Denver Broncos star WR Emmanuel Sanders is back and ready for a big return on Sunday Night Football against the New England Patriots.
The Denver Broncos were missing their big time vertical threat against the Chicago Bears last Sunday afternoon in Brock Osweiler’s debut, but they will have him back this week and he is chomping at the bit to get on the field.
“I’m good. My ankle feels good. I practiced all week,” Sanders said. “I started off on Wednesday and finally got a full week under my belt. It felt good to do that. I think that I’m mentally and physically prepared for the game.”
It’s going to be huge for the Broncos’ offense to have Sanders returning to the lineup. I wrote a little bit last Sunday about what his return would mean for the debut of Osweiler, and all of that remains true for any game those two play together. Having Sanders out there on the field upgrades every single facet of the offense, including the running game, because when you have the threat of the deep ball on play-action, it forces a safety to stay deep and out of the box.
The Broncos simply haven’t had that with Peyton Manning because of his inaccuracy on deep balls and general inability to move outside the pocket or keep plays alive with his legs.
Emmanuel Sanders changes the game with his speed, he changes the game with his ability to move the chains in clutch situations, and he can bail your quarterback out when he throws a bad ball.
The major concern at this point is whether or not he can stay healthy, and this season has been a bit of a struggle. He’s had hamstring issues, ankle issues, and there have been some serious shots he’s taken to the head. Still, he’s an iron man and doesn’t miss starts if he doesn’t absolutely have to.
Needless to say, taking the ‘extra’ time off against Chicago proved to be a difference maker.
“I think it did, honestly. That was a tough decision because I haven’t missed a game in like three years, but I think that it was the best decision for me and for the team. I had an opportunity to rest, we won the ball game and now I feel really good.”
All season long, the Broncos have been giving Brock Osweiler the #1 reps on Wednesday practices, which has given Osweiler and Sanders some good chemistry to this point. Sanders said that they have been working on some things to get the ball deep downfield.
“The chemistry is good. [QB] Peyton [Manning] hasn’t been going on Wednesdays, so I’ve had an opportunity to go with Brock and it’s definitely paid off. Today we connected on a couple of deep balls that we were working on. I texted him last night about what I’m seeing and what he’s seeing, so it’s going to pay off.”