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Injuries are no excuse for NFL teams

Every NFL team deals with injuries.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Much has been made about the injuries New England has gone through—some have even discredited Denver's thrilling overtime win because the Patriots were missing key players. Granted, the Pats were without some key players—and that certainly played a role in Denver's win—but that's not a good enough reason to downplay the Broncos victory.

Has everyone forgotten that Denver also lost starters T.J. Ward, Louis Vasquez, and Sylvester Williams during Sunday Night Football? Guard Evan Mathis wasn't supposed to play, either, but was forced into the lineup because of Vasquez's injury.

Injuries are part of the game, and no team is immune to them.

Playoff Picture

This year, Denver has lost four-time Pro Bowl tackle Ryan Clady, fill-in rookie starter Ty Sambrailo, promising rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman, and projected punt returner Kyle Williams to the injured reserve list.

In addition to Ward, Vasquez, Williams, Clady, Sambrailo, Heuerman, and Williams, Denver was also without eight-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware and future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning for SNF.

Everybody deals with injuries.

In 2013, Denver lost two centers (Dan Koppen and J.D. Walton), superstar cornerback Chris Harris Jr., starting safety Rahim Moore, starting defensive linemen Derek Wolfe and Kevin Vickerson, Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller, and Clady. And they still reached the Super Bowl.

Granted, Denver was smashed by Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII, but few—if any—pundits chalked it up to Denver missing key players due to injuries. Seattle was the better team, and they played a better game.

On SNF, Denver was the better team, and they played a better game.

Don't discredit them for injuries.