If this past weekend’s close loss to the Super Bowl-contending Kansas City Chiefs was proof of anything, it’s that the Denver Broncos and fans of the team are not permitted to have the slightest amount of joy this season.
For the first time all season, QB Russell Wilson, the player George Paton and Broncos ownership decided was worth $245 million ($165 million guaranteed) over the next five years, played like he just might be worth a bit of that investment.
After struggling early with more-of-the-sameness that has plagued him and the Broncos offense all season, Wilson would follow up a pick-six by going 15-of-21 with 176 yards and three touchdowns, putting the Broncos in position to score a huge upset. Yet, as aforementioned, the Broncos are not allowed to have nice things this season.
After a nasty hit that left a lump the size of a tennis ball on his forehead, Wilson would leave the game under concussion protocol. Backup QB Brett Rypien couldn’t match the pace Wilson had set, and the Chiefs would pull away.
Now begs the question...is there any reason, with the Broncos sitting at 3-10 and eliminated from the playoffs, to not only keep putting Wilson out there every week, but putting him out there THIS week?
It becomes a question of logic vs. pride.
Logic states that the season is lost, Wilson just had his head knocked up to the point it looked like he had a horn growing out of his temple, and his offensive line is dropping like flies. Therefore, why risk more injury to a guy who the team is heavily invested in?
Wilson has practiced in a limited basis this week and appears to be preparing as if he plans to start on Sunday. No one knows for sure the extent of his head injury last week, but concussions are a highly sensitive subject matter in the NFL, so putting a player who is still going through the protocols for a team that is 3-10 on the field would seem a risky move from a PR perspective.
He’s also not getting any younger, and given the investment the team has in him, it might not be the worst thing to sit him the last four games and hope the reset button with a new staff can get all things right with him and the franchise.
Of course, then there’s pride.
As Herm Edwards famously said, “You play to WIN the GAME!” This team cannot tank their way to a high draft pick thanks to the trade for Wilson. So shutting anything down at this point is quitting, and these players are paid a generous amount of money to put in 17 regular season games, not 13. And the team just got a taste of what might be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel with Wilson’s performance vs. Kansas City.
Is he finally, even if it’s far too late this season, rediscovering a bit of his Seattle magic? Or is it a one-off that is an exception to the rule? The Broncos have a lot riding on this guy, it is still worth their time to see what exactly made this performance happen.
Additionally, there’s also Wilson himself, known to be a competitor and who will not go down lightly. If he wants to play and the Broncos stop him, how does that look for the team? Will it be perceived as a franchise protecting a player from himself, or will it be perceived as a team who prefers to quit and start the offseason early?
So again, it becomes a question of logic vs. pride. What would you choose, Broncos Country?
Should the Broncos shut down Russell Wilson?
This poll is closed
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