Denver Broncos: Demar Dotson up with Elijah Wilkinson down
Denver Broncos OT Demar Dotson should get his shot with Elijah Wilkinson heading to IR.
The Denver Broncos are sending yet another player to injured reserve with starting right tackle Elijah Wilkinson the latest player on the list.
The early indications are that Wilkinson could be back as soon as the first week of November, but nothing is ever guaranteed with injuries and we’ll have to wait and see.
Even if Wilkinson is healthy after his stint on injured reserve, is he guaranteed to get his starting job back?
After 2019 big-money free agent Ja’Wuan James decided to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19, the Broncos signed veteran Demar Dotson as an insurance policy though many assumed the longtime veteran would easily be the choice to start over Wilkinson, who has not played consistently well at right tackle in his young NFL career.
Through the first three games of the early 2020 season, Wilkinson has been probably the worst performer of the five starting offensive linemen on a consistent basis, though he’s been dealt some really tough assignments early on.
In week one, the Broncos had to deal with Jadeveon Clowney and Harold Landry. In week two, it was TJ Watt and Bud Dupree. In week three, it didn’t get any easier off the edge with Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul.
Even with tough matchups, it’s hard to imagine that Dotson is going to come in and actually do worse than what we’ve seen from Wilkinson, who can handle some power rushes but really struggles against pure speed off the edge.
Combined with Wilkinson’s struggles, Jeff Driskel has been holding the ball too long and shows almost zero pocket poise, which is shocking for a guy who can run as fast as Driskel can.
With Dotson coming in, the Broncos will at least have a proven pass protector. Since 2015, he has only allowed 14.5 total sacks. That’s an average of less than three per season, and with the Broncos giving up as many sacks as they have in recent weeks, Dotson’s veteran presence will hopefully be a much-needed jolt.