JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: Injuries could start taking toll on Broncos

Sep 22, 2021, 5:25 PM
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 12: Jerry Jeudy #10 of the Denver Broncos is carted off the...
(Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

During the preseason, I mentioned I was concerned about injuries for the Broncos.

Last year, the Broncos ranked in the top 10 for injuries. I had them with 85 missed starts because of injuries or COVID-19. They didn’t have two of their best players — Von Miller and Courtland Sutton.

After two weeks, injuries might be tipping in a bad direction. They had to place Jerry Jeudy and Ronald Darby on injured reserve. This week, they put Josey Jewell and Bradley Chubb on the injured reserve. That’s four starters in two weeks.

Currently, injuries could pull them down this year and affect their potential playoff run. The scary part it is happening in the easiest part of the schedule. Games are tougher after this home opener against the New York Jets. Fortunately, George Paton has done a great job of building depth. They are deep in the secondary. They were four deep at wide receiver and have two great running backs.

But is there enough depth to handle losing two starters a week. The answer is no. Where you can see potential problems is on special teams. Vic Fangio was disappointed with special teams last year, and he has spoken out about special team problems this year. Teams with great depth usually have good special teams. That’s a warning about the future.

The three most injured teams in football last year were the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. They were pulled down to a point where all three teams didn’t make the playoffs and ended up with losing records. Coaches don’t say injuries are an excuse, but injuries dictate where a team will be by he end of the season. The healthier teams win. The injured teams suffer.

The Broncos have to stay healthy.

John Clayton

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