The offensive line is the most injured that I have seen in my 35 years of watching the Denver Broncos. Billy Turner came back and played every snap, but at one point he was the only starter from game 1 in the game. The offense as a whole has been absolutely gutted by injuries this season.
If you compare the starters from Week 1:
To the starters from Week 15:
We find that we had five players in common and one, Quinn Meinerz left both games with an injury early in the first quarter. The five are Dalton Risner, Billy Turner, Cameron Fleming, Jerry Jeudy and Quinn Meinerz. Risner also missed some time during the game when he reaggravated his shoulder injury.
The offensive line only had three players play every snap, the starting tackles Turner and Fleming and Graham Glasgow at center. Meinerz played only five snaps before he got eye-gouged. Risner only missed three snaps as he played through the pain of his shoulder aggravation. Tom Compton saw his first snaps as a Bronco; he played 30. Luke Wattenberg was pressed into service for 37 snaps at guard. He continues to look way overmatched. He really needed the same red-shirt year that we gave Matt Paradis to get his body to NFL strength levels, which is one reason he lasted until the 171st pick in the draft. I would have preferred to see Quinn Bailey in there as he looked better than Wattenberg last game, but Bailey was game-day inactive in favor of Compton.
The seven sacks that the were allowed by the OL was a season high and the Broncos are now tied with the Rams for allowing the most sacks at 51. That’s the most since the 2017 team allowed 52. The franchise record is 63 set in ‘63. With three games left, I’d bet money that we give up at least 13 more sacks this season to set a new franchise record. The most sacks ever allowed by a Bronco team was 11 in a game (happened in ‘64 and ‘67). The most this century was 9 in the 6-30 blowout loss in Denver to KC in 2019.
Latavius Murray played the majority of the snaps at RB with 44. Marlon Mack got 20 and Devine Ozigbo got five.
The walking wounded group known as our WR corps saw Jerry Jeudy play 51 snaps, Brandon Johnson play 41, Freddie Swain (who?) play 38 and Jalen Virgil and Montrell Washington each got one. It speaks volumes the Swain has been with the team for about five minutes and he got the nod as WR3 over both Washington and Virgil. Yikes! I can understand having Washington game-day active since he is the return guy, but I don’t understand why you would activate Virgil instead of Bailey. Virgil played on 15 special teams snaps so maybe that is the reason to not have a versatile offensive lineman active when one of your starting guards (Risner) was playing hurt.
The tight ends played heavily this game with Greg Dulcich, Eric Tomlinson, Eric Saubert and Andrew Beck playing 47, 41, 35 and 21 snaps. That’s 144 combined snaps (we ran 69 plays) meaning that we were in two or three TE/FB sets most plays.
|Patrick Surtain II||CB||65||100%|
The stalwarts were the same, each playing every defensive snap like he normally do: Justin Simmons, Damarri Mathis, Josey Jewell, Patrick Surtain II and Kareem Jackson.
K’Waun Williams played 52 of a possible 65 defensive snaps as the nickel corner. Essang Bassey played seven snaps when we went to dime package.
On the DL D.J. Jones, DeShawn Williams and Mike Purcell played 38, 40 and 21 while Eyioma Uwazurike. Jonathan Harris. and Matt Henningsen played 25, 21 and 8.
At OLB Baron Browning, Jonathon Cooper, Nik Bonitto and Randy Gregory played 45, 36, 26 and 23 snaps.
Alex Singleton was on the field for 74 percent of the defensive snaps as the other ILB.
We did not use a third safety on any defensive snaps this game.
Guys who played on special teams, but not on offense or defense were Justin Strnad, P.J. Locke, Dakota Allen, Delarrin Turner-Yell, Darius Phillips and Calvin Anderson.