Broncos OLB Baron Browning Undergoes Knee Surgery

JUNE 13: Browning’s offseason injury did affect the Broncos’ decision to add Clark, Sean Payton said Tuesday. Browning will begin training camp on the active/PUP list, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets. This is a camp-only distinction; the Broncos can move Browning off this PUP list prior to setting their 53-man roster.

JUNE 8: Although the Broncos are adding Frank Clark to their pass-rushing group, they might be without another member of that contingent for part of training camp. Baron Browning is recovering from arthroscopic surgery to address a meniscus injury, Mike Klis of 9News reports.

Browning suffered a partially torn meniscus, per Klis, who adds the third-year defender is expected to be back at some point during camp. Browning has not practiced during the media-attended portion of Broncos OTAs.

Moved from inside to outside linebacker ahead of his second season, the former third-round pick flashed at points upon replacing an injured Randy Gregory last season. Browning totaled 1.5 sacks, six QB hits and a fumble recovery during an October loss to the Colts — Denver’s first game without Gregory — and finished his season with five sacks. Browning’s injury is not related to anything from last season, with Klis noting it is believed to have come from training independently this offseason.

This knee issue comes after Gregory missed much of last season because of knee trouble. Gregory sustained his knee injury in early October, returned for two December games and did not play in Denver’s final two contests. Browning only missed three games due to hip and back maladies; two of those absences came after the team dealt Bradley Chubb to the Dolphins at the trade deadline. The player brought in to help the depleted unit at the deadline — Jacob Martin — finished last season on IR. The Broncos released Martin last month.

Browning is expected to be a key piece in Vance Joseph‘s defense this season. The Ohio State alum became the rare inside linebacker to become a quick starter on the edge, doing so after starting nine games inside in 2021. As they turned to Alex Singleton alongside Josey Jewell at that position last year, the Broncos shifted Browning to the outside in their 3-4 scheme. While Browning’s move to outside ‘backer occurred over a year ago, he will not be able to begin onsite training in Joseph’s system for a bit.

It will be interesting to what role Joseph and Sean Payton have in mind for the former five-star recruit now that Clark is in the fold. The Broncos also have 2022 second-rounder Nik Bonitto and ex-Browning Buckeyes teammate Jonathon Cooper in their OLB mix.

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