The Denver Broncos best player on defense with Von Miller out with an ACL tear is cornerback Chris Harris Jr., who is the best nickel back in the game. Slot corners have become more important in the league today, because the slot corner is essentially a starter. Harris is the best of them and is a shutdown corner in every sense, and it was clear yesterday that the Broncos coverage suffered significantly with the Kansas product out. One of the most underrated players in the game, Harris is a loss that the Broncos can’t afford to have in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, especially since the Patriots thrive in the slot with their best two receivers mostly doing their work on the inside.
According to the Denver Post, the Broncos fear that Chris Harris Jr. suffered a “serious” knee injury in yesterday’s game, and he also suffered an ankle injury. Harris will undergo an MRI today that will likely decide whether or not he has a chance to play, and I’m honestly expecting the worst. There have been a few times this season where we’ve heard the Post report that a Broncos fear a player has gone down with a severe injury, and this player has usually hit the injured reserve with that injury (Von Miller being the biggest example).
The Patriots have been hit harder by injuries than any other team in the NFL, but their opponents next week are a very close second, especially when it comes to the incredible amount of injuries they have suffered on the defensive side of the ball. The Broncos have a deep defense, but it isn’t as talented as the offense or nearly as equipped to handle the kind of injuries they have suffered this season. They can only hope that Harris’s MRI comes in clean, but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be so lucky against Edelmendola. If he is unable to play, then it’s DRC (very good), Quentin Jammer (suspect), and Champ Bailey in the slot on Sunday.