Around this time last week, we thought we might be getting our first regular season look at Denver Broncos defensive end Kenny Anunike. This week, we’re almost certain of it.
Anunike was a full participant in Broncos practice on Wednesday, and while he was probably healthy enough to play this past week, the Broncos have an embarrassment of riches in the pass rush department with plenty of time to let Anunike get back to 100 percent.
Against the Minnesota Vikings, we might finally get to see his season — and NFL career — debut.
At last we saw Anunike, he was doing things like this (pardon the poor quality)…
For those not in the know, Anunike is a big deal. The Broncos unearthed a gem in their own backyard in Colorado State pass rusher Shaquil Barrett, who is making an impact on the active roster this season, but Anunike might be ready to do some of the same — if not more.
Anunike is a lighter 3-4 defensive end than preferred, but that’s only because he’s generally played a 4-3 end position. He gained some weight this offseason but maintained his quickness, and showed some violent hand usage this offseason prior to going down with an injury.
After the Broncos’ preseason opener against the Seahawks, Anunike had the team’s best Pro Football Focus rating. He was getting after the quarterback, and proved that he’s one of the more disruptive players on the team. As good as the Broncos have been on the defensive line this season, he might not see a ton of snaps if he dresses for the game, but the thought of adding him to what the Broncos already have is very, very exciting.
As for the rest of the injury report, the Broncos were missing offensive linemen Ty Sambrailo and Louis Vasquez, two very key starters. Sambrailo, who hurt his shoulder against the Detroit Lions, is hoping to play this weekend but is considered day-to-day.
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