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MINNEAPOLIS , MN - AUGUST 14: Ronald Darby (21) of the Denver Broncos prepares to take the field before the first half at U.S. Bank Stadium on Saturday, August 14, 2021. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Clayton: Broncos fortunate for depth as injuries pile up

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

George Paton’s decision to draft Pat Surtain II over Justin Fields is looking even better now that Ronald Darby went on the injured reserve list.

Darby suffered a hamstring injury. By going on the injured reserve list, he will miss at least three weeks. Paton felt Darby was the best cornerback available in free agency and wasted no time signing him.

He played well in the opening win over the New York Giants. Surtain was able to get into the game Sunday and participated in 16 plays as an outside cornerback.

Paton is a strong believer of how tough it is to get great cornerbacks. That’s why Surtain was such a priority to draft and why he went for Darby and Kyle Fuller after he was released by the Chicago Bears.

What will be interesting is watching how the secondary will come together going against two rookie quarterbacks — Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Zach Wilson of the New York Jets. Those two teams lost Sunday and won only three games combined last season.

In a separate move, the Broncos put Jerry Jeudy on the injured reserve list, but he will be out longer than Darby. Jeudy suffered a high ankle sprain and will be out four to six weeks. The Broncos are fortunate that they have Tim Patrick, K.J. Hamler and Courtland Sutton. The passing game should still work well.

What will be interesting to see if the Broncos go a little bit more to the run. They have Melvin Gordon III and Javonte Williams. With these two games against bad teams, they can experiment.


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