ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos won their second straight game Sunday, but not without losing a pair of key players to injury.
Tight end Jeff Heuerman will miss the remainder of the season after suffering three broken ribs and a bruised lung, and outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett is sidelined a minimum of two weeks with a hip flexor injury.
"I am still trying to figure everything out. It's a hip flexor," Barrett told Denver7 on the length of his absence, which will also impact the Broncos' special teams where he is a regular contributor. "But yeah, I will be back for sure."
Heuerman, a disappointment in his first three seasons because of ineffectiveness and injuries, blossomed over the last month. He caught a career-high 10 passes against Houston -- that exceeded his total in the previous two seasons -- and 16 over the past three games with a touchdown.
"He will be missed," coach Vance Joseph said.
The Broncos lost Jake Butt to a torn ACL during practice after the third game of the season. Heuerman's injury provides more opportunity for Matt LaCosse, who has emerged as a weapon in the passing game. He owns nine catches in the past four games, including a touchdown in the Sunday's victory.
Brian Parker moves up to No. 2 on the depth chart. The club could promote Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad, but is weighing multiple options.
With Barrett out 2-to-4 weeks, Shane Ray will receive more snaps. He has struggled to find a rhythm this season as he returned from a wrist injury. However, he provides first-step quickness, and owns 14 career sacks. Barrett played the best among the pass rushers on Sunday, according to Joseph. The former CSU star has 24 tackles and three sacks in 11 games this season.