The Denver Broncos will be without some starters against the Cincinnati Bengals but may be getting some big-name players back as well.
The Denver Broncos will be without some key players this week against the Cincinnati Bengals, and some will miss even more time than just this one game.
Head coach Vance Joseph announced after practice on Friday that two players were going to be out for Sunday’s game against Cincinnati. Those two players are outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (who will miss at least a few weeks with a hip injury) and cornerback Tramaine Brock.
Joseph also announced that linebacker Brandon Marshall was questionable for the game, but there has been speculation we could see Marshall out on the field for the first time in a few weeks.
Marshall injured his knee against the Kansas City Chiefs all the way back in week eight but has slowly been working his way back into action.
Brock looked to be in considerable pain after a tackle he made against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was grabbing his chest area and it was later determined he had a rib injury.
In addition to these three players, the Broncos learned this week that tight end Jeff Heuerman would miss the rest of the season with a serious rib injury.
Who is going to step up?
Shaquil Barrett >> Jeff Holland
The Broncos could use a committee approach to replacing the reps defensively that Shaquil Barrett gives them. The team removed Alexander Johnson from the active roster and replaced him with Jeff Holland, but that doesn’t necessarily mean only Holland will be called upon to take some snaps.
The Broncos also have former second-round pick DeMarcus Walker, a player who has been inactive (and healthy) the majority of his first two years in the NFL.
Both Walker and Holland could see some playing time on Sunday in Cincinnati.
Tramaine Brock >> Isaac Yiadom
Though Brock has not been terrible and has actually played some pretty good football in recent weeks, his injury opens the door for more of Isaac Yiadom, a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Boston College.
The Broncos have been very high on Yiadom and this game against a young quarterback could be his best chance yet at a confidence-boosting performance. He did a good job in relief of Brock against the Steelers, allowing just three receptions on five targets.
Jeff Heuerman >> Matt LaCosse/Brian Parker
The Broncos promoted Temarrick Hemingway from the practice squad to keep the line moving forward at tight end, but the guys replacing the injured Heuerman will be Matt LaCosse and Brian Parker.
LaCosse and Parker have both played key roles as reserves since Jake Butt’s season-ending injury, and now will be thrust into the top two roles on an offense that seemingly favors the tight end position.