The Broncos have lost two key players for their pivotal Week 17 game.
Receiver Jerry Jeudy and edge rusher Bradley Chubb are headed to the reserve/COVID-19 list, NFL Network's James Palmer reported. Denver placed both on the list Friday, along with three others: linebacker Baron Browning, defensive lineman McTelvin Agim and linebacker Jonathon Cooper.
Jeudy has missed nearly half of the season due to injury, but he's been back in the mix since Week 8, catching 30 of his 36 receptions for 365 yards from Weeks 8-16. Jeudy hasn't reached the end zone a single time this season and is fourth in receiving yards among his Broncos teammates.
Perhaps more importantly is what coach Vic Fangio told reporters Friday, when the coach said Courtland Sutton might also end up on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Sutton is Denver's top receiver, catching 54 passes for 703 yards and two touchdowns.
With Drew Lock expected to start in place of Teddy Bridgewater (concussion), the loss of two of his top four pass-catchers obviously isn't ideal. Denver's back is already against the wall, needing to win out and get some help to preserve hopes of sneaking into a wild-card spot.
Chubb's career has unfortunately been defined by absences. After recording 12 sacks and playing in all 16 games of his rookie campaign, Chubb has tallied double-digit appearances in just one season since then. He's only appeared in six games this season, recording 16 tackles (one for loss) and one interception while going without a sack.
Justin Herbert and the Chargers (8-7) await the Broncos (7-8) with a one-game lead on Denver and the goal of evening the season series. The Broncos will have to figure out how to weather the losses to the reserve/COVID-19 list in a short amount of time if they hope to keep their postseason chances alive.