Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday Injury Report
The Broncos suffered a few injuries in their win over the Colts this past week. Wednesday’s practice gave us our first look into this weeks injury report.
The Denver Broncos are 2-0 for the fourth year in a row but guess what—“We’re on to Cincinnati.”
The Broncos hit the practice field Wednesday for the first time since their home victory over the Indianapolis Colts as they begin preparation for the first road game of the year against the Cincinnati Bengals. There are a few key injuries suffered in the past week to take a look at:
Did Not Participate:
The players that did not participate in Wednesday’s practice includes Demarcus Ware (forearm), Donald Stephenson (calf), Virgil Green (calf) and Corey Nelson (ankle).
On Tuesday, Demarcus Ware underwent surgery on a broken bone in his forearm that will cause him to miss the next 4-5 weeks. While Ware should be back with the team tomorrow, it’s going to be the trio of Shane Ray, Shaq Barrett and Dekoda Watson that will need to hold down the fort while he is out.
“We’re going to play them all.” Coach Kubiak said following Wednesday’s practice.
“Dekoda is fixing to play a lot more. He’s the one that hasn’t been playing. As far as [OLB] Shaq [Barrett] and [OLB] Shane [Ray], we’ll rotate those guys.”
Dekoda Watson was one of the great stories in training camp this season. He was moved from ILB to OLB and thrived in that role, showing a proven knack of being able to pressure the quarterback. This ultimately lead to him making the 53-man roster, and is what gives the coaches confidence in his ability to be able to fill in when called up.
On the offensive line, Donald Stephenson will be replaced by not one player, but by a rotation, according to Coach Kubiak:
“I think with Donald [out] right now, I see us playing a lot of people. We could get into a rotation type of thing. Obviously [OL] Michael [Schofield] can play out there, Ty can play out there and even [OL Darrion] Weems can really play out there. We’ll have our seven and probably play them all.”
The good news here is that second year OL Ty Sambrailo is finally healthy enough to play and will figure into the rotation. Sambrailo was the starting
RG throughout the offseason program and at the beginning of training camp, but probably projects better at tackle where he was drafted to play. It appears that the plan is to rotate him, Schofield and Weems until they find the best combination to get by for the next few weeks with Stephenson being out.
The other two DNP players, Virgil Green and Corey Nelson, aren’t expected to miss any significant time. Kubiak acknowledged that Nelson was held out for precautionary reasons with a sore ankle, and that Virgil Green is considered day-to-day with a calf.
“I would say between Virgil and Donald, Virgil is ahead of Donald. I think it’s a day-to-day process, so we’ll see. Obviously [TE] Jeff [Heuerman] is back full-time, so that’s a good thing.”
With Heuerman back in the lineup it should provide little relief in the event
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that Green is not quite ready to go. Heuerman is an unknown commodity for the Broncos as he has yet to make his way to the field due to a number of different injuries. Wednesday, Coach Kubiak expressed his confidence in the young tight end:
“I’m confident in Jeff. He’s a good kid. He works hard and he’s very bright. He knows what he’s doing. This happens sometimes to young players. It seems like every time they take a step forward, they take two back. I know it’s been tough on him, but I’ve seen guys jump out of it and go. I’m ready for Jeff to do that. I think the whole team is excited for him to come be a part of us. He’s been working hard and hopefully we’re good and healthy this week and ready to go.”
It would be a welcome sight for the Broncos to get some good production out of Heuerman. It would take some of the pressure of of starting tight end Virgil Green, and would allow him to get fully healthy instead of forcing himself on to the field before he is 100%. Green’s status will bear watching throughout the rest of the week. If he can return to practice on even a limited basis by Thursday, it would be a good sign that he should be ready to play on Sunday.
A Couple Other Injuries to Watch:
- Rookie Justin Simmons practiced Wednesday with a soft cast on his left wrist as he suffered a small fracture in it during last Sunday’s game against the Colts. The rookie is day-to-day with the wrist, but is expected to play Sunday with a club on his hand. The Broncos did add depth at the position this week, resigning S Shiloh Keo in the event that Simmons is limited or unable to play.
- Demaryius Thomas is still dealing with the hip problem he suffered week one, but was listed as a full participant in practice Wednesday which is good news.
- Bennie Fowler was listed as a limited participant in practice. He could be on track to make his way back to the field this week.
- C.J. Anderson did make an appearance on the injury report with a rib issue, but was listed as a full participant and should be good to go to Sunday’s contest with the Bengals.
Here is a look at the full injury report for both the Broncos and the Benals from Wednesday:
Stay tuned Thursday and Friday to check the status on players like Corey Nelson and Virgil Green.
“We’re on to Cincinnati.”