Shane Ray’s ailing left wrist needs another surgery. This one could sideline the pass rusher for several months.
The Denver Broncos outside linebacker is expected to undergo a fourth operation on the wrist, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team hasn’t announced the news.
Ray suffered the injury during training camp last July, which caused him to miss the opening six games in 2017. He had one sack over the next eight contests before going back on injured reserve.
This week, he sat out several days of voluntary workouts with what coach Vance Joseph described as a wrist that was sore. This after Ray spent the offseason bulking up from 219 pounds to around 247 to be a pass-rushing force alongside Von Miller and rookie Bradley Chubb, who was taken with the No. 5 pick.
“Everybody thought I had a simple wrist injury,” Ray recently said. “Well, you don’t have three surgeries in a season for a simple wrist injury. I dislocated my entire wrist. I had to get it screwed back together and repair the main tendon in my wrist.”
The Broncos didn’t pick up the fifth-year option on Ray, who was a first-round selection in 2015. His option — $9.23 million — would have been worth more than the four-year, $9,118,894 rookie contract he signed after the Broncos selected him.
Ray said he understood the business decision by the Broncos. But it adds fuel. So does the team selecting Chubb.
“I always have motivation,” said the 25-year-old Ray, who’s started just 15 games in three NFL seasons, with 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries. “The option? That’s motivation. Chubb coming in? For him to come in and challenge me, I look at that as a motivation. I look forward to all these things coming into this season.
“I’m going to play as hard as I can and do what I was brought here to do.”