Looking to snap a five-game losing streak, the Broncos (3-10) are hosting Arizona on Sunday. Stick here for live updates and analysis as Denver takes on the Cardinals at Empower Field at Mile High.
QB situation (12:12 p.m.): Good morning from Empower Field. Though QB Russell Wilson is out today, he was on the field for his normal pregame throwing routine and he found himself a little extra help. The Colorado high school state champions are each getting their turn to take photos on the field today and Wilson had a Dove Creek player snap him the ball and threw it to another in the back corner of the end zone before also tossing the ball around and getting in Broomfield’s team photo on the field.
Meanwhile, today’s starter Brett Rypien and back-up Jarrett Guarantano are also on the field early getting warmed up and throwing to Denver’s receivers. — Parker Gabriel
Scouting report (noon): Check out how the Broncos match up with the Cardinals in Kyle Newman’s scouting report.
Mark Kiszla, columnist: Broncos 16, Cardinals 13
Orange-and-blue diehards who show up to cheer the home team not only have a chance to win concert tickets for George Strait or Taylor Swift, but also will witness the Broncos’ best chance to win a game the remainder of this season. It’s a deal hard to resist, don’t you think? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
Kyle Newman, beat writer: Cardinals 17, Broncos 16
Another heartbreaker! I’m picking against this team until they prove me wrong. Just like the Carolina game, just when you think the Broncos have a gimmie putt in front of them… Denver gets the yips and finds another way to lip out. This time, old friend Matt Prater drills the game-winner as time expires.
Parker Gabriel, beat writer: Cardinals 16, Broncos 13
With a normal week at quarterback for Denver, the pick might have been to take the home team by a touchdown. It is entirely plausible that Nathaniel Hackett’s team carries something over from that relative scoring outburst against the Chiefs. At this point, though, that is a believe-it-when-you-see-it proposition.
Sean Keeler, columnist: Broncos 19, Cardinals 13
Want a stat that’ll melt your brain? Brock Purdy — Mr. Irrelevant — has as many passing touchdowns during three starts (six) as Russell Wilson has managed over his last six. If you dug Broncos-Texans, kids, you’ll love this one. America won’t.
Broncos-Cardinals NFL Week 15: Must reads
Broncos QB Russell Wilson will not play vs. Cardinals despite clearing concussion protocol
Quarterback Russell Wilson cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol on Friday but will not play Sunday against Arizona.
Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said the decision to sit Wilson was made by a group that included the top levels of the organization.
Wilson will not suit up Sunday. Brett Rypien will make his second start of the season in Wilson’s place and Jarrett Guarantano, signed earlier this month to the practice squad, will be the No. 2 quarterback. Read the full story. — Parker Gabriel
Four head coaches in seven years for Justin Simmons and still the Broncos are in limbo: “It’s tough to have a consistent culture”
Justin Simmons is standing at a lectern on the club level of Empower Field, talking about roots.
He is here two days after his Broncos lost to Kansas City and fell to 3-10 to present the franchise’s nomination for the NFL’s inaugural Inspire Change changemaker award to teenagers Nashara Ellerbee and Naja’Ray Wes. He speaks with ease about the pair’s accomplishments in the Montbello neighborhood because he didn’t just read about them on a white sheet before the program. He attended the meetings, kicked around ideas, provided his platform, did the work.
His roots, like theirs, are deep in this city by now, and most of the people in the room on this December day have watched them grow for years.
Down below, heat lights cover the field on which the Broncos have lost four consecutive games, coaxing the Kentucky Bluegrass to strengthen its hold despite the inhospitable conditions. Read the full story. — Parker Gabriel