Left or right side, Broncos' Von Miller wants to play where there's action

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With Bradley Chubb once again on the mend, Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller knows offenses won't bring the action to him, so he may have to go find it himself.

Chubb is once again battling a right ankle injury and expected to miss some time. He missed the season opener, then tried to play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars but left after 19 snaps. Chubb came up limping with a minute to go in the first half and as he tried to reach the sideline, he briefly dropped to his hands and knees on the field. He pounded the turf with his fist before he walked to the bench.

"Yeah, it sucks, man," Miller said. "Bradley, he's been doing everything he can possibly do to play. ... If No. 55 was anybody else other than Bradley Chubb, he probably would have sat out. ... It's a really, really tough injury. To see him get to a point where he's comfortable enough to play, and then he gets hurt, it's tough."

Sunday was the first time since Week 4 of the 2019 season that Miller and Chubb had been in uniform for the same regular-season game. Chubb tore his ACL in that 2019 game and missed the remainder of the season. Miller then missed the 2020 season with an ankle injury.

When Chubb is absent, things get tougher for Miller. In 2019, for example, Miller had six sacks during the 12 games Chubb missed as offenses consistently loaded up against him on long-yardage downs.

But Miller gave a glimpse Sunday of what it might look like this time around until Chubb returns to the lineup. Miller, who usually plays at the left outside linebacker spot -- across from the offense's right tackle -- moved to Chubb's right outside linebacker spot several times in the second half against the Jaguars after Chubb departed.

Miller played in both spots more often before Chubb's arrival in 2018. He said he moved at times Sunday because he felt like the Jaguars were avoiding him.

"I like to give [the opponent] a different look," Miller said. "I don't like for them to always say he's going to be on the left side or he's going to be on the right side. Even if it's just a couple of plays over there, or it's a couple plays on the left, I just try to mix it up. I can play both sides. ... It felt to me that they were running the ball more to the right side. I wanted to get over there and kind of throw a wrench in there."

Miller had a sack in the third quarter from the left outside linebacker spot, two plays after he made Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence dump a pass off for no gain to avoid a sack.

Malik Reed will get most of the work in Chubb's spot but rookie Jonathon Cooper will get some snaps as well.

Broncos coach Vic Fangio didn't give a timetable for Chubb's return Monday and said Chubb's ankle had "acted up again." Fangio did say, while Chubb may not have been 100%, he had been medically cleared and the fourth-year veteran wanted to play.

"The medical people thought it was basically going to be the same [Sunday] as it would be next Sunday," Fangio said. "They felt good about letting him play, he felt good about playing. So he played."

The Broncos will face the New York Jets (0-2), Baltimore Ravens (1-1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) over the next three games. In addition to Chubb's injury, cornerback Ronald Darby (hamstring) remains on injured reserve for at least two more games. The Broncos also fear linebacker Josey Jewell may miss the remainder of the season after suffering a pectoral injury when he made a tackle on special teams Sunday against the Jaguars.