Nik Bonitto leaves Broncos game with knee injury
Dec 10, 2023, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:10 pm
INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Broncos edge rusher Nik Bonitto left Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers with a knee injury.
Bonitto, who leads the Broncos in sacks with 7, suffered the injury late in the first quarter. He slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration before heading to the blue medical tent for a sideline examination.
Immediately after that evaluation, team medical personnel summoned a cart for Nik Bonitto. He walked a few steps before moving into the passenger seat for the ride back to the Broncos locker room.
The injury to Nik Bonitto came in the midst of a first quarter that saw the Broncos defense do everything right in the first quarter. The defense forced a fourth-down stop in the red zone, then pressured Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert into an interception on the subsequent series, as Baron Browning deflected a pass that Jonathon Cooper picked off. That play set up a Javonte Williams touchdown run one play later.
With Nik Bonitto injured, rookie Drew Sanders was poised to see more playing time. Sanders, drafted as an inside linebacker, has seen more work as a rotational edge rusher in recent weeks.
Bonitto logged 5.5 sacks in the Broncos’ first five games; he has 1.5 sacks in the seven games since then. Bonitto’s playing time has dropped since Browning returned to the lineup after beginning the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list.