Updated: December 13, 2010 at 12:00 am
ENGLEWOOD — The Denver Broncos have placed safety Kyle McCarthy on injured reserve after he hurt his right knee covering a kickoff at Arizona on Sunday.
McCarthy, an undrafted rookie from Notre Dame, played in Denver’s last eight games after his promotion from the practice squad in October.
He was replaced on the roster by wide receiver Britt Davis, a first-year pro from Northern Illinois who was promoted from the Broncos’ practice quad.
McCarthy said he underwent an MRI on Monday and that doctors suspected he had a torn ACL with an expected recovery time of six months or more.
McCarthy was injured on a third-quarter kickoff return when he was hit while planting his right leg.
“It’s a play I’ve made a million times and for some reason it just buckled on me this time,” he said.
McCarthy said his play over the last two months gives him confidence he can return to the NFL following his surgery and rehab. “I’ll work my way back,” he said.
The Broncos have had a rash of injuries in their defensive secondary. Safeties Brian Dawkins (knee) and Darcel McBath (thigh, ankle) have been sidelined this month, and cornerback Andre’ Goodman missed two months with hip and thigh injuries before returning to action Sunday at Arizona.
Interim coach Eric Studesville said he expects McBath to return to action this week after missing three games but was less optimistic about Dawkins’ chances of returning from his injury, which occurred in a Nov. 28 game against St. Louis.
Studesville said safety David Bruton (ribs) received treatment Monday but is expected to play this week, and kicker Matt Prater (groin) could return to practice Wednesday after sitting out Sunday.
Rookie cornerback Perrish Cox played but didn’t start Sunday, three days after he was arrested and spent a night in jail in a sexual assault case. He was fined approximately $15,000 by the team.
The Broncos issued a statement Sunday saying that while they take the matter seriously, Cox faces potential discipline from the league and the legal system and “while the Broncos have limited authority with regard to potential discipline stemming from this specific matter under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the club has fined Perrish the maximum amount for missing meetings and practice on Friday.”