ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Ty Warren's football future is in doubt after he tore his right triceps in his first game since 2009. It's the same injury that sidelined him all of last season.
"I haven't even talked to Ty yet, I'm sure he's disappointed," Denver coach John Fox said Monday.
The 31-year-old defensive tackle re-injured himself early in the Broncos' 31-19 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed all last season after tearing the same muscle during training camp, and he missed the 2010 season, his last in New England, with a hip injury.
If he's placed on season-ending injured reserve for the third straight year, it could spell the end of Warren's career.
Warren was the 13th overall pick by the Patriots in 2003 and he helped New England win two Super Bowls before signing a two-year, $8 million deal in Denver in 2011. Although he restructured his deal over the summer, Warren will end up collecting more than $5 million from the Broncos.
Warren's return lasted two plays into the second quarter Sunday night when he came up injured after shaking off a blocker and trying to tackle running back Jonathan Dwyer.
Afterward, Mitch Unrein, who had been rotating with Warren, got the bulk of the snaps in his place alongside Justin Bannan and Kevin Vickerson.
"With Ty going out after five plays, you're a guy short there for the rest of the game. I thought (Unrein) stepped in and did a good job," Fox said. "Obviously he was mentally prepared because he executed his job well."
Fox also said the Broncos would re-sign backup quarterback Caleb Hanie, who was released on the eve of the opener in what Fox called a "procedural move" that meant Hanie's $1 million base salary isn't guaranteed.
Nose tackle Sealver Siliga replaced Hanie on the 53-man roster for Sunday night's game and he might end up sticking around now that Warren is hurt.