Denver Broncos 2023 nightmare scenario No. 2: Key players don't bounce back from injuries
Obviously, injuries can play a major part in how a team's season will go. No matter how good a team is, having too many top players go down with injuries will take them out of the race.
Last year, the Broncos lost starting running back Javonte Williams and starting left tackle Garett Bolles to season-ending injuries early on in the season. And they are injuries that are not exactly easy to come back from.
Though recent reports regarding Williams are encouraging, the Broncos must be careful with him. He is entering just his third season in the league but the career of most running backs is very short. Another injury or a reaggravation of this one could prove quite detrimental to his future.
Beyond that, the Broncos are just not that deep at running back. When he went down last year, the team had to turn to journeyman running back Latavius Murray when Melvin Gordon proved inadequate. Though Murray was great in his role with the team, the Broncos don't want to be in that position again.
That is why many fans have been expecting the team to go after a free agent like Dalvin Cook this offseason, but Payton seems to be content with the group he has.
In the case of Bolles, he has had quite an up-and-down career with the team and in 2023, it needs to go back up in a big way. As in the case with Williams, there isn't a great depth piece behind Bolles.
Cam Fleming will likely serve as the team's top rotational tackle but if this offense is to click the way Payton wants it to and Wilson is to get back to the player we saw him to be in Seattle, then the presence of a healthy and effective Bolles is going to be key.