Well, if COVID-19 was going to impact the Broncos season, it’s better that it was because it was another team’s issue, and not Denver’s.
The Patriots issues with the coronavirus forced the Broncos to take an early bye week, but in that week, so much has happened. Ian St. Clair and I tried to breakdown the matchup again. Everything old is new again, but Week 6 is looking very different compared to Week 5.
The obvious shift is Drew Lock. As a full participant on Wednesday, it looks like he will get back on the field and his return could unlock a Broncos upset of New England. However, Lock’s presence on the field isn’t the only potential change.
Phillip Lindsay’s return couldn’t have been more timely, with news of Melvin Gordon’s DUI. While it’s unknown exactly how the league will punish Gordon, some type of discipline will be handed out at some point. Lindsay is going to be an important piece moving forward.
On offense, it’s still possible that Noah Fant comes back from his high ankle sprain. It’s not a done deal, but Fant’s success early on will be a welcome sight when he does get back. KJ Hamler, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury, might also add to the arsenal at Lock’s disposal.
Getting Mike Purcell back could also be a big help to the defensive line. There’s no guarantee there, but it would give Shelby Harris more help up front.
This has been such a strange journey for the Broncos. From preparing for the Patriots in Week 5 to postponements, to losing a true bye week, to now, nothing seems to be easy for Denver.
And the postponement also gives the Patriots a chance to get both Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore back on the field. With negative Covid tests, they should be on the field when the game kicks off on Sunday. It all adds to the confusion.
Hopefully, there will be enough confusion that Lock will have a shot at stealing a win on Foxboro against Bill Belichick’s defense. Always an uphill climb for young QBs.