May 28, 2013; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receivers Wes Welker (83) and Isaiah Burse (19) and Nathan Palmer (13) and Greg Wilson (15) and Bennie Fowler (16) and Jordan Norwood (11) during organized team activities at the Broncos training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos wide receiver and punt returner Jordan Norwood has reportedly torn his ACL and is out for the 2014 season.
Norwood had a breakout camp and strong preseason opener performance, and appeared on his way to earning a roster spot with the Broncos for his ability to return punts. He was also working with the starters in relief of Emmanuel Sanders or Wes Welker if he needed it, and was listed as the number two slot receiver for the Broncos.
This isn’t a huge blow in terms of something that we already know (Norwood is unproven in Denver) but it’s a blow in terms of what could have been. Norwood showed burst on punt returns and upside as a receiver in the Broncos’ first two preseason games, but as I mentioned, he was also working his way up the depth chart with the receivers.
Had he continued the trajectory he was on, we would have probably seen number 11 back returning punts again for the Broncos, only this time it would have been Norwood instead of Trindon Holliday.
The Broncos now have their kick and punt return jobs even more open than they were with Norwood in the mix. No one had taken a stranglehold on the job completely, but it appeared Norwood was out in front of the pack.
What do you think? Who will be the Broncos’ punt returner when the season opens?