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Injury-marred season major culprit in Broncos’ woes

The Denver Broncos underwhelmed in 2018, but the odds were heavily stacked against them for a myriad of reasons including significant injuries to key contributors.

Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images

Good morning, Broncos Country.

The list of things that went wrong for the Denver Broncos and their 2018 campaign are almost innumerable. Poor coaching, tenuous play-calling and head-scratching decisions on a routine basis made a tough schedule extremely difficult to overcome — but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Perhaps above all else, the Broncos’ injury-marred roster was the primary culprit in the team’s overwhelming demise this season.

In the course of a month the Broncos lost three starting players on their offensive line in Ronald Leary, Matt Paradis and Max Garcia. While Garcia’s caliber of play has left many fans wanting more, the loss of Leary and Paradis (two Pro-Bowl caliber players) were significant. While Denver’s patchwork offensive line impressed on a handful of occasions, it’s right to contemplate how much better the team could have been offensively had their line not been in flux due to injury.

Losing receiving targets Jake Butt, Jeff Heuerman and Emmanuel Sanders also inhibited the Broncos’ ability to succeed on offense, especially in respect to the passing game. Not only that, but the ‘No Fly Zone’ became the ‘Frequent Fly Zone’ at a rapid pace. The never-ending “Who’s who?” in their secondary made it hard to stop any opposing team. Without question, replenishing the Broncos’ talent pool on the back-end of their defense will be a priority for John Elway and the front office this coming offseason.

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, arguably the team’s most impressive player in Phillip Lindsay was lost for the last game of the season with a wrist injury. It may be just one game, but it symbolizes the never-ending woes of an injury-marred season that was just too much for the Broncos to bounce back from. Here’s to hoping that next year’s team can remain healthy and with a new head coach and revamped roster on the horizon — things will get better relatively quickly.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and am wishing you and yours the best in the coming year. As always, thank you for reading and here’s today’s offering of Horse Tracks.

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