After the Denver Broncos announced Joe Flacco would be missing the next game against the Cleveland Browns, it became painfully obvious that Denver has a big problem. They are paralyzed by past mistakes, and can’t do what is necessary to make the team better. It’s not just about leaving Drew Lock on the sidelines, but that makes a huge statement about the state of the franchise.
When Lock injured his thumb, and found himself on IR it was a disappointment, but now that he won’t be the guy taking the reins from an injured Flacco, it is even more infuriating. As Ian St. Clair and I discussed on the MHR Radio podcast, the Broncos do-nothing approach is just baffling (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify).
What we are all experiencing is a franchise that is frozen when it comes to the quarterback position. Past mistakes seem to be driving the decisions John Elway is making about his second-round draft pick. So, instead of Lock being ready to go with Flacco sidelined, we all get to meet Brandon Allen.
If Lock is ready to go, like Flacco said, this is a 2-6 team. It’s time to be aggressive. Not just with play calling, but also with determining what your potential future franchise QB brings to the table. Saying he isn’t is an excuse, and a weak one at that. He’s been medically cleared to play, and not getting him back in a position to play stunts his growth, and could put Denver in a bad spot heading into the draft.
I know it’s in the back of John Elway’s head. He hasn’t had good luck with QB’s since Peyton Manning retired. Siemian, Lynch, Keenum, and now Flacco, have all been mistakes. Adding Lock to that list might be unbearable to Elway. So rather than get him on the field, they seem to be holding him out.
Paralysis has set in, and it may have even seeped into other decisions. At the trade deadline no one was moved. Chris Harris, Jr. and Derek Wolfe both remained with the team. If Harris doesn’t resign with Denver it will be a waste to have kept him. As much as we all love him in Broncos Country, this could be Harris’s last year in Denver, and getting nothing in return feels like a mistake. If he signs a free-agent deal next offseason for one year, the Broncos will fail to get a compensatory pick.
The season is only half over. We have a long way to go, but the Broncos look like a franchise that has turned to stone. Frozen in place, and afraid to make the decisions necessary to move the team forward.