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Chris Harris season-ending injury isn’t good news for Broncos with Tom Brady on deck

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(USA Today Sports Images)

When cornerback Chris Harris was in Sunday's playoff game for the Denver Broncos, the San Diego Chargers could barely move the ball.

The Chargers had 44 passing yards with a little more than eight minutes left in the third quarter. Keenan Allen's first catch came on the play that Harris hurt his knee. Rivers ended up with 217 yards and two touchdowns, both to Allen, who had six catches for 142 yards.

It wasn't a coincidence that the Broncos' defense looked far better with Harris in, and it's a big deal for Denver that Harris is now out for the season.

Harris tore his ACL and will miss the rest of the season, USA Today's Lindsay Jones first reported.

Thanks for the prayers , Gonna work extremely hard and come back a Monster next year . God is on my side. #broncosup

— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) January 13, 2014

Blessed to be able to help the team get this Far , and will still do my part in meeting room to help my guys out.

— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) January 13, 2014

It's horrible timing for the Broncos, who will host Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game on Sunday.

Harris ranked as the ninth-best cornerback in the NFL this season, according to Pro Football Focus' grades. The Broncos already were without outside linebacker Von Miller for the rest of the season, and it's another huge blow to the defense to lose Harris.

The Patriots, with their many injuries on both sides of the ball, aren't going to feel sorry for the Broncos. Veteran Quentin Jammer struggled when he replaced Harris in Sunday's game. Champ Bailey is still being used in part-time duty after an injury-ravaged season.

The Patriots understand what Harris' absence means, and they're going to test the Broncos to see if they can adequately replace him Sunday.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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