One of many Broncos to miss extended time due to injury last season, Jonas Griffith is now expected to miss the entire 2023 campaign.
The former UDFA suffered an ACL injury during training camp, 9News’ Mike Klis reports (on Twitter). The young linebacker has indeed sustained a torn ACL, the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel tweets. This marks the second season-ending injury the Broncos have sustained this week. Tim Patrick, who missed all of 2022 with an ACL tear, went down with an Achilles tear Monday. Patrick is now on IR.
A former 49ers UDFA whom the Broncos traded for in 2020, Griffith started eight games for the team last year. As the Broncos attempt to shake their injury-prone reputation, this week has brought a reminder of the team’s recent past.
For Griffith, this brings more of the same as well. The Indiana State alum suffered a dislocated elbow during Denver’s preseason slate last year. While he recovered in time to start the regular season, a foot injury sustained during a November practice knocked Griffith out for the rest of the year. Thursday’s setback will effectively lead to a 1 1/2-season hiatus for Griffith, and the pattern of maladies form a hurdle of sorts for a player who has been a regular since debuting for the Broncos in 2021.
Griffith played 255 defensive snaps in 2021, and although the foot injury limited him to nine games last season, the 26-year-old off-ball linebacker topped that with 336 last season. Griffith made 46 tackles in both 2021 and ’22, serving as a special teams regular as well. The Broncos tendered him as an ERFA in March. They will have the option of placing the low-end RFA tender on the Division I-FCS product next year, but this ACL injury may affect his future in Denver.
The Broncos have re-signed both their top ILBs — Josey Jewell, Alex Singleton — in consecutive offseasons. Singleton agreed to terms on a three-year, $18MM deal in March. The team used a third-round pick on Arkansas’ Drew Sanders, a hybrid player who has lined up as an off-ball ‘backer and on the edge.