The hits keep on comin’ for Denver at running back


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OLB depth

It’s really getting tested now, but so far holding up. How much longer can that last? It may depend on if Baron Browning has to miss extensive time with the hip injury he suffered Sunday and if Randy Gregory is ready to be activated off of injured reserve after the bye week or shortly thereafter. Well, those factors and whether Denver trades Bradley Chubb ahead of the Nov. 1 trade deadline. For now, the next men up are Nik Bonitto and Jonathon Cooper. Bonitto registered the first half-sack of his career Sunday and Cooper has done nice work the past two weeks after missing three games with a hamstring issue. The Broncos have a lot issues and not much has gone the way the franchise expected this spring, but the depth on the edge has been as-advertised or even better.

WR Jerry Jeudy

Maybe it’s a Bret Rypien thing. Jeudy scored a touchdown as a rookie in 2020 when Rypien started against the Jets and on Sunday had game highs across the board in catches (seven), targets (11) and receiving yards (96). Jeudy entered play with one of the lowest catch-per-target rates in the NFL, so seven grabs on 11 targets constitutes progress. The questions for the Broncos now are A) how to keep getting the ball consistently in his hands and B) if anybody makes a strong run at the third-year receiver before the trade deadline.

RG Quinn Meinerz and RT Billy Turner

The Broncos have benefitted from Meinerz’ return the past two weeks and dodged a bullet when he was able to play through a plantar fascia injury to his right foot Sunday. Meinerz looks like Denver’s best offensive lineman and he plays with an edge. Turner looked more comfortable in his second outing and was able to play the entire game, a good sign after he missed the first five weeks with that knee injury. Now the question becomes whether an injury to left tackle Cam Fleming prompts Denver to think about moving Turner or if they roll with this pair on the right side.

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LG Dalton Risner

Denver’s veteran left guard had his hands full against the Jets’ powerful defensive interior. Moreover, it’s been a challenging few weeks for Risner in general, both in the sense that he’s played next to three different left tackles in the past three games – the now-injured Garret Bolles and Cam Fleming and also Calvin Anderson – and dealt last week with a back issue. Even still, if the Broncos are going to be able to run the ball effectively against Jacksonville in London and protect whoever is playing quarterback, they’re going to need better play from the left side of the offensive line. And Risner’s the linchpin on that side as the team continues to look for solutions at tackle.


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