monday morning has confirmed the whispers that started spreading through the Denver Broncos’ locker room on Sunday night: Starting cornerback Chris Harris Jr. suffered a torn ACL against the San Diego Chargers and will miss the rest of the postseason.
The Denver Post was the first to report the news, citing multiple league sources. Yes, this means Harris would miss this coming Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots and the Super Bowl, should the Broncos make it that far.
Losing Harris will likely be tough on Denver, especially considering what happened to the team after Harris went down during the Divisional Playoff win over the Chargers. The defense had yet to allow a point before Harris suffered the injury midway though the third quarter. In the ensuing quarter an a half, the defense yielded 17 points and the Broncos just held on to win 24-17.
Veteran defensive back Quentin Jammer, who was acquired as a free agent from the Chargers in the offseason, served as Harris’ primary replacement. He was burned by his former teammate, quarterback Phillip Rivers, and rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen early and often in the fourth quarter.
If the Broncos are uneasy about Jammer moving forward, they do have several other options.
The first in line would likely be Champ Bailey, who has served primarily as the team’s nickel cornerback over the course of the last three games after missing the previous 11 with a foot injury.
Rookie Kayvon Webster, who played 44 percent of the Broncos defensive snaps before suffering a thumb injury in the team’s regular season loss to the Chargers in mid December, could also fill in for Harris. Webster has missed the last four games with due to the injury.
Tony Carter, who has been used sparingly in his fourth year with the Broncos but does have one interception on the season, could also see more playing time.