Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders tears Achilles’ tendon
The Broncos (6-6) lost leading wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to a torn left Achilles’ tendon on Wednesday. He was hurt in a non-contact drill at the beginning of practice.
The Broncos quickly claimed wide receiver Andre Holmes off waivers from Buffalo, giving them a seventh-year veteran to go with their four remaining receivers, all of whom made their NFL debuts this season.
Sanders, who led the team with 71 catches for 868 yards and four touchdowns in a bounce-back year, was injured on a routine route. He sensed the gravity of the injury as he crumbled to the ground, tearing off his helmet and rolling it away as teammates and trainers rushed toward him.
‘‘It didn’t look good,’’ coach Vance Joseph said, adding Sanders ‘‘was sore last week in his heel area and he felt great today.’’
Sanders’s injury was the latest blow to a team that’s lost seven starters from its opening-day lineup, including six on offense.
‘‘It hurt, especially with an Achilles injury, that’s a major injury,’’ rookie receiver DaeSean Hamilton said. ‘‘He was our leader and he was a coach, too, so it was hard to watch.’’
Sanders’ injury came three days after the Broncos lost star cornerback Chris Harris Jr . to a broken right lower leg, an injury that could sideline him for the rest of the regular season.
Sanders crumbled to the grass in an area of the field that has several brown patches and has led to several slips over the last few weeks, notably by rookie receiver Courtland Sutton.
Normally, the Broncos flip their two main practice fields from a north-south configuration to east-west at midseason, but they didn’t do that this year. Nor did they rotate individual drills, leaving bare patches in several areas.
Asked if he thought field conditions played any role in Sanders’s injury, Joseph said, ‘‘I don't, no. The fields are fine.’’
Trubisky nears return
Mitchell Trubisky is just about ready to return to the Chicago Bears’ lineup. Trubisky said he is ‘‘really close to 100 percent’’ and expects to play against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday night after missing the past two games because of a right shoulder injury. He went through a full practice on Wednesday. Assuming no setbacks, he figures to start when the NFC North leaders host the NFC West champions . . . Sam Darnold was a full participant at practice, putting him on track to start for the New York Jets at Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday. The rookie quarterback has missed the past three games with a strained right foot. Coach Todd Bowles said it’s too early in the week to say for sure if Darnold will start . . . Cam Newton insists he isn’t missing a game. The Panthers quarterback said he'll be ready to play against the Browns on Sunday despite lingering pain in his throwing shoulder more than 20 months after having surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, But coach Ron Rivera wasn’t quite as certain, leaving the door open by saying, ‘‘We'll see. We’re not even to Friday.’’ Tthe 6-foot-5-inch, 245-pound giant of a quarterback is still experiencing pain and discomfort in his right shoulder that is limiting what he can do on the field. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has limited Newton’s downfield throws this season and twice replaced the league’s 2015 MVP with backup Taylor Heinicke when lining up for Hail Mary passes.
Collins out for season
New York Giants safety and leading tackler Landon Collins is going to miss the rest of the season with a partially torn labrum that will need surgery. The expected recovery time for this type of injury can be anywhere from four to six months. An All-Pro in 2106 and a two-time Pro Bowler, Collins was hurt in Sunday’s overtime win against the Chicago Bears . . . Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown will miss the remainder of the season because of a collarbone injury sustained the injury in the Rams’ 30-16 win over Detroit on Sunday. Brown had a non-surgical procedure to reset his clavicle and will miss 8-10 weeks. Brown has 212 yards rushing and five receptions for 52 yards and one touchdown catch this season as the backup to star running back Todd Gurley. Brown is also a key special teams contributor . . . Running back C.J. Anderson has signed with the Oakland Raiders and could be in their backfield for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Raiders coach Jon Gruden said that the move is insurance in case Doug Martin isn’t available. The Raiders primary running back since Marshawn Lynch went on injured reserve with a groin injury in mid-October, Martin is nursing a sore knee and his status is uncertain. A Pro Bowl back with Denver in 2014 when he had nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards, Anderson was released by the Carolina Panthers on Nov. 12 and had tryouts with Kansas City and Detroit before signing a deal with the Raiders for the remainder of this season . . . The injuries keep mounting for the Washington Redskins, who put three more players on injured reserve Wednesday to raise their season total to 17: starting cornerback Quinton Dunbar, receiver Trey Quinn, and guard Jonathan Cooper. The Redskins (6-6) signed Josh Johnson to be their backup quarterback against the visiting New York Giants (4-8) on Sunday and added guard Zac Kerin, center Demetrius Rhaney, and defensive end Marcus Smith as free agents. . . . The Detroit Lions have placed linebacker Jalen Reeves-Maybin on injured reserve with a neck injury. Detroit promoted defensive end Eric Lee from the practice squad to fill the roster spot.
Howard nursing injury
NFL interception leader Xavien Howard is nursing a knee injury, leaving his availability uncertain for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday against New England. Miami coach Adam Gase described Howard's status as week to week . . . The Arizona Cardinals' bad injury situation got worse when starting left tackle D.J. Humphries was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Humphries is the 14th Cardinal, and sixth Arizona offensive lineman, to go on season-ending injured reserve. The move leaves rookie center Mason Cole as the only remaining member of the offensive line that began the season, and he took over late in the preseason when starter A.Q. Shipley went down with a season-ending knee injury . . . Bengals receiver A.J. Green will be sidelined for the rest of the season with an injured toe on his right foot. The Bengals placed him on injured reserve . . . The Panthers have officially placed three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve. The move was expected after Olsen told reporters on Sunday that he ruptured his right plantar fascia in Carolina's 24-17 loss to the Buccaneers. The Panthers have signed wide receiver Mose Frazier from the practice squad to take Olsen spot . . . The NFL's Rams will pay $24 million to personal seat license holders in St. Louis who filed a class-action lawsuit after the team moved to Los Angeles. The settlement notice was filed in federal court last week but details weren't released until Wednesday. The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of thousands of fans who bought PSLs . . . The NFL Referees Association is questioning why the league isn’t focusing more attention on Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes for threatening umpire Roy Ellison following Buffalo’s game at Miami last weekend. Ellison has been placed on administrative leave while the NFL investigates Hughes’s accusation that Ellison called him a vulgar name during the game. In a statement released Wednesday, NFLRA executive director Scott Green says the association expects the NFL’s investigation to clear Ellison while turning the focus on Hughes. Green says Hughes has a history of being flagged for personal misconduct and arguing with officials.