I love me a good rumor. And like a juicy steak a good rumor can really satisfy, and these are pretty juicy.
As first reported on the local TV Show Football Playbook, seen on FSN Rocky Mountain, then discussed HERE and HERE, it appears as thought the Broncos are preparing to place Ben Hamilton on Injured Reserve, ending his season. Hamilton suffered a concussion early in Training Camp and has yet to be able to return, still suffering from headaches and nausea.
The other juicy tidbit, and stay with me here, was reported by ole' pal Bill Romanowski. According to Romo, he spoke with former Bronco John Mobley who himself had spoken with Al Wilson. Wilson, apparrently, is in great shape and ready to play football in 2007. This is here-say, twice removed, but you can't question the timing of Wilson's comments seeing how the Broncos are struggling, especially in the leadership department where Wilson excelled.
More on Wilson in a second, but looking back at the Hamilton situation this really shouldn't be a shock should the Broncos actually make this move. We are heading into Week 4, and come Monday the season will be 25% over. Hamilton has yet to be cleared to return to the field let alone get into game shap. After missing most of Training Camp, it would take Hamilton at least 4 weeks to get ready to play in mid-year, regular season games. Add to that the fact that Chris Myers has actually played well in Hamilton's absence and the best move is to allow Hamilton to get healthy without the pressure to return, whether that pressure is real or imagined. Hamilton is a young player and has plenty of solid seasons left and I would rather let him get healthy now than take a chance at cutting his career short.
The Broncos also have a decision coming up and may need the roster spot. Rod Smith's judgement day is quickly approaching, and while the Broncos actually have a couple of weeks after Week 6 to decide what to do with Rod I have a feeling we'll know something pretty quickly. That said, is there really a spot for Rod? Brandon Marshall is a lock as the #2 receiver and Brandon Stokely has been solid in the slot. That can wait for another day, but that day is coming.
As for Wilson, I'll admit, when I initially read this I got a warm and fuzzy feeling. Think about it -- Wilson, a Bronco through and through and a team leader on and off the field, is forced out of action becuase of injury, only to return a save the Broncos from the lackluster play that is hampering the defense. That's Hollywood material, for sure. This is reality, however, and the images of Wilson bouncing off of opposing running backs, the memories of flailing arm tackles, and most importantly, the vivid images of Wilson being carried off the field on a stretcher tempor my excitement.
The Broncos need the Al Wilson circa 2003. The roster is filled with aging linebackers who are past their prime. Sadly, if Wilson were to return he would probably be the best linebacker on the team. What a Wilson/Broncos reunion woould do is provide a spark to a defense that is filled with youth and lacks fire and passion early in the season. Wilson knows what it is to be a Denver Bronco, knows what it means to protect your home field, knows what it means to win.
All this is conjecture at this point, and I have yet to see anywhere that Al Wilson has been medically cleared to return to the football field. Until that happens I'll put Wilson back where he has been the past 6 months, out of site, out of mind. I hope for the best for Wilson, and while my selfish desires for the team are strong they come nowhere near surpassing my hope that Wilson is able to lead a long and physically productive life.
As for Hamilton, I think the move to the IR is best for everyone involved. Myers has been solid, Harris is back to provide depth, and Hamilton needs to focus on getting better, for his sake, if he is ever to be the player he was.