Through two weeks of the 2023 NFL season, Denver Broncos fans are in a bit of a frenzy. Understandably so. The Broncos are 0-2 already this season and hopes of renewed optimism under new head coach Sean Payton are -- for the time being -- dashed. Until the Denver Broncos start winning some games, it's fair to wonder if the team is going to need to be making any drastic moves on the depth chart to try and shake things up.
Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but there are some players that are certainly less impressive than others through two weeks. If things continue down this path, which specific players might need to be benched in favor of alternatives? If the Broncos don't start seeing contributions from some guys, could they go so far as to cut players?
I wouldn't be shocked. Let's look at three players on the hot seat entering Week 3 against the Dolphins.
3 players the Denver Broncos could bench or cut soon
1. Kareem Jackson, safety
This one feels so much less likely now with the news that Justin Simmons could be dealing with an injury, and maybe especially unrealistic considering the season-ending injury to Caden Sterns, but Kareem Jackson needs to pick things up or be replaced rather quickly.
Jackson has played two games this season, and has had two absolutely critical penalties in each game. In Week 1 of the season, I will come to Jackson's defense a bit. He put a hit on Raiders wide receiver Jakobi Meyers that, in another era of NFL football, would have been no. 1 on all of the highlight reels the same night. It didn't look like a dirty hit in real time and it certainly seemed like Jackson did his part to try and lead with the shoulder.
With that being said, the NFL has such a heightened sensitivity to these hits, that defenders -- while handcuffed, to a degree -- have to find ways to play within the confines of the rules, no matter how much they may disagree with them. It's like arguing balls and strikes with an umpire in baseball. Sometimes you have to expand your zone to accommodate an umpire who is calling generous strikes.
But it was in Week 2 when Jackson laid another unnecessary hit on Washington Commanders tight end Logan Thomas that actually got him kicked out of the game. Although Thomas held onto the ball anyway, Jackson's hard-hitting style is desperately costing the Denver Broncos right now and if he can't figure out a way to play within the confines of the rules, the Broncos might have to play Delarrin Turner-Yell, Essang Bassey, or even practice squad safety Devon Key more.