The Denver Broncos ruled out four players today for Sunday’s game at Kansas City. What impact will the absences have on the game?
The Denver Broncos will be without a couple of playmakers when the head to Kansas City to face the Chiefs.
Head coach Vance Joseph said on Friday that rookie running back Royce Freeman (ankle), wideout DeSean Hamilton (knee), right tackle Jared Veldheer (knee) and safety Darian Stewart (neck) would not be available this weekend.
The absence of Freeman means that undrafted rookie Phillip Lindsay and third-year running back Devontae Booker should get plenty of snaps.
Freeman has 71 carries for 309 yards and four touchdowns so far on the season. He is second on the team in terms of attempts and yards, but leads the team in rushing touchdowns.
Stewart has 29 tackles and one interception so far this season. With Stewart out, the Broncos will have third-year safety Will Parks fill in at the position. Parks has recorded ten tackles so far this season.
I expect Parks to add a few more, with the Chiefs having running back Kareem Hunt to their advantage. If the first level of defense cannot stop Hunt, it will be up to Parks and Justin Simmons to get the job done. It will be a very good test for the young safety.
Also expect Shamarko Thomas and Dymonte Thomas to have a significant impact.
The Broncos will get another safety back for their matchup with the Houston Texans. Su’a Cravens is expected to play against Houston, head coach Vance Joseph said today.
Rookie wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton will not suit up due to a knee injury he sustained in last Thursday’s victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Hamilton has three receptions for 44 yards so far during his rookie campaign.
With Hamilton out, fellow rookie receiver Courtland Sutton could have a big day against a bad Chiefs defense. The rookie wideout has also been important on special teams with Adam Jones being unavailable. With Hamilton out, the team called up receiver/returner Isaiah McKenzie from the practice squad this week.
On the offensive line, right tackle Jared Veldheer will be out with a knee injury. The former Arizona Cardinal was traded to the Broncos in March in hopes of solving the team’s issues at right tackle. Unfortunately, he has been limited to just four games so far during the 2018 season.
Denver has also listed outside linebacker Shane Ray as “doubtful”.
The Broncos nearly beat Kansas City in Denver a couple of weeks ago. Now they face one of the best (if not THE best) teams in the league without a couple of impact players.