Julius Thomas Will Return For Broncos Against Chargers


It’s been a long time coming for Julius Thomas and another nagging ankle injury suffered against the St. Louis Rams, but his time on the bench is about to come to an end on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

Thomas was ‘active’ against the Bills last week, but didn’t play at all. He has practiced well this week, and is listed as probable to play against the Chargers after being a gameday scratch the previous few weeks.

In his absence, the Broncos’ offense has been forced to make significant changes. The Broncos don’t have a weapon like Thomas at tight end obviously without him in the lineup, so they decided after a game against the Rams where they threw the ball over 50 times and had little success that they would establish a running game.

That has worked very well, and in Thomas’ absence, the Broncos have won three straight games against the Dolphins, Chiefs, and Bills, all playoff wildcard hopefuls. Since the Broncos have gutted out tough wins against teams with top level defensive fronts with a strong running game, the passing game has been sort of placed on the back burner.

That’s not been a bad alternative, because Peyton Manning has struggled a bit in recent games. In his last two games, Manning has thrown two touchdowns compared to two interceptions, which is just not like him. Perhaps having Julius Thomas out of the lineup has been more of a hinderance to the passing game than anyone anticipated, but most are in agreement that the Broncos have changed their identity offensively entirely which has led to a less video game-like passing attack.

With Thomas back in the lineup, the Broncos will have plenty of favorable matchups against the Chargers with their new ability to run the football and a more balanced passing attack in the middle of the field.