Danny Trevathan, the leading tackler in the Denver Broncos’ run to the Super Bowl last winter, broke a bone under his kneecap Tuesday and is expected to be out until after the team’s bye week, which is in Week 4. The injury to the linebacker happened in an 11-on-11 team drill.
The Denver Post reported the injury is a left medial tibial impaction fracture, and it will keep Trevathan sidelined until week 5. The newspaper also reported on its website that Trevathan’s immediate replacement would be Brandon Marshall, a two-year veteran linebacker who can count on one hand his NFL tackles in mop up duty.
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For IDP leagues, Trevathan’s loss will be a major blow. He was a first-tier linebacker and he joins Daryl Washington, Sean Lee, Sean Weatherspoon and Navorro Bowman in missing at least part of the season this year.
Marshall is probably not worth a pickup in most leagues, as it’s not clear he will win the job outright, he will surrender it when Trevathan returns, and it’s unclear if he would play three downs.
This injury does raise the rookie draft stock of Lamin Barrow, who seems not only suited for the middle linebacker role he was fighting Nate Irving for, but also has the range to play weakside. Either way, it means more snaps in practice and preseason for the rookie, and if he should seize the opportunity to get a starting role, his upside makes him a more attractive pick.
Furthermore, with the list of “can’t miss” linebackers dwindling, the names who are on that list are now more valuable. With defensive line and defensive back such nebulous positions for week-to-week scoring, it underscores the need to grab one or two stud linebackers early in your IDP drafts.