Camp Comfort is looking like less of a good idea for the Broncos

Sep 14, 2022, 5:42 PM | Updated: 5:45 pm
ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 24: Justin Simmons #31 of the Denver Broncos celebrates his interceptio...
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

During training camp and the preseason, Nathaniel Hackett’s approach to practice and exhibition games got a lot of attention. His team spent one out of every three days going through “jog throughs” and the starters didn’t play a single snap. There was very little hitting, with some long-time football staples being cast aside in favor of new-age, analytics-based ideas.

Some people liked the approach. But a lot, including most former players, did not. Ultimately, the verdict was going to come during the regular season. How the Broncos played, and whether or not they stayed relatively healthy, would provide the answer.

Well, things aren’t looking good for the pro-Hackett crowd at this point. Just one game into the season, the Broncos looked like they could’ve used some more work.

On the field, Denver was sloppy in their opener. They committed 12 penalties against the Seahawks, dropped passes and missed tackles. Plus, they had all sorts of logistical issues, from getting plays in on time to clock management. All were major factors in the Broncos falling 17-16 in a game they absolutely should’ve won.

Even the pro-Hackett crowd admitted that there would be some early season sloppiness. That was almost a given. But the trade-off was going to come in the form of health. Denver might have a blunder or two, but at least they wouldn’t be without key players.

Well, so much for that idea. Heading into Week 2, the Broncos are going to be without two key players, while plenty of others are potentially on the shelf.

Despite all of the precautions during training camp, Tim Patrick was lost for the season with a torn ACL. That’s one of the team’s top-10 players not available.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that Justin Simmons, voted the top safety in the NFL during the offseason, will be out at least four weeks with a quad injury. He was placed on injured reserve. That’s two of their best players.

Quinn Meinerz left the season opener with a hamstring injury. Josey Jewell missed the game because of a calf ailment. That’s two more starters.

Today, Randy Gregory missed practice because of issues with both his shoulder and knee, DeShawn Williams was out because of a back problem and K.J. Hamler was an observer due to his knee and hip. Meanwhile, K’Waun Williams was limited because of a wrist problem. That’s four more starters / regular contributors out because of injury.

Could things be worse? Of course. But there’s no evidence to suggest they would be if Hackett hadn’t covered his team in bubblewrap throughout the preseason.

Sloppy play and injuries are the worse-possible confluence of issues for the Broncos. It’s looking more and more like the “softer” approach to training camp was a bad idea.



Davante Adams...
Cecil Lammey

The Broncos game plan for beating the Raiders in Week 4

When Denver travels to Las Vegas on Sunday, they'll have their hands full with a winless team that is suddenly backed into a corner
1 day ago
Russell Wilson...
Andrew Mason

Three numbers to know for Denver Broncos-Las Vegas Raiders

For all that hasn't gone right for the Broncos' offense, they've done something in each of the last two games they never did last year -- and the difference has been preparation and Russell Wilson's leadership.
1 day ago
Josh McDaniels...
Shawn Drotar

Battle Lines: The Broncos can bury the Raiders with a win in Week 4

Denver can keep pace in the AFC West with a win, while also putting Las Vegas in a deep hole just one month into the season
1 day ago
Quinn Meinerz...
Andrew Mason

Broncos injury update: Quinn Meinerz ruled out with hamstring issue

Meinerz is one of five Broncos ruled out for Sunday, and four of them have hamstring injuries.
2 days ago
Nathaniel Hackett...
Will Petersen

Hackett on how Broncos can use lessons from Seattle road game in Vegas

While there will be a lot more Broncos fan in Las Vegas than there were in Seattle, this is still Denver's first road game since Week 1
2 days ago
Josh McDaniels...
John Davis

The Broncos gaffes of 2022 have nothing on the Josh McDaniels era

As embarrassing as some of Nathaniel Hackett's miscues have been this season, the Josh McDaniels era was filled with even worse moments
2 days ago
Camp Comfort is looking like less of a good idea for the Broncos