Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray could miss the start of the season after the latest surgical procedure on his injured left wrist.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Ray is expected to undergo a “cleanup procedure” that could keep him out for up to three months.
Ray is expected to miss three months with this surgery. It means he’ll miss the start of the 2018 season. https://t.co/pBwUzoxKBI
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 6, 2018
The 25-year-old had just one sack in an injury-hit 2017 season that saw him have three surgeries on the same wrist he injured in training camp almost 12 months ago.
The procedure will be the fourth surgery Ray has had on the wrist, which he initially injured in training camp last season.
Ray has missed the past two days of OTAs because of a soreness in his wrist and Broncos head coach Vance Joseph said Monday they were being smart by holding him out.
“Shane’s got a little wrist going on right now,” Joseph said. “We’re taking it slow, just being smart with guys — it’s a sprain.
“Our goal is to get him healthy for training camp and we’re being smart with Shane.”
After a frustrating campaign last year, the Broncos’ 2015 first-round pick out of Missouri has decided to have surgery in what will be a contract season for him.
Earlier this year, the Broncos declined Ray’s fifth-year option after they drafted defensive end Bradley Chubb fifth overall in the 2018 NFL Draft with a view to using his versatility to play end and linebacker.
The Broncos also have Shaquil Barrett playing on a one-year restricted free agent tender, who will contend with Chubb to line up opposite Von Miller.
Ray’s absence in training camp and preseason should also give second-year linebackers Deiontrez Mount — as well as Jeff Holland, an undrafted free agent out of Auburn — a chance to impress.