The Denver Broncos and New York Giants face off Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Both teams have questions in terms of player health.
On the Broncos’ side, outside linebacker Bradley Chubb is dealing with an ankle injury. Chubb had surgery on the ankle in May. It may be smart to keep him out an extra week if he is not fully recovered. He will reportedly test the ankle right before the game on Sunday to determine his week 1 status.
A month ago, Chubb said that he was “feeling like money,” which is a good sign for what’s to come.
We all want to see that duo of Chubb and Von Miller in week one but if it comes down to preserving him for the rest of the season, it may be in the team’s best interest to sit him against the Giants and play him against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
If Chubb doesn’t go, we should see heavy doses of Malik Reed and rookie Jonathon Cooper. Reed had eight sacks last season in Miller’s place. Cooper has shown early signs that he was a steal by the Broncos in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Noah Fant has been dealing with an unspecified leg injury that head coach Vic Fangio would not elaborate on. The third-year tight end practiced fully during Thursday’s and Friday’s sessions. He, along with Miller, is set to start against the Giants.
Wide receiver Courtland Sutton, who missed the 2020 season with a torn ACL, and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam, who also tore his ACL last year, both practiced fully this week and will be good to go for the game. It remains to be seen how much they’ll play but it would not be a surprise to see both players limited in their first regular season action since their injuries.
The Broncos will catch a break this week as Giants tight end Evan Engram will be inactive. Per the team’s injury report, all players on the list have practiced on a limited basis all week except for Engram.
Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.
Barkley and Jackson are big pieces for the Giants and if they are both held out, it would give the Denver Broncos a huge advantage and a huge opportunity to kick off their 2021 season with a victory on the road.
The Broncos will not have to face speedy wideout John Ross as he was placed on injured reserve in early September with a hamstring injury.