Broncos hopeful LB Drew Sanders (Achilles) will return this season

Denver Broncos linebacker Drew Sanders tore his Achilles during the team’s offseason workout program in mid-April, coach Sean Payton confirmed Thursday.

“Yes, that happened early in the offseason program,” Payton said. “A simple — like they all happen — kind of a jump. Surgery was done. We’ll have a prognosis.”

A torn Achilles can be a season-ending injury, but because Sanders suffered the setback so early in the offseason, the Broncos are optimistic the linebacker could return to the field during the 2024 season.

“Fortunately, it was an early enough timeline — we’ll bring him back,” Payton said. “I don’t want to say October, but the good news is the surgery was done, it was clean. There wasn’t anything complex about the injury, and it was just something unusual.”

Sanders, 23, was picked by Denver in the third round of last year’s NFL draft out of Arkansas. He rotated between inside linebacker outside linebacker last fall and Sanders was expected to move to OLB full-time in his second season.

Sanders will now focus on rehabbing and hope to return before the end of the year. Beginning this fall, teams can place up to two players on injured reserve before the 53-man roster is set and those two players are eligible to return during the season. In previous years, players had to be on the initial 53-man roster to be eligible to return from IR during the season.

Story originally appeared on Broncos Wire