The highlight reel of last night’s 14-10 comeback win over the Texans include a 57 yard TD bomb from Osweiler to Caldwell, 5 sacks for the defense (two of them from the nose tackle position) and a booming 56 yard punt from Spencer Lanning. All of those plays greatly contributed to the Broncos getting the win, but it was the player who got the ball to start the game who ended up making the game winning move.
Little has been mentioned about this player throughout camp, but when called upon to make plays, he delivered. The player I’m referring to is (drum roll please)……….. Corbin Louks. Who? What? When? Where? Why? Yes, the 5 W’s.
I’m sure plenty of Broncos fans are saying any combination of those words when they first hear Louks’ name. To many fans, he is an unknown player with a murky history. Despite the anonymity, there is something the coaching staff saw in him and gave him the opportunity to start and finish the game in winning style.
For a player like Louks, doing whatever it takes to make the team is nothing foreign to him. A high school quarterback, he began his collegiate career at the University of Utah playing that position. After two years of little playing time, he transferred to Nevada and converted to two different positions. First, he tried his hand at safety before eventually moving to receiver his senior year.
With only 26 career receptions, Louks was overlooked in the draft process and initially came into the NFL as an UDFA with the Seattle Seahawks. Since getting his first shot in the league back in 2012, Louks has bounced in between a few different teams for different leagues.
Before coming to Denver, he spent time on the practice squads of Seattle and Kansas City. In between his time with those two teams, he dabbled in Arena Football (with the San Jose Sabercats in 2013) and had a cup of coffee with the Boston Brawlers of the Fall Experimental Football league last year.
Aug 22, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Corbin Louks (6) celebrates with tight end Marcel Jensen (89) after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Texans 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
The path to NFL relevance has been a rocky one for Louks and he must take full advantage of any chance he gets. With an unresolved return competition brewing for the Broncos, a variety of different players are getting their shot to earn the roles of kick and punt returners.
Louks was given the chance to field the first two kickoffs tonight and he didn’t disappoint. He averaged 26 yards on his two kick off returns, with 26 yards being his longest return. For a team with an ongoing problem of inconsistent play on special teams, Louks provided a dose of potential stability in the kick returner position.
To build on his impressive resume for the game, he made a fantastic 26 yard touchdown catch from Trevor Siemian to give the Broncos the lead with 1:44 to go in the game. He may have back peddled into the endzone, but he’s clearly not back peddling his way into a potential spot on the roster.
In a time when many established players look to take it easy and prepare for the regular season, some players are hungry to make a move for a final roster spot anyway they can. Between his solid return abilities on special teams and willingness to make the tough plays on offense, Louks is beginning to make his push for a spot on the team.
Unless he has a fantastic finish to camp and plays well in the final two preseason games, he’s unlikely to make the final 53 man roster. Despite the uphill climb, his play tonight certainly could have put him on the fast track to a spot on the practice squad this season. For a guy that has traveled a bumpy road in professional football, that has to be encouraging turn for the better.