There are two major goals of the NFL preseason. One is to make sure everybody’s on the same page: learn the playbook, get familiar with each other. The second is to avoid injury.
Unfortunately, one key member of the Denver Broncos couldn’t do that Monday. Defensive end Vance Walker will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced.
Walker, entering his eighth NFL season, was supposed to replace Malik Jackson, who left for Jacksonville in free agency. Now he’ll have to watch from the sidelines as the Broncos try to defend their Super Bowl title.
This is Walker’s second year in Denver. Last season, he registered 33 tackles and two sacks. Walker’s primary duty was to stop the run.
Fifth-year pro Jared Crick and rookie Adam Gotsis should get most of the snaps opposite Derek Wolfe in Walker’s absence. Crick has 5 1/2 sacks in four NFL seasons. Denver chose Gotsis in the second round of May’s NFL Draft.