The Broncos have trotted out the same quartet of inside linebackers since the beginning of last season, but they will be a thinner group entering Week 6. Fourth-year contributor Corey Nelson will miss the rest of this season because of an elbow injury, Vance Joseph said Friday (via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post, on Twitter).
Nelson will be placed on IR and undergo surgery, Jhabvala tweets, adding that the Broncos will promote linebacker Jerrol Garcia-Williams from their practice squad. Nelson suffered the injury during Thursday’s practice, Mike Klis of 9News tweets, one that also saw swing tackle Donald Stephenson tear a calf muscle.
A fourth-year linebacker who arrived in Denver as a 2014 seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma, Nelson played in every Broncos game since that ’14 season. This included work in each of the Broncos’ three playoff contests during their 2015 Super Bowl season. He mostly served as a depth piece, initially behind Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall before being the primary backup Marshall and Todd Davis once Trevathan signed with the Bears.
Nelson started six games last season, making a career-high 61 tackles, because of a Marshall hamstring injury. The Broncos have used Nelson mostly on special teams this season, playing him on only 44 defensive snaps. This will make 2015 UDFA Zaire Anderson the primary backup to Marshall and Davis going forward. Nelson will be a UFA after this season.
Denver signed Garcia-Williams as a UDFA out of Hawaii in May.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.