Denver Broncos activate linebacker Bradley Chubb off injured reserve, expect him to play vs. Los Angeles Chargers

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos activated outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from injured reserve Saturday and moved him to the team's active roster. He is expected to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Chubb, who has not played since he was on the field for 19 snaps in the Broncos' Week 2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, had surgery on his left ankle in September to remove a bone spur. He returned to practice this past Monday for the first time since he left the Jaguars game.

After Friday's practice, Broncos coach Vic Fangio said he wanted to see how Chubb felt Saturday morning when the team came in for its walk-through and "we'll see where he's at ... and go from there.''

Chubb's return is timely in that the Broncos, at 5-5, are still on the fringe of the AFC playoff chase with five AFC West games over the final seven weeks of the season. Chubb had previously had surgery on his right ankle in May to remove a bone spur, and he missed all but four games in the 2019 season with a torn ACL.

It all means he has missed 23 games over the past three seasons.

"He's good in all areas,'' said Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell on Thursday. "The first place we talk about in our run defense is setting edges. He's a powerful person and player, and he brings strength to our front. Then there's the pass rush as that goes.''

Donatell said that given Chubb has played in one game since Week 15 of the 2020 season -- he missed the final two games of last season with his right ankle issues -- it's likely he would be on a snap count against the Chargers.

Chubb has 20.5 sacks in 35 career games since the Broncos selected him fifth overall in the 2018 draft.

The Broncos have had more than two sacks in just two games this season. The team also traded its franchise's career sacks leader, Von Miller, to the Los Angeles Rams last month and has used rookie Jonathon Cooper as well as Malik Reed in the two outside linebacker spots in most pass-rush situations since Miller was traded.