The Denver Broncos have been plagued by injuries in the 2022 season, to say the least. That’s why any sort of positive injury news is welcomed with open arms. When Nathaniel Hackett took the podium for his Wednesday press conference, he stated that running back Chase Edmonds would be coming off of injured reserve — where he’s been since suffering an injury against the Raiders in Denver — for the final three games of the season.
This may not seem like all that big of a deal, but it actually kind of is, and for a variety of reasons when you think about it. First of all, the Broncos have to consider bringing Edmonds back in 2022 and they need a sample of him playing for them after acquiring him in a trade with the Miami Dolphins at the NFL trade deadline. Remember the Bradley Chubb trade?
Edmonds was really the other “big” piece coming back to Denver in that trade, and his inclusion in the deal was certainly not insignificant given the health status of Javonte Williams going into next year. The Broncos could bring back the entire stable of backs we see out there in Week 16 with Latavius Murray, Marlon Mack, and potentially Edmonds as well.
Chase Edmonds can give the Denver Broncos another boost on 3rd downs
It’s worth noting that NFL teams are allowed to activate eight players off of injured reserve per season at this point, and Edmonds is the eighth and thus final activation for the Broncos this season. We won’t see center Lloyd Cushenberry III, safety Caden Sterns, linebacker Jonas Griffith, wide receiver KJ Hamler, or any other eligible player for the remainder of the season.
Once again, it’s important to keep in mind that this is an important activation for the Broncos for a variety of reasons.
It will give the Broncos a look at Edmonds for the remainder of the 2022 season. It gives the offense a boost in terms of having additional playmakers, which has frankly been an area of scarcity in 2022.
Not only that, but if you will once again strap on your tinfoil hat with me for the moment, you can’t help but wonder if this is specifically an audition for Edmonds working with Nathaniel Hackett and Russell Wilson. The Broncos aren’t just going to keep him on the roster next year for no good reason. He’s got to make it impossible for them to cut him even at a pretty hefty $6 million cap hit.
Let’s just ask a question here for a second — why would the Broncos have Edmonds come back at all this season given the other players they could potentially activate if they didn’t have the future in mind here? Do they specifically want to see how Edmonds can work in Hackett’s offense? Are they trying to get as many guys onto the field as possible to at least give Hackett a fighting chance?
I recently wrote something on ways the Broncos might be trying to convince themselves to keep Hackett around beyond this season and it seems less crazy the more you think about it. Although I’m certainly not convinced Hackett will be back as head coach in 2023, by any means, the more breadcrumbs you find the more you begin to wonder.
Members of Broncos Country seem to think that firing Nathaniel Hackett is a foregone conclusion, but is that the case? How could they justify him staying?
At any rate, for the short-term, I think the return of Chase Edmonds to the practice field is exciting and it gives Broncos fans at least one more thing to look forward to here in “evaluation season”.