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Nate Irving to have surgery on knee

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving, who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, will have surgery within the next two weeks to repair the knee.

Broncos coach John Fox said following Thursday’s practice that “there’s too much going on in there to think he is just going to rehab it. We want to get it taken care of.’’

Irving suffered the injury in the Broncos’ Nov. 2 loss to the New England Patriots. Irving suffered a severely sprained MCL, which can mean some tearing in the ligament, but the Broncos now want to check for other damage in the knee.

The Broncos now believe, after the swelling in the knee has subsided somewhat, Irving might have a partial tear of the ACL, but that will be checked again when Irving has his surgery.

“(Surgery) was a consideration the whole time,’’ Fox said. “I think we became aware of it when some of the swelling came down that this would be the best way to pursue it going forward.’’

Irving was in the Broncos’ complex Friday rehabbing the injury with the Broncos’ medical staff.

The player the Broncos claimed off waivers Thursday and take Irving’s place on the roster, linebacker Todd Davis, will meet the team in St. Louis on Saturday. The Broncos, because of the 11 a.m. kickoff (Mountain time), were scheduled to leave for St. Louis Friday afternoon.

Irving was expected to miss several weeks even at the time of the initial diagnosis, but his surgery was scheduled after doctors continued to examine the knee in recent days. Irving is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

For Sunday's game against the Rams, running back Ronnie Hillman (foot) and tight end Virgil Green (calf) did not practice Friday. Hillman is expected to miss at least two to three weeks with his injury.

Neither Hillman nor Green practiced this week. While Hillman has been ruled out, the Broncos listed Green as doubtful. Both are expected to be among the team's seven gameday inactives.

Running back Montee Ball practiced fully through the week and will be in uniform and in the running back rotation for the game. C.J. Anderson is expected to start, but Ball will get some work as well.

It was Ball’s first week of full participation since an Oct. 5 right groin injury.