Like Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. injured his shoulder in the last game played before the Pittsburgh-Denver divisional clash. Unlike Roethlisberger, Harris didn’t publicly talk about the extent of the injury.
Listed as probable for the game, Harris definitely was more banged up than his official status would imply.
“My shoulder’s way worse than Ben’s,” Harris told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post, laughing.
Harris stopped laughing when he said this: “I played with one arm the whole game.”
He participated in only 75 percent of the snaps, a season low. Bradley Roby stepped in for him.
“I have to tip my hat to Roby, man,” Harris said. “He played all the snaps for me that I usually play, and he made a lot of plays for us. There’s not too much I could do.”
“[Harris’] shoulder has been bothering him,” coach Gary Kubiak said Monday, via Kiszla. “He went out there and gutted it up and played with one arm, in a lot of ways. Battled for our team. Hopefully, there is some improvement this week, just physically.”
To guard against the possibility that Harris will be worse instead of better, they’ve added cornerback Taurean Nixon from the practice squad. A seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft, Nixon fills the roster spot created by the placement of safety Omar Bolden on injured reserve.
The Broncos can beat the Patriots without Bolden. They may not have a chance without Harris, especially with receiver Julian Edelman, who missed the regular-season game between the two teams, now back for the Patriots.