By Rich Kurtzman
Starting safety Rahim Moore was placed on Injured Reserve Wednesday, while the Denver Broncos signed veteran free agent safety Michael Huff to fill Moore’s roster spot.
The news about Rahim Moore is scary.
Moore, who has started every game for the Denver Broncos at safety, was diagnosed with lateral compartment syndrome, which caused bleeding in the muscle compartments in his leg and, according to the Broncos website, is potentially life threatening. Following the win over the previously undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, Moore felt pain and weakness in his leg, prompting him to call Broncos head trainer Steve Antonopulos. The veteran trainer and his staff diagnosed Moore with the condition.
Moore had surgery on Monday and although a definitive timetable for his return is uncertain, some reports say it could be as late as the AFC Conference Championship game – if Denver makes it that far.
On Wednesday, Moore was placed on the Injured Reserve Designated to Return list, which means he’ll be sidelined for at least six weeks, and can play again in eight. After that time, if Moore is healthy enough to play, the team can elect to bring him back.
Losing Moore in the defensive backfield is a big blow because the third-year safety has started a team-high 98.8 percent of snaps according to Mike Klis of the Denver Post. And he’s been putting all that playing time to good use, on pace for a career season with 44 tackles, six passes defended and two interceptions.
With Moore’s immediate football future uncertain, Denver tried out three defensive backs Tuesday according to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun:
After Moore was placed on the IR, Michael Huff was signed by the Broncos to take his voided roster spot.
Huff is an eight-year veteran free agent, playing his first seven seasons with the Oakland Raiders, and the beginning of 2013 with the Baltimore Ravens. Over that time, he’s racked up 444 tackles, 55 passes defended, 11 interceptions, made 5.5 sacks and one fumble recovery.
Due to Denver’s depth in the defensive backfield, Huff may not see much time on the field. The Broncos have Duke Ihenacho along with veterans Mike Adams and Quentin Jammer able to play safety, though it should be noted that Ihenacho was held out last week due to an ankle sprain.
This Sunday night, Denver will have their second straight nationally televised contest against the New England Patriots, who feature elite quarterback Tom Brady. Without Moore back deep, Brady will almost certainly attack through the air even more than he already would have.
The 9-1 Broncos take on the 7-3 Patriots in New England on Sunday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MT.
For more Broncos news and updates, visit Broncos Central.
Rich Kurtzman is a Denver native, Colorado State University alumnus, sports nerd, athletics enthusiast, and competition junkie. Currently writing for a multitude of websites while working on books, one on the history of the Denver Broncos and Mile High Stadium. Rich is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.