Broncos place MLB Nate Irving on IR

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The Broncos have lost one of their defensive starters for the rest of the season.

Denver placed middle linebacker Nate Irving (knee) on injured reserve and claimed rookie linebacker Todd Davis on waivers from New Orleans to fill the roster spot, the club announced Thursday.

The 26-year-old Irving suffered the injury in the Broncos’ Week Nine loss at New England. He started each of the first eight games for Denver, notching 46 tackles and one sack. According to the Denver Post, Irving has a partial MCL tear.

With Irving out, Steven Johnson got the call at middle linebacker in Denver’s 41-17 win at Oakland on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Davis played three games for the Saints, recording three tackles. He’ll be counted upon to provide defensive depth and perhaps special teams help for Denver (7-2), which plays at St. Louis Sunday.