As expected, the Broncos placed safety Omar Bolden on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season.

Bolden suffered a Grade 2 posterior cruciate ligament sprain in his right knee early

in the Broncos' divisional playoff win over the Steelers on Sunday. The injury will not require surgery.

Bolden ran back a Steelers punt 42 yards in the first quarter, but went down, without contact, about seven minutes later, on Broncos punt. He had to be helped off the field and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.

The Broncos' victory was Bolden's first game back after missing the previous four because of a right hamstring injury he sustained Dec. 6 at San Diego.

"I caught the short end of the stick this season," he said.

Bolden, a fourth-year safety who is set to be an unrestricted free agent in March, totaled 342 yards on 15 kickoff returns and 123 yards on five punts this season, both team-highs.

The Broncos have yet to make a corresponding roster move to fill Bolden's spot, but coach Gary Kubiak could look to bring up a player from the practice squad.

"We're banged up at a couple of spots. Chris (Harris) is a little banged up right now, so we've got to make sure we cover ourselves from that standpoint, especially for this week," Kubiak said Monday. "At the same time, too, you'd like to reward some of your young guys that have been working really hard for you all year long. We'll take a look at both and see what's best."


The Broncos' secondary has already lost safety David Bruton to a season-ending leg injury that he sustained Dec. 20 at Pittsburgh. And Harris has played the last two games with an injured shoulder, limiting his ability in coverage.

"It's just football," Harris said. "I have to do the best I can to be me out there. It's very hard."

Nicki Jhabvala: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @NickiJhabvala

Denver Broncos strong safety Omar Bolden.
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Arthur Moats (55) misses a tackle on Denver Broncos strong safety Omar Bolden (31) during a punt return in the first quarter on Jan. 17, 2016 in the divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. (Helen Richardson, The Denver Post)

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