ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Denver Broncos center Tom Nalen tore his right biceps muscle and will be out for the season.
The five-time Pro Bowler was injured in the first quarter of a 41-3 loss to San Diego on Sunday, but kept playing.
``We couldn't even run inside running plays, had to run outside running plays,'' coach Mike Shanahan said Monday. ``He didn't have any strength in there. It kind of gives you an idea of what he's made of.''
The Broncos also lost tight end Nate Jackson for the season with a torn groin. Cornerback Champ Bailey, who injured his left quadriceps against the Chargers, should be ready for the Pittsburgh game on Oct. 21. The Broncos have a bye this week.
``If we were playing this week, I don't think he'd be able to play,'' Shanahan said. ``He should be fine for Pittsburgh.''
Shanahan said he didn't want to discuss who would start in Nalen's place, saying filling the void will be difficult. Chris Myers is listed as the backup on the Broncos' depth chart.
``Tom, I believe, is the best center to ever play the game,'' Shanahan said of the 14-year veteran. ``That's what I believe.''
Nalen is expected to have surgery within a week and will be out for close to four months. Shanahan didn't think the injury was career ending. ``He should be fine and ready to go next season,'' Shanahan said.
Nalen is the second starting offensive lineman to go down. The team lost guard Ben Hamilton to a concussion in training camp. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Sept. 28.
Nalen hasn't missed a start since tearing a ligament in his left knee against Kansas City on Oct. 20, 2002. He had surgery to repair the knee and was back 10 months later in time to start the 2003 season, during which he earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection.

Recent NFL Discussions

Handicapping 2017 Win Totals on Sun, May 2017 by Blade
2017 NFL Draft Grades on Sun, Apr 2017 by Blade
Betting the 2017 NFL Draft on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
NFL Draft Preview on Tue, Apr 2017 by Blade
2017 Heisman Odds on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail GM confident Falcons will sign Freeman Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff says he's confident that a deal with get worked out with running back Devonta Freeman.
Thumbnail Broncos' RB job open for competition The Broncos are set to have an open competition at running back for the 2017 season.

NFL Team Pages