Nov 16, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Andre Caldwell (12) is tackled against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
It was an ugly sight for the Denver Broncos when Emmanuel Sanders and Julius Thomas were both forced to leave the game early due to injuries, but even uglier yet when they tried replacing them in the offense with Jacob Tamme and Andre Caldwell.
Tamme has been okay as a situational player this season, but Caldwell has not been good in really any situation. After last season when Caldwell had a nice game against the Chargers, he’s been completely out of sorts this year, fumbling the ball on kickoff returns, showing virtually no burst in his returns, and is not catching the ball either.
Caldwell was also absolutely crushed by T.J. McDonald on one of the best hits of the year in football, legal and all, and could possibly be missing some time with an injury.
The Broncos also had Cody Latimer on the inactives list against the Rams, which turned out to be a horrid mistake because Isaiah Burse doesn’t play on offense unless an emergency situation arises and Latimer could replace Caldwell as a kick returner and in a role with the offense.
The Broncos know exactly what they are getting from Caldwell, yet they continue to trot him out onto the field like they have some blind confidence he is going to be able to rectify whatever error he recently committed. The true problem here is that the Broncos are being ignorant to the fact that they have a talent on the roster, someone who could take a bubble screen for eight yards or, at the very least, could take kick returns for 10 yards and drop passes.
That’s what Caldwell has been doing, and while us fans hold our breath every time he leaves the end zone with a kickoff, John Fox continues to chew his gum and not care, apparently.
It’s time for the Broncos to end this experimentation with Caldwell, because it’s clearly not working. He is not contributing positively to the team right now and is actually hurting the team by being on the field. The Broncos need to find ways to get Latimer active and playing at least the role that Caldwell is playing, if not more. They could have used his size and speed when Sanders and Thomas both went down on Sunday with injuries.
This one is really on the coaching staff, which can’t seem to put together a competent week of preparation these last few weeks. Save for one quarter and three minutes against the Oakland Raiders, it’s been a disastrous three weeks for the Broncos.