Dumervil tears pec muscle as Broncos off to a horrific start in 2010

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 16:  Defensive end Elvis Dumervil #92 of the Denver Broncos leaves the line of scrimmage as the Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 23-20 in overtime during week two NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 16, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

If this past week offers any indication of how the Broncos will fair in 2010, then Josh McDaniels and company are in for a long season.

Just days after the Broncos lost starting running back Knowshown Moreno for 2-3 weeks because of a torn right hamstring, Elvis Dumervil suffered a torn pectoral muscle and will be out for up to five months.

Fans have the right to remain hopeful that Dumervil will return at some point this season, but the math suggests otherwise. If he’s out for five months, that makes his return December and at that point, Denver might as well keep him out the rest of the year.

The real kick to the stones for the Broncos is that they just signed Dumervil to a six-year, $61.5 million contract three weeks ago. And this was after they deliberated about whether or not to just let the linebacker play on the one-year tender they signed him to in June.

But you can’t blame the Broncos for shelling out big bucks to their best pass-rusher. Dumervil led the league in sacks last year and had become a vital component to the team’s defense. Injuries obviously can’t be predicted and there was no way of knowing that Dumervil was going to rip a chest muscle less than a month after the Broncos broke out their checkbook. Despite their incredibly bad timing and luck, it was still the right decision for Denver at the time.

So what now? The Broncos have a couple of options available on the free agent market, including the recently released Aaron Schobel and former Patriot Adiliuas Thomas. But who knows whether or not Schobel would want to play in Denver’s 3-4 and given the lack of interest in Thomas this offseason (and his poor production in ’09 for Bill Belichick), maybe the Broncos will pass on signing a veteran. Of course, the team also has some internal options, as Robert Ayers could switch sides or Jarvis Moss could actually cash in on some of his first round potential. (That later idea is far-fetched, I know.)

Either way, the Broncos couldn’t be off to a worse start in 2010. Moreno should be back in a couple of weeks, but no team wants to see their best pass-rusher go down a month before the season. That’s not to say that other players can’t and/or won’t step up, but this isn’t the most talented team in the league as it is.

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