Denver Broncos conclude 2023 minicamp: Sean Payton's offense looks promising

The Denver Broncos have concluded 2023 mandatory minicamp with multiple standout players making noise early on.
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs
Denver Broncos v Kansas City Chiefs / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Punt returner Patrick Surtain ll?

Sean Payton recently informed the media that All-Pro CB Patrick Surtain ll will serve as the team's emergency punt return in case of injury to the declared starter(s). Why so?

"We were in practice one time and Sean [Payton] came up and was asking around: 'Who punt returned before? Who has experience returning kicks?' Me being confident, because I returned in high school and have some good tape [returning kicks], I was like 'Yeah, shoot, that's me.' He put me back there with no hesitation and I got some catches in. I feel very comfortable back there."

Pat Surtain ll via the Pat McAfee Show

Surtain ll also joked with Pat McAfee during his appearance on Thursday's episode and hinted that if he does get some action returning punts in the regular season that he is not going to signal fair catch because he is "not trying to be back there for no reason". From a fan perspective, you love to hear that simply because of how dedicated he is to making an impact on the field whether it is on defense or special teams. However, if you're a fan, this news can have you a little on the edge of your seat.

We have seen past NFL legends get work at starting punt or kick returner to make an impact on special teams given their elite speed and playmaking ability however, nowadays, injuries have become more prevalent and player health/safety has to be taken into account. While it would be intriguing to see what impact Surtain could have in the return game, the last thing fans want to see is the team's best player get injured when he realistically should not have been on the field.

The Broncos have plenty of other options to insert at punt returner including rookie WR Marvin Mims Jr., WR KJ Hamler, WR Kendall Hinton, CB Tremon Smith, WR Montrell Washington, and many others. While I strongly doubt Surtain ll will get any playing time as a returner for the Broncos, it is still a fun scenario to discuss. Maybe in Madden with the injuries toggled off?

Additional News:

  • WR Courtland Sutton and RB Jaleel McLaughlin impressed
  • RB Samaje Perine dealing with bruised thumb, will be fine
  • Rookie WR Marvin Mims Jr. and LB Drew Sanders sidelined with injuries, will be fine
  • Coach Payton very optimistic about RB Javonte Williams' progress, said he's "doing well"
  • Scuffle broke out in day two between several offensive and defensive players, result of competitive environment

Next. 5 facts about Sean Payton you didn't know. 5 facts about Sean Payton you didn't know. dark