When the Denver Broncos host the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday night, one of the more interesting storylines, but one that won't grab many headlines, will be the return of Dalton Risner to Denver.
Risner, who went to high school in Colorado and became a local legend, was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Broncos, instantly making him a favorite within Broncos Country.
Risner then spent a turbulent four seasons with the team, making 62 starts for the team. His play was up and down, but one of the things he will most be remembered for during his time with the team was negative, and that was a fight he had on the sideline with backup quarterback Brett Rypien last Christmas Day.
This offseason, Risner was an unrestricted free agent and the Broncos showed no interest in having him return to the team. To the surprise of many, no teams seemed to show interest in the 28-year-old offensive lineman.
That was until the middle of September when the Minnesota Vikings, a team struggling along the offensive line and one that had long been linked to Risner, officially signed him. He was able to get one of the starting guard spots for the team and the Vikings seem to be pretty happy to have him.
Ahead of this week's game, Risner was asked by the media about his return home and he had a pretty predictable, politically correct response:
Now this is exactly what you would expect a player to say, but what they would really like to say is almost always the complete opposite. Of course, this is personal for Risner, how could it not be? The team that drafted him suddenly lost all faith in him or maybe considered him a player who wasn't a great teammate due to his dust-up with Rypien. Either way, Risner has to be at least a tad spiteful.
It will be interesting to see how the former fan favorite is received by the home crowd when these two teams clash on Sunday Night Football.