Broncos' DE Jared Crick to have back surgery

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Denver Broncos defensive end Jared Crick, who has practiced just twice since suffering a back injury in mid-August, will have surgery for a "disc in his back", head coach Vance Joseph said.

Recovery time often takes eight to 12 weeks. The team placed him on injured reserve Friday. Broncos announced they've signed former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin.

Rubin, 31, was among the Seahawks' final roster cuts earlier this month after the team had traded for Sheldon Richardson. Rubin started every game of the previous two seasons with the Seahawks.

Crick, 28, left the Broncos' Aug. 15 practice with what was then called back spasms. He practiced one day last week, in the days before the regular-season opener, but then did not practice for the remainder of the week and did not play in Monday night's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Crick practiced Wednesday on a limited basis, but was held out of practice Thursday.

"He's battled for about three weeks with this injury,'' Joseph said Friday. "He had a great day on Wednesday, he was really sore on Thursday. After further examinations, he needs surgery.''

"You get two guys you can return from IR, so I wouldn't say it's the season right now,'' Joseph said. "But he's out for now.''

Crick played the most snaps of any of the Broncos' defensive linemen in 2016. He closed out the year with 939 plays on defense, or 82 percent of the snaps. Crick is in his sixth season and signed with the Broncos in free agency last year.

In Crick's absence, Adam Gotsis -- who had his best game in his two seasons with the Broncos against the Chargers -- and Shelby Harris will get plenty of playing time with Derek Wolfe at the defensive end spots. Gotsis, who was a second-round pick in the 2016 draft, didn't start the game, but played 31 plays and finished with five tackles.

"It was very impressive,'' Broncos defensive coordinator Joe Woods said. " ... That first game he looked like a different guy. I was watching and I was like, 'Look at Gotsis.' He was getting off the ball, he was effective in the run game, he had some pass rush.''