With cornerback Chris Harris Jr. sidelined during the second half of Sunday's AFC second-round playoff game, the Denver Broncos watched the San Diego Chargers jolt to life and score 17 fourth-quarter points in a near-comeback. They now face the prospect of heading into the AFC Championship against Tom Brady without their most dependable pass defender.
Harris left with a lower leg issue during the third quarter of the Broncos' 24-17 win. He's scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, but team officials are already voicing concern that the injury could be serious, according to ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold.
Denver was having perhaps its best defensive performance of the season before Harris went down, but things quickly fell apart after his exit. The Chargers routinely went after his replacement, Quintin Jammer, who was burned for a 16-yard touchdown by Keenan Allen to start the rally.
Harris is the team's most versatile cover man -- he played more snaps during the regular season than any other Broncos defender and is tied for the team lead in interceptions.
The Chargers had their own injury issues. Starting running back Ryan Mathews, who missed practice all week and was listed as questionable coming in, was unable to play the second half on his sprained ankle. He finished with just five carries for 26 yards. Linebacker Manti Te'o did not return after suffering a concussion.