Denver will be without quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday against the Jets.
Wilson, who suffered a hamstring injury late in regulation on Monday night during a loss to the Chargers, will miss just the fourth start of his career, a source confirmed to The Denver Post on Saturday morning.
With Wilson ruled out, backup Brett Rypien is in line to make his first start of the season and the second of his career. The two quarterbacks split repetitions with the No. 1 offense in practice throughout the week.
Coincidentally, Rypien’s only other start came in 2020 against the New York Jets. He threw a pair of touchdowns and three interceptions, but Denver found a way to beat New York, 38-27.
Denver head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters on Friday that, “the most important thing” in terms of determining whether Wilson would play was the quarterback’s ability to protect himself. The team ultimately decided he could not due to the muscle injury.
Another factor: The potential of making the hamstring injury worse if Wilson tried to play through it.
“Obviously we want to win the football game this week, and put ourselves in the best position to do that,” Hackett said. “We’ll do the right thing there. You’re always looking at what’s ahead, and we know we have a lot of football left… There’s a long season still to be had.”
Wilson has started 164 out of a possible 167 regular-season games in his career. He had not missed a start due to injury until last fall, his 10th year with Seattle, when a finger injury required surgery and kept him out for three weeks. He was a limited participant in Thursday and Friday’s practices. In the portions open to reporters, he jogged around and threw some passes, but did not do all of the same dropbacks and roll outs that Rypien and practice-squad quarterback Josh Johnson did. It was very clear Wilson was taking it easy.
Earlier in the week, Wilson told reporters he would play if it was at all possible.
“Those are the guys that you want,” Hackett said. “You want the guys that want to be on the field. They’re going to do every single thing they can, and they think that they can play all the time. Those are the tough discussions you have to have with people because you don’t want to put anybody out there that isn’t healthy.”
Rypien won the No. 2 job over Johnson during the preseason. He’s played in four career games.