Denver Broncos expected to be without starting MLB Nate Irving for quite some time


Nov 2, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Denver Broncos middle linebacker Nate Irving (56) is carted off the field during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 43-21. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos fell to the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon and a starting player on their defensive unit went down. Nate Irving suffered what appeared to be a serious right knee injury in the second half of the loss and received an MRI the following day. Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Irving has a sprained MCL.

The good news is that it is not considered to be season ending, but rookie linebackers Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson will have to step up in the time-being as Danny Trevathan is currently out with a knee injury as well.

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Irving, 26, is currently the second leading tackler on the Broncos behind Brandon Marshall (62) with 46. Irving has been a solid plug-hole in the middle linebacker role which many doubted his skill to begin with. Nate has 26 solo tackles, 20 assists, 1.0 sack, and  6 tackles for a loss. As noted above, rookies Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson have to step up in the wake of Irving’s injury.

Luckily for Denver, the schedule on paper looks relatively easy compared to the one they faced to begin the season.

Denver will need Trevathan and Irving down the road – especially for the playoffs. The Denver Broncos (6-2) take on the division rival Oakland Raiders next Sunday afternoon. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:05 PM EST, 2:05 PM MST.