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Broncos' Omar Bolden has PCL tear, will miss rest of playoffs

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Bolden injury significant loss for Broncos (2:42)

ESPN Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold explains how the Broncos will handle the absence of kick returner Omar Bolden. (2:42)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Denver Broncos will be without their most productive returner for the remainder of the postseason after Omar Bolden suffered a knee injury in the Broncos' 23-16 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's AFC divisional round game.

Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Monday that Bolden partially tore the PCL in his right knee. He was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, and the team promoted rookie cornerback Taurean Nixon from the practice squad to fill his roster spot.

Bolden, who took a punt return 42 yards the first time he touched the ball Sunday, doesn't need surgery. But since he was facing a recovery time of several weeks, he will miss what remains of the Broncos' season.

The Broncos will face the New England Patriots Sunday in the AFC Championship Game.

Bolden was injured in punt coverage with just over six minutes remaining in the first quarter. Trainers checked his knee before taking him to the locker room. He did not return to the game.

"We'll miss him ... obviously he had an impact play early in the game,'' Kubiak said. "Just bad luck there.''

For the season, Bolden, who also played 48 snaps on defense this season as a reserve safety, averaged 22.8 yards per return on kickoffs and averaged 24.6 yards per return on his five punt returns in the regular season.

His punt return totals include his 83-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.

Bolden had missed seven games in the regular season with a hamstring injury, so the Broncos will likely fall back on the returners they used in the time Bolden missed. Jordan Norwood and Emmanuel Sanders will handle punt return duties while Andre Caldwell and Norwood would be expected to handle most of the kickoff return duties.

Following Sunday's win, Kubiak said Bolden's injury was the one he was most concerned about coming out of the game, having called it "our big injury.''

Kubiak said the team would add a player to the roster. And with cornerback Chris Harris Jr. battling a shoulder injury, the Broncos will give a long look at adding a defensive back.

They have rookie cornerback Taurean Nixon, who was their seventh-round pick in the 2015 draft, and rookie safety Ryan Murphy on their practice squad.