Fullbacks should never go out of style. No matter how wide open and fast the NFL becomes, having a 250-pound bowling ball leading the way for superstar running backs is just good, old-fashioned football. Denver Broncos fullback Andy Janovich is one of the game’s best and was a front-runner to be the AFC’s Pro Bowl selection this year.
However, a gruesome arm injury in Denver’s 27-23 loss to the Minnesota Vikings ended his fourth season in the blink of an eye.
Leading 17-0 with two minutes to play in the first half of Sunday’s game, Broncos quarterback Brandon Allen threw a short pass to Janovich in the flat. Vikings linebacker Eric Wilson gave chase and pulled the sixth-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Nebraska down awkwardly. Janovich attempted to brace himself with his right arm, and, well, the result was spine-tingling.
CBS chose not to show the replay as Janovich’s right elbow dislocated in the second quarter.
WARNING: These videos contain a graphic injury.
Andy Janovich Elbow Injury
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio announced on Monday that the 26-year-old fullback would be placed on season-ending injured reserve. Andrew Beck will takeover as the team’s starting fullback, according to Mike Klis of 9News.
After missing the first three games of 2019 with a pectoral injury, Janovich signed a three-year, $5.7 million contract extension. According to data kept by Spotrac, his $3.22 million guaranteed makes him the league’s third-highest paid fullback. San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is far-and-away the NFL’s highest paid, as his $21 million deal is the largest contract for a fullback in history.
“[Janovich is] exactly what you look for in a fullback — tough, reliable and a versatile part of not only the offense but also our special teams,” Broncos GM John Elway said earlier this season. “It’s nice to see how Andy’s hard work has paid off, and we look forward to his continued impact on the Broncos.”
Janovich has caught 22 passes for 233 yards, ran 13 times for 51 yards, and scored one touchdown in each of his four NFL seasons. He’s also fielded two kickoffs and made seven career tackles on Denver’s special teams units.