- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 12, 2014

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) - Denver Broncos leading tackler Danny Trevathan is out six to eight weeks after fracturing his left knee during a particularly intense padded practice Tuesday.

The Broncos said their weakside linebacker has what’s called a medial tibial impaction fracture but, fortunately, no torn ligaments.

“Well, we were hoping it was a bruise. That would have been the best news,” coach John Fox said after the team’s evening walk-through. “But obviously, that’s better than ligament damage. Those are out-for-the-season types of things. So, at some point we will get him back.”

Trevathan, who didn’t put any weight on his left leg after being carted off the field during team drills, is expected to return to the Broncos right around their bye week in late September, meaning he’d only miss three regular season games, at most.

He was hurt on an 11-on-11 run play in which center Will Montgomery rolled over him.

Trevathan, a sixth-round draft choice out of Kentucky in 2012, is coming off a breakout season in which he led the Broncos with 124 tackles and intercepted three passes before leading the team with two dozen tackles in the playoffs.

“You just hate it,” Peyton Manning said while Trevathan was being examined by the team’s medical staff. “You hate it in a game when you see that. And you hate it out here in practice. So, our prayers are with Danny. We’re praying for positive results and hopefully he’s OK. He’s an important part of our football team.”

The Broncos were hoping for a repeat of what happened last October, when Trevathan was carted off with a scary knee injury only to return to practice that week after his MRI came back negative.

“It’s pretty scary. He got carted off last year, so I’m like, ‘OK, he’ll be good,’” said Trevathan’s backup, Brandon Marshall. “But you never know how these things go. The defense was kind of like, ‘Man, that’s our guy, that’s one of the playmakers on our team.’ So, we all got a little worried, but we’re just hoping he’ll be OK.”

Before Trevathan was diagnosed with a fracture, Fox said, “Obviously, we hope for the best. And if not, it’ll be next man up.”

That’s Marshall, an undrafted third-year pro from Nevada who spent most of last season on Denver’s practice squad before being promoted to the active roster and playing in the regular season finale and all three playoff games.

“I guess it was like a redshirt year, so to speak. I know they don’t have those in the NFL, but I feel like it was for me,” Marshall said. “And I feel good. On special teams I feel good, on defense I feel good.”

Marshall has already been playing alongside Trevathan in the nickel defense, a role that rookie Lamin Barrow, a fifth-round draft choice from LSU, will assume.

Asked if he felt good about the linebacker depth, which also includes rookie Corey Nelson, Fox said, “Well, time will tell. I think in this league, it’s all about opportunity, so we’ll see what they do.”

What makes this injury difficult is that Trevathan is an every-down player.

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