Connect with us

NFL

Injury-ravaged Broncos have to find better way with players they have – Denver Broncos Blog

Published

on

DENVER — It’s been about a month since linebacker Von Miller stepped awkwardly in an otherwise nondescript Tuesday practice and proceeded to start the cascade of injury dominoes for the Denver Broncos. And now Broncos Lite is fighting the good fight at times, but the team is still 0-3 after Sunday’s 28-10 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with no help on the way.

The Broncos’ decision-makers can’t be held responsible for the fact the team’s best player (Miller), its starting quarterback (Drew Lock), No. 1 wide receiver (Courtland Sutton), starting running back (Phillip Lindsay), top cornerback (A.J. Bouye) and a starting defensive end (Dre’Mont Jones) were among the players not in uniform against the Buccaneers. And the fact that’s not even the entire list of those injured for the Broncos makes the current state of affairs almost unprecedented.

But the Broncos aren’t helping themselves much of the time, either. Their special-teams units are now in the business of costing the team points — their first punt of the game was blocked Sunday, gift-wrapping the ball for Tom Brady at the Broncos’ 10. They continue to be unable to consistently protect the passer when they line up in a three-receiver look, yet they continue to make that their personnel grouping of choice because they’re trailing in games. And the expected problem of finding a pass rush without Miller is in full bloom.

The Broncos can’t call in the healing hands to make it all better for the substantial amount of talent that can’t play for them right now, but they can use the guys they have more efficiently to give themselves a slugger’s chance.

Two words: Not special.

A week after punter Sam Martin dropped a snap against the Pittsburgh Steelers that resulted in a fourth-quarter safety, the Broncos had a punt blocked to close out their first drive Sunday.

The play gave the Buccaneers the ball at the Broncos’ 10-yard line, and three plays later, Brady had the first of his three touchdown passes on the day. It also put the injury-ravaged Broncos down 7-0 just over five minutes into the game.

Troubling trend: It is abundantly clear the Broncos face difficult decisions offensively when they don’t have Lock, Sutton and Lindsay in the lineup. But they can’t protect the quarterback in a three-wide set and consistently keep lining up in it, especially in their own territory.

They lined up in it on back-to-back snaps inside their own 35 in the second quarter — for a 12-yard loss on a Shaq Barrett sack and a 2-yard loss on a pass to Melvin Gordon.

On their first possession of the third quarter, the Broncos lined up in an empty set on first down at their own 8-yard line that resulted in an incompletion, with quarterback Jeff Driskel under pressure yet again. Two plays later, they were in three-wide on third-and-13 from their own 5 and Driskel was sacked for a safety.

And in the third quarter, again in three-wide on their own side of the 50, Driskel was hit as he threw and was intercepted by Lavonte David.

Biggest hole in the game plan: It is a hole the Broncos will have a difficult time filling, but not surprisingly, they are struggling to walk the line between dialing up some pressure on defense and leaving a secondary with two rookies playing much of the time exposed in one-on-one matchups.

Miller has long been the Broncos’ answer to all pass-rush dilemmas. But with him out of the lineup, and until Bradley Chubb looks more like himself in his return from last season’s ACL surgery, the Broncos are left with tough choices.

Choices such as outside linebacker Malik Reed trying to cover Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin on a 20-yard completion late in the third quarter. Later on the same drive, the Broncos saw the other side of the coin when they did generate some pressure with a Shelby Harris sack and Chubb chasing down Brady for a 1-yard gain. Harris had another sack early in the fourth quarter as well.

QB breakdown: The sack shutout the Broncos’ offensive line pitched against the Titans in the opener is a long way in the rearview mirror now, as the Broncos have surrendered seven and six sacks, respectively, in the past two games.

Some of that is on Driskel, to be sure, but he’s getting battered and few things create indecision and a struggle with timing for a quarterback, especially one who hasn’t played a great deal, than getting battered.

Driskel struggled to find a rhythm overall, especially since the team has trailed almost every minute he has been on the field, but he has to move the ball more quickly and the Broncos needed to do more to help him do that. At the end, third-string quarterback Brett Rypien entered the game with just under 10 minutes remaining. He was sacked, fumbled (recovered by the Broncos) and threw an interception on his first drive.

Source link

NFL

Los Angeles Chargers player tests positive for COVID-19

Published

on

A Los Angeles Chargers player has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Thursday.

The team did not specify who the player was, but did say that the player was notified immediately and has been put into self-quarantine. In addition, those deemed to be in close contact with the player have been told to stay home and will participate in meetings remotely.

The Chargers said their facility will remain open and the team will follow its normal practice schedule.

“As has been the case since day one of this pandemic, the health and safety of our players, staff and community continue to be our highest priority,” the Chargers said in a statement.

The Chargers are scheduled to face the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Hurricane Zeta knocks out power at New Orleans Saints’ practice facility

Published

on

METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints lost power at their practice facility when Hurricane Zeta hit the area on Wednesday afternoon. But otherwise the team’s normal operations were not disrupted much.

Coaches stayed at the facility and did their normal game-planning work under generator power on Wednesday afternoon and evening, while players were sent home to ride out the storm.

“The power went out here, the generators came on. They worked. And we got our work done,” coach Sean Payton said. “So it was relatively pretty smooth here.”

Power was still out as of Thursday morning. But Payton said the team would catch up on the film work that was missed Wednesday, then practice outdoors — which they were likely planning to do already because they play outdoors at Chicago on Sunday.

In fact, the storm brought colder and windier weather than usual to the New Orleans area on Thursday. Not an exact replica of Chicago weather, with the wind coming in off of Lake Michigan, but about as close of an approximation as they’re likely to get this time of year.

Hurricane Zeta wound up being stronger than originally forecast. So there were no mandatory evacuations in the city as there had been for certain storms in the past that led to the Saints relocating their practices.



Source link

Continue Reading

NFL

Sources — Jacksonville Jaguars QB Gardner Minshew has multiple fractures, sprained ligament in thumb

Published

on

X-rays taken this week revealed that Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II has multiple fractures and a strained ligament in his right thumb, league sources told ESPN.

Minshew has had discomfort in his thumb since Jacksonville’s Oct. 11 game at Houston, a source told ESPN. He did not tell the team about the pain until after the last game, which led to a postgame X-ray in Los Angeles.

The Jaguars didn’t know about Minshew’s injury until this week, per sources.

It is uncertain whether Minshew will be able to play when Jacksonville returns from its bye to host the Texans.

Jacksonville’s backup quarterback is Mike Glennon, and Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone already stated before his team’s last game against the Chargers that he might have to ponder a quarterback change. The thumb injury could make the decision easy for Marrone.

The thumb injury might also explain why Minshew has sailed some passes in recent games that were not common previously; the thumb likely impacted his performance more than he and others realized.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending