The Denver Broncos placed cornerback Ronald Darby on injured reserve due to a hamstring problem.
The Denver Post's Ryan O'Halloran followed to report the 27-year-old is "expected back shortly" once the three-week IR term ends.
Darby signed a three-year, $30 million contract this offseason, signaling what kind of role the franchise expected him to occupy. He made a positive impact in his Broncos debut, finishing with a team-high six tackles and one pass breakup as Denver beat the New York Giants 27-13.
His injury now opens the door for Patrick Surtain II, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
The former Alabama star was largely anonymous in the opener but made waves in the preseason thanks to his pick-six against the Minnesota Vikings.
PATRICK SURTAIN II PICK-6! <a href="https://twitter.com/PatSurtainll?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatSurtainll</a><br><br>📺: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DENvsMIN?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DENvsMIN</a> on <a href="https://twitter.com/nflnetwork?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLNetwork</a> (or check local listings)<br>📱: <a href="https://t.co/3NquKzXV50">https://t.co/3NquKzXV50</a> <a href="https://t.co/YWIJDXFwOZ">pic.twitter.com/YWIJDXFwOZ</a>
"He played well, obviously," head coach Vic Fangio told reporters after the game. "I expect a lot out of him. We only played him at corner today. We didn't play him inside at all. I wanted him to just play one position today."
Fangio and his staff will have to lean on Surtain a little earlier than expected, but that shouldn't be a problem considering the organization valued him highly enough to select him in the top 10.