ENGLEWOOD, Colorado — Denver Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan promised not to hold back when he returned from a second fracture in his left leg and "if I break something else," then so be it. "But I'm going to be back out there on that field rocking with them 'til it's over."
Trevathan's season is over.
An MRI on Monday confirmed he dislocated his left kneecap in Denver's 22-10 win at San Diego on Sunday that clinched a playoff spot for the Broncos (11-3).
It was his first game since Oct. 12, when he fractured the bone near his left kneecap — but in a different area than the original fracture, which occurred when center Will Montgomery rolled over him Aug. 12 in training camp.
"Danny's had a rough season," coach John Fox said. "Sometimes setbacks are setups for better things to come and that will be his mind-set as he gets ready for surgery and then gets ready for the pretty strenuous rehab."
Linebacker Brandon Marshall is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a sprained right foot, and both Peyton Manning and left tackle Ryan Clady are dealing with thigh injuries. Manning attributed his injury to dehydration after he caught a nasty stomach bug Saturday night.
"He feels much better today," Fox said.
Still, Manning can sure use the three-day respite from practice with the Broncos reconvening Thursday to begin preparations for their game at Cincinnati (9-4-1) Monday night.
When Marshall and Trevathan went out Sunday, Denver's linebacker corps was reduced to Steven Johnson and special teamer Todd Davis, signed off waivers last month from New Orleans. The Broncos will turn to those two, second-year pro Lerentee McCray and rookies Lamin Barrow and Corey Nelson now.
"When we form up back on Thursday, I'm sure we'll have a plan," Fox said. "It's not there quite yet."
Fox said it was "way too far ahead" to say who would have the green sticker on his helmet against the Bengals to relay Jack Del Rio's defensive calls, something the Broncos couldn't do once Trevathan joined Marshall in the trainer's room in San Diego.
"I thought they did a tremendous job" given the limitations on communications and personnel, Fox said. "I thought it was a pretty gritty performance with all that happened."
This is starting to look like last year, when the Broncos withstood an injury epidemic to win the AFC championship.
"We faced a lot of adversity last year and still made a Super Bowl," Terrance Knighton said. "Coach Del Rio does a great job of putting guys in position to make plays. We have a lot of depth. We don't have a lot of guys who have played a lot of football, but Todd can come in and make an impact. Corey, he proved that he can" do the same.
Knighton said the injuries put "the onus on the D-line and we're ready for that pressure."
It wasn't all dour at Dove Valley on Monday.
The Broncos held a news conference to talk about re-signing cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to a five-year, $42.5 million contract over the weekend. His wife and newborn daughter were in the front row.
"He's the type of Denver Bronco that we want, because of what he does, how he plays, how he attacks the field and his competitive nature when he plays," GM John Elway said. "But also, his giving back to the community. So he represents us tremendously both on and off the field."
Harris gave the Broncos a significant hometown discount.
"I definitely could have gotten more (money in) the open market," Harris said with a laugh. "I know that, we all know that, but it's not all about money at the end of the day. It's about being happy, and I'm satisfied."
He told The Associated Press that re-signing Harris "shows our commitment to our guys. We won't be able to keep everybody, but hopefully we can keep the right combination."
Knighton suggested he would take less to stay in Denver.
"Sometimes winning overshadows how much money you make," he said. "I don't want to leave. I want to be here. ... If they're in the ballpark, I'll be a Bronco."
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