Amid swirling rumors about possible trades for Chris Harris Jr., the Broncos’ No. 1 cornerback just has to hunker down and think about playing the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday - and not whether he’ll be with a different team a week later.
It’s not easy to do when playing for a losing team in which trade rumors are far more common, but Harris Jr. knows the business and knows his job.
And right now his only job is to prepare for T.Y. Hilton and the Colts.
“I’ve just got to stay focused and get ready for T.Y. Hilton. I can’t go into that game with any distractions,” Harris Jr. said Tuesday. “He’s a great receiver and they’ve got a great team, so I’ve got to have my mind clear, my mind right and ready to go.”
Multiple teams expressed interest in Chris Harris Jr in past week or so, but they acquired other CBs instead, sources tell 9News. One team was Texans, who instead traded for Raiders' Gareon Conley. Harris to play Sunday at Indy. His market figures to heat up by Tuesday. #9sports— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) October 22, 2019
Although Harris Jr. admitted he hasn’t talked with GM John Elway about his future, he laughed when reporters asked if he was aware of the rumors.
“We all have social media,” he said. “It’s hard to miss it.”
Reiterating that his role is to play football and not think about job security in the middle of the season, Harris Jr. did his best to show he’s all in for moving the Broncos into the win column.
“Of course, there are rumors with everything going on out there, but we’ve got to be focused on the Colts,” he said. “The season is not lost yet, so I’m not hanging—I’m not throwing the season in the dump yet. It’s not lost yet.”
And the best way to stop the trade rumors and keep the distractions to a minimum, he said, is to win.
Easier said than done - but a valid point.
“I just kind of try to tell those guys that the only way to stop this noise or stop the rumors is to win, and that’s the only thing that we can do,” he said.
That will be a little harder now that Emmanuel Sanders is setting up shop in the Bay and can’t be a clutch receiver for the offense, but Harris Jr. would like to see his defense do more tone-setting for the game than it has been anyway.
“We’ve got to come out and set the standard from the beginning of the game on defense,” he added. “There is nothing that we can say to the offense right now. We have to continue to get better on defense.”
One of the main obstacles for the secondary in that regard has been the constant rotation of players to deal with injuries to starters.
“We just don’t have set positions really. We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries and we’ve dealt with guys having to play different spots every week,” he said, adding that in the No Fly Zone, he either played right corner or slot and Aqib Talib played left corner every week. “It’s kind of week-to-week with us in the secondary. We have to find our set starters pretty much.”
Whether Harris Jr. is still one of those starters after the Indy game only Elway knows for sure. In the meantime, No. 25 is just getting ready for the Colts receivers that Harris Jr. says are “just very fast guys,” talking about Hilton, Zach Pascal and Parris Campbell.
“We can’t quit. The season is not over, it’s far from over,” he said, “and the AFC - a lot of people with bad records - so we’ve got a chance for sure.”